Queen's College, the oldest private school in the Bahamas, operates as a grant-aided institution under the auspices of The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church.
The school’s history began in 1870, when the Reverend Henry Bleby, Chairman of the Methodist Church of the Bahamas, proposed to the Methodist Missionary Society in London that a Methodist school be established here. He noted that several members of the Trinity congregation had expressed interest in establishing “a superior kind of educational institution for boys and girls with a Methodist Minister as Principal”. As a result, the Reverend George Terry was appointed principal and The Bahamas Wesleyan Propriety Institution opened its doors on January 2nd, 1871.
In 1879, the Reverend Francis Moon replaced the Reverend Bleby and, in 1884, the Methodist Synod appointed a committee made up of all Methodist Ministers and ten laymen for the purpose of setting the school on a firmer foundation.
On June 21st, 1887 the foundation stone of Victoria Hall, named in celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, was laid on property purchased between Frederick and Charlotte Streets, and on January 13th, 1890, under the name Queen’s College, the school opened its doors.
From 1890 to 1925, the school continued to prosper under the guidance of Mr. S.B. Wilson, M.A. and his successors, nameley Mr. F.G. Bowers, Rev. J.B. Longden, Rev. W.J.P. White, Rev. Arthur Robinson, Rev. Leonard Edge and Rev. Leonard Simpson. Then, in 1925, the Rev. R.P. Dyer, M.B.E., M.A., took up the appointment as Headmaster and it is he who made Queen’s College the school it is today. He began to groom students for the day they could move into positions of leadership and it was Rev. Dyer who urged Charles Sweeting into education, predicting, in 1957, that he would one day be the first Bahamian Principal of the school. Rev. Dyer remained as Headmaster until his retirement in 1959. Upon his death in 1961, he was buried in the churchyard of Ebenezer Methodist Church, Shirley Street.
The Rev. Dyer was succeeded by Rev. Geoffrey Litherland (1959 – 1964), Rev. Neville Stewart (1964 – 1971) and Mr. Hayden Middleton (1971 – 1979), each of whom made outstanding contributions to the development of Queen’s College during their tenures.
The first Bahamian administrator of Queen’s College, Mrs. Yvonne Noronha, was appointed Vice Principal of the College and Headmistress of the Primary School in 1978. This was closely followed by the appointment of Rev. Charles Sweeting in 1979, the first old scholar and first Bahamian to be appointed Principal. Reverend Sweeting served as Principal until 1993. Vice Principal, Mr. Philip Cash was appointed Principal in 1993 and served the school until his death in June 1997. In November 1997, Miss Andrea Gibson, the first female and third former scholar to serve the school, was appointed Principal. Mrs. Virginia Minnis was appointed Head of the Early Learning Centre in September 1999 and is the first Bahamian to serve in this post.
Mr. Alexander Roberts served as Vice Principal/Head of High School from 1987 until 2000. Mrs. Shawn Turnquest, another old scholar, became the first female Vice Principal/Head of High School in September 2002. Mrs. Yvonne Foulkes succeeded Mrs. Noronha as Vice Principal/ Head of the Primary School in September 2002. Also in September 2002, Mrs. Sylvia Beneby was appointed as Deputy Head of the Primary School, and Mrs. Heather Wood and Mr. Henry Knowles were appointed Deputy Heads of the High School. In 2007, Miss Maria Tsavoussis was appointed as Deputy Head (Curriculum) of the High School and in 2008, Mr. Clint Higgs was appointed as Deputy Head (Administration) of the High School. In 2010, Mrs. Sylvia Beneby was appointed as Vice Principal/Head of Primary School and Mrs. Angela Culmer was appointed as Deputy Head of the Primary School.
In 1992, Mr. Hubert Albury was appointed to the position of Finance Manager. Upon his retirement in 2016, he was succeeded by Mrs. Kendra McKenzie in this post. In 2001, Mrs. Délice Lynch was appointed as the first Human Resources Officer of Queen's College. She was succeedby Mrs. Alicia Campbell in 2018.
Miss Andrea U. Gibson, retired in 2019 as Principal after 22 years of serice. She was the second longest serving Principal of Queen's College. In September 2019, Rev. Henry A. Knowles was inducted as the fifteenth Principal of this pristine institution. He is the fourth Bahamian to serve in this post.
By the late 1960’s, the school had grown to over two thousand students. One hundred of these students came in as boarders from the Family Islands. In 1975, “The Out Island Hostel” was closed as a result of the Government withdrawing a subsidy that had been given. By 1975, Government had opened high schools on all major islands. Following this, the school made a conscious decision to reduce its enrollment, as with greater personal contact with the students, there are fewer discipline problems.
Queen’s College C.F.E. was established on October 2nd, 1989 by the late Mr. Philip Cash who served as the first Dean of the C.F.E. and later was appointed Principal of Queen’s College. The vision of the Centre was to provide opportunities, through part-time courses, for adults to improve their qualifications in order to further develop their career and to improve their prospects for jobs. It transitioned and existed in various forms until January 2016 when The Bahamas Conference of The Methodist Church appointed Dr. Reginald W. Eldon to serve as Dean. Under its new focus of ‘student centered—community minded’ education, the Centre expanded its programme to include five (5) schools: Personal Growth and Development, Continued Education, Business and Leadership Excellence, Theology, Ethics and Spiritual Formation (C-LET) and Early Childhood Education.
In August 2016, three new employees joined the Centre in the positions of Director of Academic Affairs, Registrar and Programme Coordinator. This team of dedicated professionals, along with the Dean, will work to fulfill the mandate given by The Board of Governors, thus furthering the vision of the Centre.
In January 2017, Barry University relocated its Nassau Campus to Queen’s College. The Centre for Further Education will coordinate Barry University’s presence on the QC Campus.
In 2018, we introduced a Reception Class, accepting students from the age of 2 1/2 years into our preschool. In September 2010, Queen's College introduced the '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and 'The Leader In Me' from the FranklinCovey Company to its curriculum. In April 2019, Queen's College received it's designation as a 'Lighthouse' school from the FranklinCovey Company. Queen's College is the first and only 'Lighthouse' school in the entire English speaking Caribbean.
QUEEN'S COLLEGE PRINCIPALS
- Mr. Roger Kelty (Vice Principal/Head of High School) 1971-1981
- Mrs. Yvonne Noronha (Vice Principal/Head of Primary School) 1978-2002
- Mr. Alexander Roberts (Vice Principal/Head of High School) 1987-2000
- Mrs. Heather Wood (Deputy Head—Administration/High School) 2002-2007
- Mr. Henry Knowles (Deputy Head—Curriculum/High School) 2002-2008
- Mrs. Yvonne Foulkes (Vice Principal/Head of Primary School) 2002-2010
- Mr. Hubert Albury (Finance Manager) 1992-2016
- Mrs. Virgina Minnis (Head, Early Learning Centre) 1999-present
- Mrs. Délice Lynch (Human Resources Officer) 2001-2018
- Mrs. Shawn Turnquest (Vice Principal/Head of High School) 2002-present
- Miss Maria Tsavoussis (Deputy Head—Curriculum/High School) 2007-present
- Mr. Clint Higgs (Deputy Head—Administration/High School) 2008-present
- Mrs. Angela Culmer (Deputy Head/Primary Years) 2010-present
- Mrs. Sylvia Beneby (Vice Principal/Head of Primary Years) 2010-present
- Mrs. Kendra McKenzie (Finance Manager) 2016-present
- Mrs. Alicia Campbell (Human Resources Officer) 2018-present