I REMEMBER attending the Barataria E.C. School - it was the 'big school' and it was very far away. Then, one day, mi father told me that I had to attend the El Socorro Islarnia Private School on Bissessar Street (1942). What a change of environment!

The El Socorro Islamia Private School was a tiny, one- room school with a few pupils. The headmaster was an old retired person - Mr. Henry. He was the typical Headmaster - very strict but a true gentleman a good person.

These were hard days and we went to school under difficult conditions. World War II was on everybody's mind but I remember my father and some of his friends visiting various mosques in the country, every Friday after Juma and their sole purpose was to collect donations to pay the teachers of the El Socorro Islamia Private School.

 Raffina Mustapha Ali
When in 1949, our School was granted State-Aid, everything changed and everything seemed so different and much more exciting. 1 remember our new headmaster, Mr. Nabab Ali. He was a very charismatic and energetic person, full of excellent ideas and willing to do anything to make our new school a success.

 Picture show Legislator Chanka Maharaj, Mr. Renison and  Mrs Renison,  It is upon Chanka Maharaj lands that the El Socorro Islamia School was built.  Picture taken at the formal opening of the school in 1949.
I REMEMBER the formal opening of the school (September 1949) when we were all dressed in green and white tunic outfits and had to sing and perform a folk dance to the tune of 'WATTAN KEYA'. The then Governor General, Mr. Renison and his wife inspected a Guard of Honour.

I REMEMBER how excited we were on Fridays, when we had House League Competition Results. Mr. Nabab would relay the results in an exciting manner as though he was broadcasting a race for a radio or television station.

The highlight of my memories at the El Socorro T.I.A. School, puts me in the company of my cousin Majeed as we teamed up to represent our school at the St. George Primary Schools Quiz Contest. Against all odds, our school won and at that time, I remember feeling a deep sense of pride and honour after winning something for my friends and school.

I REMEMBER, too, Mr. Rajkumar who coached us for the Quiz Contest. He was a teacher from Barataria E.C. School who came and taught our Exhibition Class. He was a great teacher, very loyal and a dedicated person. He went on to become principal of the Aranguez TIA School and during that time, Mr. Rajkumar helped me to get my first teaching job.

I REMEMBER all these things that occurred 50 years ago. These memories are still with me because we were part of a great moment in our history.

INSHALLAH, I will forever remember my days at the El Socorro Islamia TIA School.

Extracted from Tackveeyatul Islamic Association of Trinidad and Tobago Inc - Silver Anniversary souvenir brochure, published in 1974.