Some 47 years ago, (then) Padre Clarence Hayes, Priest-in-Charge of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, started a school in the rectory. They were able to purchase some property across the street from the church, and Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal was on its way. Profesora Constance Hayes, Padre's wife, was very dedicated to the school and helped start many programs. Bishop Hayes passed away over a year ago, and Profesora Hayes has been housebound after a couple strokes. Today the Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Bishop of the Diocese of Panamá, and Profesora Patricia Lewis, Directora de IESC, dedicated a new Salon de Reuniones (Conference Room) at IESC, and the room was named in honor of Profesora Hayes. She was accompanied by her son, Mr. Andrew Hayes. Connie Hayes was very helpful to the Lovely Mona and I when we first moved to Panamá and we are very fond of her, so we were happy to participate in honoring her today.
We had a lovely little ceremony, with the students of the pre-school and Kindergarten lining the way to the Salon dressed in white and holding roses. Students were dressed in the native dress of the different cultures represented at IESC, in polleras, cheongsam and sari. Two students played a duet for violins, and one little girl recited a poem. A plaque in the shape of a dove was given to Profesora Hayes from the Faculty of IESC. The ceremony was followed by a presentation of folkloric dances of the several cultures attending IESC which took place in the Bishop Hayes Gymnatorium.
One of the many programs started by Profesora Hayes is the United Nations Ambassador program. The participating students chose one of the member nations of the United Nations, study all they can about the country, and then represent that nation as it ambassador at a conference held at IESC. U.N. officials will be holding a special Assembly at IESC tomorrow, and "ambassadors? were all over the campus, dressed in suits this morning. Some of them appear in the photos below!
I like to show photos of what goes on here because, I like to rub in and, let's be honest: everything is more colourful and interesting than what goes on for you folks stranded en los Estados Unidos de América, Canadá, y Inglaterra o Reino Unido. Lo siento, pero ¡es verdad! As always, click on the photo to see a larger, more defined version
Young Ladies are Waiting (in costume).
Los Pequeños getting instructions
This Niña Bonita is a member of San Cristóbal and she was one of the first babies I baptized here about six years ago. Yes, that's the Lovely Mona in the background, talking with Zoraida Cáceres, esposa de Padre Cáceres de San Cristóbal.
The Little Ones at their stations
Young ladies in polleras (the young lady on the left is Jewel Murray, daughter of Bishop Murray).
Young Lady in sari.
Denzel Arthur, member of San Cristóbal, and a young man who has appeared several times at Padre Mickey's Dance Party on account of his Folkloric Dancing Career.
Profesora Patricia Lewis, Directora de Instituto Episcopal San Cristóbal.
Profesora Hayes arrives and is greeted by Directora Lewis and Obispo Murray
Profesora Hayes and students
Unveiling the plaque
Obispo Murray blessing the crowd and the room
At the presentation
Una Niña Pequeña recites a poem
Profesora Hayes receives an award from the Faculty of IESC