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Central High School was founded around 1928. However, it is likely that its founder, Joseph Clement Luck or J.C. Luck as he has come to be known, had been experimenting with the idea for some years previously.

J.C. attended Queen's College during the early beginnings of that fine secondary institution nd in 1947, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from London.

Following graduation, he became an entrepreneur who tried his hand at farming, shop keeping, gold digging and ricemilling but success did not come until he decided to start his own high school.

Many of us born after the 1920's had little idea of what constituted an education for the masses at the beginning of the twentieth century in Guyana. The churches took the lead in establishing Primary Schools in the areas where they had established congregations in the three counties and Primary education became available to all.

The three "R's" formed the core of the education offered.

Secondary education was a different matter, available only to the privileged, who could afford the cost of attending a High School. Later, some scholarships made it possible for a few of the brightest of the bright to gain a Secondary education. In the early years only the capital city, Georgetown, had secondary schools. The Government established Queen's College for boys and the Roman Catholic Church followed with St. Stanislaus College for boys, and two convents, which admitted girls, while the Anglican congregation founded the Bishop's High School for girls.

To that point in history, Demerara County was taken care of. However, because of the distances between counties, the population in Berbice and Essequibo were disadvantaged and had no secondary schools. Children had to be sent to Georgetown if they qualified for access to one of the high schools there. Eventually, the Presbyterian Mission in Berbice established the Berbice High, a co-ed school in New Amsterdam, the capital of Berbice County. Essequibo on the other hand, was without secondary education for many years.

As time went on, the above-mentioned schools could not accommodate the increasing demand for a secondary education. It should be remembered that graduation from high school with a Senior Cambridge certificate was the key to a Civil Service job. That provided the opportunity for the establishment of privately operated post-primary schools. The challenge that such schools faced was to provide a sound education at a cost that the majority of working parents could afford. That meant that

the founders had to bear the capital costs of buildings and equipment, staff salaries, and other incidentals. Their only source of revenue being tuition fees which had to be low enough so that parents could pay.

From available accounts, as founder and headmaster of Central High School, J.C. started with 35 students and built his school with the help of those students. Those who took part in the project earned tuition free spaces in return for their work making benches, desks, blackboards, etc. That concept of a work-study education was perhaps unheard of in those days. Many students also gained free tuition if they showed promise of having outstanding scholastic ability. Central encouraged extra curricula activities such as short hand, typing and Adult Education. Recreational activities for its students included cricket, football and table tennis.

The school grew to become the largest private educational in Guyana with a few hundred students and providing both primary and secondary education. Those were the circumstances under which Central High was born.

Central High, first built and operated under private management, is proud of its contribution to Guyana and salutes its many graduates and attendees who have served not only their mother country but given their service in many parts of the world.

The Luck family has always been at the forefront of education in Guyana and in subsequent years, his children have gone on to head the institution, most notably son Rudy and daughter Stella (Low)

Original Central High SchoolCentral High 2003Early Staff of Central HighCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

Joseph Clement (J.C) Luck; founder of Central High School.


Mrs. Stella Low

Mrs. Stella Low Succeeded her father J.C. Luck as Principal of Central High. Both Stella and the school celebrated their 75th in 2003.



Rudy Luck son of J.C. Luck. Rudy's last appearance before the CHAAG membership as the keynote speaker at the annual brunch in the summer of 2001 before his death over the Labour Day weekend that year.