Life of Maroon School Children in Cockpit Country.
I recently attended a meeting of the Jamaican Maroons in New York City. The meeting was held at the “Council of the Overseas Maroons” to welcome Colonel Ferron Williams of Accompong Maroons and the Principal of Accompong Primary and Junior High School Mr. Garfield Rowe.
I sat down with Principal Garfield Rowe to learn more about their school in Maroon Town St Elizabeth. Principal Rowe was proud to speak about the children because he attended and graduated from Accompong Town School system before receiving his Masters degree from the University of the West Indies. It was very important to Principal Rowe that the world knows that “Pride and Discipline” plays a major role in their success.
Principle Rowe said, “The vision of him and his staff is for the children of Accompong School to be well rounded. They must be able to compete on all levels, academically, technically and or learn a trade.” The children of Accompong School certainly have a head start because of various programs added in the school system. Children learn to be responsible at an early age. One of the programs in place is that some children are given live animal such as a goat to take care of. Principal Rowe pointed out that the live stock program has been a great success and the children look forward to participate.
Mr. Rowe said that over the years, the children from Accompong Town have gone on to achieve great success. Nationally, the children of Accompong School were ranked above average on the island during the island wide testing period. These test were sent to The United Kingdom to be graded. Their results are celebrated in knowing their children have gone on to all level of success. Their rewards come in blessings such as the “Mystic Bowie Accompong Library.” This library was donated by former student and fellow Maroon who happens to be a recording artist and producer and his name is Mystic Bowie.
Colonel Ferron Williams and Principal Garfield Rowe encourage visitors to visit Maroon Town in St. Elizabeth. They want folks to know that their Annual celebration on the 6th of January each year is a huge celebration and they are inviting everyone to join them. However, they were quick to point out that Maroon Town is open to visitors all year. When visitors come to Maroon Town throughout the year, they have the opportunity to gain a more personalize tour because there are less people visiting. The tours include a tour of the village in the community, a hike tour of the Peace Cave where the “Peace Treaty of 1738” was signed and a nature tour. Lodging is available for the nature loving people as well as those looking to explore the wilderness while enjoying a quiet and peaceful stay.