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All Saints celebrates St Hilary’s Day

ANGELA PIDDUCK Wednesday, January 11 2017

THE St Hilary’s Day Service for Alumni will take place on January 14, at the All Saint’s Anglican Church on Marli Street, Newtown, from 10 am, in celebration of the 96th anniversary of the founding of the school by Bishop Arthur Henry Anstey.

January 13 is the feast day of St Hilary, the patron saint for Bishop Anstey High School. One wonders how many of us know anything about Hilary - the man himself. What was it about Hilary, who wasn’t born a Christian, that made the bishop choose him as the patron saint of an Anglican school for girls? Born a pagan, Hilary believed the purpose of life was only to satisfy desires. He received a good education for the time and it was while studying the Old and New Testament writings that he felt the call of God and converted.

The Christians of Poitiers so respected Hilary that they unanimously elected him their bishop.

The Arians (the ruling class) did not believe in the divinity of Christ and the Arians had a lot of power including the support of the Emperor Constantius which resulted in many persecutions.

When Hilary refused to support their condemnation of Saint Athanasius he was exiled from Poitiers to the East. However, being exiled from his home and his duties gave him plenty of time to study and write.

Hilary fought persecution and paganism, not with weapons, but with words. A role model for young girls to study, to learn, to articulate and to overcome opposition not by violence but by words and out-thinking your opponent.

It is said that there is a tenacity about Hilary that reminds one of many a Bishop’s girl.

A little about the founder - The Most Reverend Arthur Henry Anstey (1872–13 November 1955) was Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago from 1918 until 1945. In 1921, Bishop Anstey started a Church High School for Girls – now Bishop Anstey High School.

In 1928 he opened the bishop’s hostel for women teachers, lived at the hostel and ran it himself for about 15 years.

On July 3, 1943, Bishop Anstey was unanimously elected Archbishop of the West Indies; became seriously ill in January 1945 and resigned as Archbishop of the West Indies and Bishop of Trinidad on February 1, 1945.



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