St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School

Name of School: St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School

District: South Eastern Education District

Brief History:

St. Stephen’s is a Government assisted primary school managed by the Anglican Education Board of Management. It is one of the five Anglican schools in the St. Stephen’s parish, the others being St. Michaels, Fifth Company, Eckel Village and the prestigious secondary school, St. Stephen’s College.

History has told us that St. Stephen’s Anglican Primary School was established in the year 1870. The school is nestled in the heart of Princes Town, a town approximately 17 kilometres east of San Fernando, our nation’s second city. However, at that time the town was not known as Princes Town. It was known as the ‘mission’. At about the time of the establishment of the school, 1870 that is, the famous English writer Charles Kingsley, who was a houseguest at the nearby Lothians Estate, was invited to preach at Mission one Sunday. He wrote afterwards, and I quote : “ We went to church – a large , airy, clean, wooden one – which ought to have had a wooden veranda round it to keep off the intolerable sunlight, and which might, too, have had another pulpit. For in getting up to preach in a sort of pill-box on a long stalk….I found the said pill box surging and nodding so under my weight that I had to assume a most dignified response….for fear of toppling over into the pews”.

Just as Kingsley took notice of Mission, Mission took notice of Charles Kingsley, for, not too far from the Church is a roadway, sign-posted, Kingsley Street.

Kingsley preached at the mission in January 1870, and exactly ten years later Mission experienced what has certainly been its most historic moment. It was another occasion when it was visited, and although its visitors were two boys, one fifteen and the other sixteen, they were the grandsons of Queen Victoria. They were midshipmen on a training ship, the S.S. Bacchante, which had called here on its way to England from Australia. They were being taken to see the mud volcano, Devil’s Woodyard, which lay on Hindustan Road, on the outskirts of Mission. The day was Wednesday January 20th 1880, and the princes left San Fernando shortly after 7.00 a.m., taking the Cipero tramway to Mission. On their arrival at Mission they mounted horses to make the rest of the journey to the mud volcano. There were burst of cheering from the crowds lining the route. As they passed in front of St. Stephen’s Church, in which Kingsley had

preached ten years before, Reverend Knight came out and begged them to plant two little poui trees in front his church to mark the historic visit. They dismounted from their horse and obliged. And so, the Mission of Savana Grande so called because of the Canadian Mission once set up here to Christianize Indentured workers, became known henceforth by the more flattering name of Princes Town, in honour of the two princes.

The two poui trees still stand majestically in front of the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church.

Research has told us that the school was originally a government school, but somewhere along the line it became an Anglican School. The building was rebuilt in 1955 (under the tenure of Fu Lyons) on a site east of the original building. It is surrounded by the First Citizen Bank, (which was built on the original school site) the Anglican Cemetery and the Rectory Building. Some of the principals/headmasters were:

  1. Mr Alfred John
  2. Mr Henry King
  3. Mr Joseph Hinds
  4. Mr Ralph Doyle
  5. Mr. Josiah Samuel
  6. Ms Christine George
  7. Mr David Sooklal
  8. Mrs Merle Allen
  9. Mr Lloyd Bowen
  10. Ms Bernadette Edwards
  11. Mrs. Norma Purcell

The school falls within the South Eastern Education District. It is made up of main building which houses the classrooms and another building, construction of which commenced in 1998, which houses the Computer Lab. The main building is made up of two floors with an annexe and basement. The top floor houses the Principal’s office, clerical office/stock room and the Standards Three, Four and Five classrooms. The Standards One and Two are on the Lower floor, while the Infant Years One and Two are housed in the Annexe. The basement houses the Library and Music Room. There are no separate classrooms, each is separated by chalkboards. From October 2004 to January 2006 the School was relocated to Princes Town Presbyterian # 2 School in order to facilitate major repairs.

Name of Principal: Shelly-Ann Woods-Alexander

Manger (Parish Priest) – Archdeacon Ediwn Primus

Mailing Address: High Street, Princes Town

Telephone Numbers: 655-8886

Fax Number: 655-8886

Email Address: