Newsletter St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter



St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 

Good & True 
ISSUE #32 
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Good & True

Good & True ...issue# 32...Nov., 2001

President's Message

Warren Abbott

Greetings to my fellow Georgians, our families, friends and supporters and our best wishes to you. Our prayers go out for the sick and deceased relatives and friends.

Since the May Newsletter, we have had a successful family dinner, and Fab 5 fundraiser. These are covered in this newsletter.

For the benefit of our expanding readership, particularly in Jamaica, you will notice as well in this issue, our attempts to provide a greater coverage of what’s going on in the school environment.

Both the President, Herman Athias and Vice President, Peter Chang of the Jamaica chapter paid their own way up to be with us for the family dinner in June. What spirit! The occasion was used to conduct an historic board meeting between the two chapters, which is also covered in this issue. With these two and Van Hitchener, the Headmaster and Fr. George Winchester making up the special guest roster, there was much talk on the future of the school and where we can endeavour to make a difference.

This brings us to our cover photo, featuring Van Hitchener who was treated by Robbie & Buski to a side trip to Niagara Falls. Here Van, former top student, teacher, and retiring headmaster is caught in a pondering mood, staring over the falls. Below, the Maid of the Mist tourist boat, laden with blue rain coated passengers, suggestive of the St George’s ship of state, struggles below the Falls against the mighty currents of the Niagara River.

Van Hitchener, former headmaster, caught in reflective mood at the mighty Niagara Falls 

 What is the future for StGC? What part can we play to ensure that it stays afloat to provide its inner city students with not only an academic learning experience, but also some of the Christian values, which we derived from the Jesuit background?

Where to from here?

No doubt these thoughts were in Van’s mind and they should be in ours as well.

We are coming up to an election year in 2002 and we need fresh faces, new ideas to keep our momentum going. It’s not good enough to say ‘They are doing a good job, What can I do - just leave them in?’ Existing players won’t be around forever. Robbie and Neil are foundation members from 1985. Most of the executives are long tenured. We need to rejuvenate!

While details have not been finalized as yet, mark these dates on your calendar:

Activities 2002

AGM - Sunday March 24th.

Mass & Family Brunch - Sunday, April 14th.

Fab 5 Fundraiser - Dinner/Dance - Friday, Aug. 2nd.

Family Picnic with Alpha & ICHS - Sunday, Aug. 18th.

Responding to strong feedback, we have combined two activities: the Mass & Communion Breakfast & Family Dinner, and this is on April 14th. We will still have our overseas guest speakers and $1,000 scholarship award.

Congratulations to our Scholarship winner this year, Nicole Charley (see page 8)

The Scholarship applications deadline this year is set at an earlier date March 15th, 2002 to allow for presentation at

President’s Message continued from page 1on page11

the April 14th event. Get your applications in early.

All children of dues paying Old Boys in the Ontario Chapter, who will be or are currently attending college/university, are eligible. Past unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply. All you need to do is submit a profile of yourself and include details on the choice of studies, why you chose that field and where you are or hope to be attending. In addition the successful candidate will have provided an overview of his/her successes and accomplishments and expressed their own reasoning behind why he or she should be recipient of this grant. The award is not necessarily granted to the person with the highest grades. Community involvement and potential contribution to society are important factors. Applications should be mailed to the Association at its mailing address: 504 Karen Park Cres, Mississauga, Ontario L5A 3C6

Warren Abbott




St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 

Good & True 
ISSUE #32 



Since our last newsletter we have mourned the passing of four Georgians: Rhoel Rhoden, Colville Chen, Wilfred DeMercado and Terrence Casserly. To their relatives and friends we extend our condolences. As well, several old boys: Bobby Chong, Peter Lloyd Chin, Alex Ho Shue, Gary Williamson, Shaun Wilson, Francis Rutty, Charles O’Connor, Peter & Paul Bitter & Dr Aggrey Irons have mourned the loss of beloved relatives. We pray that they may look beyond the sadness to reflect on the opportunities granted them to review their own lives and the relationship with their maker.

