The Mackenzie High School and John Joseph Cummings


MHS school pix

The Mackenzie High School

                                        and   John Joseph Cummings

                                                By Dmitri Allicock

A measure of success of a school must be how far and to what heights it students progress. And how widely and deep they remember those formative years and outstanding faculty. By such a measure, the Mackenzie High has achieved great indeed.    

On September 11, 1959, the 1946 Echols High was renamed Mackenzie High School and the new campus of MHS was declared opened by Minister of Education and Community Development, Mr. Balram Singh Rai on Purpleheart Street, Mackenzie.

The structure was financed by the Demerara Bauxite Co. [DEMBA] and built by Sprostons Construction Company to the architectural design of Messrs Mence and Moore and provided the community with its first secondary school.

[Read more: The Mackenzie High School and John Cummings]

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  • Margaret Phoenix  On January 8, 2014 at 3:10 am

    Very interesting and informative article.

  • Alex V, Benn  On January 8, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Thank you for this wonderful lesson on “The History of MHS and Mr. John Cummings”. I did not know Mr. Cummings but it feels like the loss of a family member.
    The Allicocks must be a very large family. I do remember at least one girl and one boy by the name of Allicock in my day. We may not have been in the same forms.
    I started at MHS in 1959 while Mr. Craig was principal. I was the only girl wearing glasses on the left of the school choir photograph taken that year.
    During that time our teachers were Mr. Critchlow teaching Latin, Mr. Wharton, Miss Blair, Miss Thomas teaching French and Miss Kerr teaching English Literature. Miss Kerr also taught my younger sister in London later. (By the way, you can tell what my favorite subjects were)
    Then came Mr. Singh teaching Chemistry, and Mr. Hope teaching math. They were all good teachers but I never understood that Geometry. Those were the days.
    I left Mackenzie in early 1964 for England and have since moved to the U.S.A.
    I am still in contact with some of my classmates.
    Continued success with your writing.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Thank you Margaret.

    • Dr. E. Lincoln James  On January 9, 2014 at 3:19 am

      You are a good example of a successful student. I remember you in my English classes in the late 70s.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On January 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    A great man, to have made such an impact in his short life. His legacy lives on in his students and within the community.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 9, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Thanks Alex, great memories!

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 9, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Thank you Rosaliene, his memories lives on indeed and are forever cherished

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Thank you Dr James and great to hear from you

  • Evelyn Hamilton  On January 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I enjoyed this article as I have several others that you have written. I believe that I taught you History at MHS and through your articles you are doing the same for me.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 14, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Hello Mrs. Hamilton, what a great surprise and pleasure to hear from you! It must be close to 40 years since I saw you but I often think and wonder where you were. You were an amazing teacher and person that I truly enjoyed and miss.
    The magic of MHS still works and has brought together once more like it did with Mr. James. Bless you and family and I hope that we can stay in touch, love you always!

  • Jacqueline Cummings  On January 17, 2014 at 4:28 am

    I cannot express how greatful I am to you for publishing this very informative article on John Cummings. I have been able to share it with my entire family including his grandchildren. I was 5 years old when my father died and was not able to recall much of our days in McKenzie. My mother and my siblings are humbled and thankful.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On January 17, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Hello Jacqueline, it is wonderful and the pleasure is mine to be in contact with you and the family of Mr. Cummings. His inspiring influence and tragic loss are remembered and still lives in the heart of so many students and teachers who were privileged to be at MHS. I often wondered how his so young and precious children fared. His admirable memories are cherished and embed in passing time for which we are forever thankful. Please give my regards to all his love ones and I hope that we can remain in contact.

  • Pamela Massiah  On February 8, 2014 at 11:08 am

    What wonderful tributes Dmitri. Indeed we had wonderful teachers. We too were a different breed of students. I teach in the NYC public school system and I am so grateful for the teachers of MHS who helped to mold me. Keep up the work that you do. It is appreciated.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On February 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Thank you Pamela. I believe you are in the MHS picture attached to the article along with Helen Hutt and others. Great to hear from you and best regards.

  • primavera302  On April 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Great job, Dmitri! I stumbled upon this blog. Will be a frequent visitor. Good to see some of our mentors here too (Lincoln James & Evelyn Hamilton) : )

    • Dmitri Allicock  On April 11, 2014 at 12:27 am

      Thank you

      • primavera302  On April 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

        Sorry, I made the comment above, Dmitri and forgot to identify myself – Melva Archer (we were classmates). Like Pamela I am also in the teaching profession and am continually grateful to the wonderful teachers I had at M.H.S

      • Dmitri Allicock  On April 19, 2014 at 12:31 am

        It is so great to hear from you after all these years Melva! My last memories of you was you in full uniform with sash and beautiful smile. Bless you always!!

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