Combermere’s Good Samaritans
THE SOUND of the bell signalling the start of the school day that Monday morning echoed all across Stadium Road, St Michael.
Combermere students Israel Brathwaite-Hall, Antwon Roach and Dondre Hurdle were on that same road heading to Combermere School, making every effort to ensure they were not late.
It was a road the fourth and fifth formers have been taking to school most days.
However, last Monday something was different.
The three students spotted a visually impaired man walking around in circles and feeling his way around.
They immediately believed he was lost.
At this point, any thoughts of getting to school for full assembly at 8:45 a.m. were shoved to the back of their minds.
Their attention had now turned to the man they instinctively knew they had to help.
What the students didn’t know at the time was that the nearby resident who preferred to give his name only as Michael, was on his way home along his usual path.
However, because of overgrown bush in the area, he lost his way.
“I usually come down from the bus stop, take 12 steps, turn and come down, to go past the pasture” he said, explaining that he further marks his journey by a vehicle along the way. This time though, he said, the vehicle seemed different and that is what threw him off.
He then panicked.
“. . . I didn’t know what to do. Then I heard ‘Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir, do you need assistance?’”
He was happy at the thought of help being so close by.
The voices of hope he heard were those of the Combermere students.
Fifth former Roach said they saw Michael fidgeting and “swiping in the air” when they looked back and they decided to help him out.
Roach said that after approaching Michael they asked him where he needed to go and he said that there was a mango tree which they [could see] in the distance.
“He thanked us for showing him where it was and then we decided that we would carry him to the destination.
“While we were walking, the school bell rang and he said ‘You can go back to school’ but we decided [that we wouldn’t] and took him [the full way],” Roach explained.
Hurdle said Brathwaite Hall, the lone girl in the group, was encouraging them that morning to go back to assist Michael and they said they were glad they did.
Hurdle added that he knows young people are criticised in society today for a number of negative issues, but their good deed should speak volumes of the potential good within youngsters.
Principal of Combermere, Vere Parris, said within the institution his staff tried to promote the importance of doing good deeds.
“We emphasise being kind to others and being considerate of [them]. It is indeed a very happy instance when students who are in the middle of their school career can be so kind as to offer assistance to someone who was clearly in need,” Parris noted.
He said that the particular morning the three students assisted Michael to his home, the student body was being addressed by President of the Senate Senator Kerryann Ifill.
“They would not have known that and I’m not sure if they got there in time to hear or not but the fact is that this school had the experience of having someone who would not have had their sight. Having spent their entire school career here . . . I think there is an understanding that they need to reach out to persons like that,” he stated.
The principal recalled that when Michael called to report the good deed he was emotional and moved to tears.
Parris suggested that more positivity of young people be highlighted as they need to take centre stage.