Fox Town, Abaco came alive for three days on the 20-22 July when former students of Fox Town All Age School honoured Ralph Hanna. Mr. Hanna, affectionately known as “Teacher Hanna,” was flown in for a special celebration and thanks for his contribution to the community some 50 odd years ago. There was a flurry of activities designed to show their appreciation for the great work he had done during his eleven years as Principal of Fox Town All Age School (1958-1969).
Some of the initiatives he implemented during that time included raising community awareness, initiating sports programs and started the Ranfurly Portable Library among many other achievements and projects.
The committee, led by the Reverend Elon McIntosh of Wood Cay Baptist Church along with Mary Taylor of Nassau and Leo Wells of Grand Bahama, welcomed Mr. Hanna and his family to Abaco with a grand sporting event at the Fox Town Park.
Meals were prepared by members of the community. There, Mr. Hanna greeted his former students as well as a good number of the community who remembered him fondly. It was a rather refreshing period of revisiting the good old times.
Comfortable housing with a beautiful view was provided by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rolle at New Hope Travellers’ Rest, Mount Hope, Abaco and delicious meals were prepared by Birdie McIntosh at her Restaurant in Mount Hope. Treats from the garden were provided by Reverend Ezekiel McIntosh of Wood Cay, who has generously kept up this tradition from 50 years ago.
On Sunday morning a tearful service was held under the theme, “Cast your bread upon the waters.” A powerful sermon was given by the Reverend John McIntosh, pastor of the New Hope Ministries at Mount Hope. A special treat was the song selection by Mr. Lionel Wells and a special selection by his former students, several of whom had made a special trip to be present at the service.
Gifts included a generous purse and a specially handmade work of art designed for him by Mrs. Lovely Reckley of Marsh Harbour.
Mr. Hanna and his family, under the direction of Captains Leon Pinder and Don Rolle were taken out on a very successful fishing trip. Fish were caught by every member of the family. In about an hour and a half, they were able to return to the dock with a cooler full of fish. A tearful Mr. Hanna thanked his students and the community of Fox Town for a celebration that was fit for a king.
Earlier this year in keeping with the 40th Anniversary Independence of The Commonwealth of the Bahamas celebrations, Mr. Hanna was one of the honourees chosen by the Fox Town School to be singled out for special honours at the ceremony held in April. The current Principal of Fox Town Primary, Mrs. Yolanda Curry, along with her teachers, students and staff honoured Mr. Ralph Hanna, Austin Mills and Thomas McIntosh who all had served as past principals of the school.
A special assembly was organized for the three men as their contributions to education were celebrated through poetry and song.
On this occasion, Mr. Hanna donated a digital camera for the use of the school. He also took the opportunity to teach a lesson to a fifth grade class to whom he gave a homework assignment. This assignment was collected when Mr. Hanna was called back a second time in the space of three months to be honoured by the students for whom he actually served as teacher and principal during his time in Fox Town Primary.