A Gentlemen Club was created at Abaco Central High School at the beginning of the school year by advisors Vincent Coakley, Ishmael ”Stretch” Morley, Christopher Wright, and Reverend Charles Carey. The club exposes students to a different behavior style, such as etiquette and proper manners. The advisors are hoping to guide these young adults toward a more productive and safe lifestyle.
“There are more young Bahamians going to jail than going to college,” said Reverend Carey in his speech to a student body of about 40 boys.
On November 11, the advisors held a meeting to share with students what the club was about. The first to speak was Rev. Carey who said that the program had been created to save young men from their social boundaries. The point, he said, was to help them transfer from boys to gentlemen through a process of training, in order to make them role models in society.
“We want you to be a leader, a potential husband, a father,” Carey said.
Gentlemen Clubs already exist in several parts of the United States and in The Bahamas, focusing on supporting a school curriculum, but also teaching leadership, responsibility, etiquette and patience to empower young men positively.
Wright took the stage next, supporting the remarks of Reverend Carey. Wright explained that The Gentlemen Club is an elite club. “We are here to empower you and educate you to make a transition between boy and man. We are here to offer guidance to establish the road you want to travel. We do not see another young man lost in society…We are here to help. If you have issues call one of us,” Wright said.
Morley reinforced what his predecessors had mentioned, offering help to fill out forms and applications for scholarship, adding that his wife, Dr. Chervon Morley, represented the College of The Bahamas and would be happy to help them.
The Headmaster, Vincent Coakley, praised students for their good behavior during the meeting.
“We don’t want you to be another statistic,” Coakley said.
The Gentlemen Club’s meetings are held for an hour at the Government Complex every Thursday at 4 p.m. During the November 19 meeting a board will be elected.