On the first of January, 1997, Sandcastle Ltd acquired 8 rooms and the restaurant at the Yellow Bird Hotel, ideally located in St. Lawrence Gap. With just over 50% controlling interest, this company assumed the management of these units as well as the entire hotel. As the years went by, Sandcastle Ltd went on to purchase an additional 8 rooms at Yellow Bird. Fast forward to December 2016 and the million dollar question was, how should we commemorate our 20th anniversary? After some discussion, the Management & Staff decided to give back to the community. Who better to give to than the neighbouring St. Lawrence Primary School, just a stone’s throw away from this hotel.
Managing Director Geeta Chatrani visited the school and spoke with Principal Mrs. Andrea Cheltenham. She explained about the upcoming anniversary and her desire to assist the school. What does the school need? she asked Mrs. Cheltenham, privately hoping they would suggest a computer and perhaps a printer.
However, Mrs. Cheltenham gleefully stated that she wished for newly painted classrooms for the school’s 215 pupils. Mrs. Chatrani agreed to help her make her dream come through, hoping she had not bitten off more than she could chew!
Bright colours to inspire the children were selected by the school’s Principal and teachers. These included “Wildflower Prairie” for the Admin Block, Canteen & Reception area,” Peeps” for the Infants’ Department including the nursery, “Wonder Woods” and “Green Gone Wild” for the Upper Juniors’ Classrooms and “Mango Madness” for the Lower Juniors’ Classrooms.
65 gallons of paint were bought from Harris Paints Ltd
who gave a great discount and 10 gallons of free paint!
Brushes, rollers and other painting supplies were bought
from Carters General Store who also played their part
by offering a discount.
We agreed to assist with the painting on December 17 & 18 and invited members of Yellow Bird Hotel’s staff, their family and friends and hotel guests to join us in this worthwhile cause. With volunteers made up of hotel management & some of our staff, the school’s Principal, two parents and a few secondary school students who were chalking up community service hours as part of their school’s requirement, we were able to complete the painting of the administration wing and a few of the classrooms on the campus.
The volunteers really worked hard for 8 hours on both days, breaking only for a delicious lunch provided by the nearby Tropical Mist Bar & Restaurant, also located in St. Lawrence Gap. Furniture had to be moved, walls scraped, sanded and prepared with joint compound and then we started to paint! What fun it was to dip the rollers in the paint and run them up and down the walls. Soon the old, faded, stained surfaces began to look new again with the newly bought paint slicking the walls!
The two days went by so fast and soon we sadly said goodbye to Mrs. Cheltenham and her school. She assured us that the parents would continue the paint project and invited us to come back when all of the classrooms had been painted.
It was such a humbling experience to give back and to hear that the students and teachers were pleased with our efforts. We wished that we could have been there just to see their faces when they entered their “new” classrooms on the first day of term!