Robbie Vernon – Ontario Hall of Famer

Robbie Vernon STGC 2008 Hall of Famer? Who would have thought it? As it turns out, many of his colleagues on the Board of the Old Boys Association, past and present, and his peers on the committee in Jamaica.

The selection criteria indicate that to be considered for induction into the St. George’s College Hall of Fame, an individual’s record must demonstrate

  • Excellence/achievement in a defined category,
  • National and or international recognition,
  • Vision and innovation,
  • Inspiring leadership,
  • Community spirit

The school selection committee reviews nominations made in the following categories: Arts, Business & Commerce, Education, Government & Public Service, Law, Religion, Science & Medicine, Social services, Sports, Trade Union Activities, Faculty & Staff, and Support to St. George’s College. It is in this latter category, included just this year , Support to St. George’s College that Robbie’s name was thrown into the ring; and it came out shining.

Robbie VernonRobbie was a founding member of the Association back in 1984 and has been active ever since promoting his beloved alma mater. He held many positions on the Board including President, Secretary and is now our Membership Director.

Many on the Board will remember his outstanding Presidency in 2006 and 2007and his success in lifting the profile of the association in Ontario, representing us at many Government events and other Alumni Association functions, and actively promoting the involvement of the executive at these external events. All Board members were given personal STGC business cards and encouraged to attend and network for us at every opportunity at external functions.

Robbie has been Editor of our highly acclaimed newsletter [Good & True] for the past 12 years; spending countless hours writing, editing, arranging and re-arranging the layout of the articles and pictures. Largely through his efforts the newsletter has achieved great success in forging links with Georgians around the Globe. It circulates to nearly 600 families worldwide and is a regularly visited sight on our web.

And if that were not enough, Robbie makes the time to participate in all of our events. He was there in Boston when a bus load of Old Boys made what is now regarded as a historic trip to the Jesuit Center in Boston in October 1997. He was back in Boston for Fr. Leo Quinlan’s funeral in November last year. He has made many trips abroad representing our chapter.

A career banker, Robbie in 2003 retired as a Risk Manager for the Royal Bank in Ontario after 42 years service. He held management positions in Jamaica, and Canada and worked for them as well in the Cayman Islands. He was a key member of the banks Black Diversity Committee in Toronto encouraging and promoting links with Toronto’s Black community.

In Jamaica Robbie received several awards for community service and was a member at varying times of the Jaycees, Lions Club, Police Civic Committees, and was appointed by the Government to register and work with the mentally handicapped in Clarendon; sitting on the Board of the mentally handicapped school in May Pen.

l-r: Alex, Joe, Heather & Robbie Vernon on grounds of Alma Mater ST.GCIn Canada outside of his activities with the Old Boys Association, Robbie was active with the Etobicoke Soccer Association; Metro Toronto’s largest recreational house league of which he was a member for over 22 years; many of these on the Board as Discipline Chair. He was in 2006 granted an Honorary Life Membership Award from them in recognition of outstanding dedication and service to youth soccer in Etobicoke. Robbie since 1993 has mentored the incarcerated at the Mimico prison, under the volunteer Prison Chaplaincy programme and sat on the Board of his Church’s Finance Committee for over 15 years.

Robbie now joins our other Ontario Chapter inductees in the school’s Hall of Fame: G. Raymond Chang in the categories of Business & Education, and Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong in the categories of Science, Medicine & Education.

He was accompanied on his trip to Jamaica for the Hall of Fame Induction by his lovely wife, Heather and their two sons Alex and Joe, both now budding lawyers. Whilst there, he was able to talk with the current student body and later toured the campus with his sons who were visiting the school for the first time getting a firsthand look at the institution that so many of us are indebted to for a solid educational foundation.

Robbie Vernon Georgian, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and now STGC 2008 Hall of Famer!

We are all proud of you.

— Chris Chin