The old boys rallied in support and it is at times like these that the brotherhood of our association is felt. Pat Ferguson (Uncle P) in particular and the ‘St. George’s Care Committee’, our thanks for your visits and cards of comfort.

Of tragic sadness was the sudden passing of Jonathan Rutty, son of Francis & Donna. Jonathan was with us at our Sunday March 25th Communion Breakfast. What an inspiration this young man provided to his family and to all in his suffering. Deacon Peter Rickards gave a moving eulogy at the funeral with timely spiritual messages for us all.

There was a large segment of the St. George’s family in attendance in support. And that too is what our association is about. In our adopted country Canada, where many are far removed from an abundance of close relatives and friends, we must be there for each other, in moments of happiness, and too in times of grief.

It is in this spirit that I share with you portions of a letter from Francis to us Georgians:

My dear fellow Georgians,

I will never have words adequate enough to let you know how much your thoughts, words, prayers, cards, tears and presence at our home, the viewing and/or the funeral Mass for Jonathan meant to Donna, Terri-Gaye, Lara and me. It has been a tremendous help to know your support is there.

I take this opportunity to say a special thank you to Ray Chang who called regularly during the rough times just to check on us and to give moral support. Buskie, Nealus, Robbie, Joe Richards and other members of the alumnae who from time to time expressed their hope for his full recovery. D Barnes who was trying with him to set up domino sessions for the old boys in the West. Uncle P who sent a get well card to him in hospital. Skedron who visited him, not once, but twice in the week before he died. His Uncle Peter Chang, who couldn’t make it from Jamaica, but who sent a most thoughtful and appropriate letter.


Jonathan Rutty

 Peter Hitchins who came in from Calgary. Ian Wong who called from Jamaica to express his condolence in the midst of his own grief at his Dad’s passing just shortly before. So many of you who came out in force to the viewing and the Mass and especially to deacon Peter who ministered the Host to us in hospital, arranged with the visiting priest to anoint him, provided such valuable help with all the arrangements and who gave such an inspired and utterly appropriate homily at the Mass, and to Diana his wife who came to the hospital with him to comfort Jonathan with her soothing reflexology.

As I said at the beginning, words alone can never express the intensity of what we feel. The only thing else I can add is this, it is indeed very good to be a Georgian. God bless you all.

Sincere Regards,

Your friend and brother in Christ

Francis I. Rutty and family

Thank You Francis!

It is true in the midst of life we are in death, but life goes on and we were delighted to share in the joy with several Georgians who found themselves, reluctantly as all fathers are, at giving their daughters away in marriage.

Herbie Philllipps Jr. with daughter Chantal

Herbie Phillipps Jr. on July 28th as beautiful Chantal tied the knot with Tarek El Refaie. Tarek who worked on the 55th floor of the World Trade Center in New York later had a miraculous escape from the September 11th disaster.

Also since our last newsletter Patrick Smith (Skedron) gave away his daughter Patricia. We understand Skedron was resplendent in top hat & tails, however the ‘Good & True’ was unable to secure a photo for this issue. ‘Tis a season for weddings’ - Bayete, Patrick’s & Norma’s son is now off the bachelor list.

Our Sister Schools Alpha & Immaculate

As many Georgians are married to Alpha & Immaculate girls, is it any wonder that activities in each are widely supported by all.

The rains came on August 19th and the picnic at Milne Park was cancelled.

Some of the people who showed up at the Immaculate picnic were Yvonne Lyew (left) & Tony Sani & wife Catherine (center)

Yvonne Lyew, the president of Immaculate and some of her supporters however braved the very inclement weather. So did the Vernon and Sani clan and Buski Charley from the George’s camp in a special show of support for Yvonne and the picture taken there (see picture on next page) in a fleeting moment of sunlight belies the wretched conditions. But it was fun while it lasted - good company always is.

Georgian's Elvis - Clive Yap Sam

 On Friday, October 26th many Georgians came out in support of President Gaye-Donna Young and Alpha’s gala fundraising dinner/dance. What a wonderful evening of good entertainment and dancing. The Elvis Presley impersonation was a riot.

From our executive there was Don Barnett, Stanley Chin, Danny HoLung and Robbie Vernon.

It was fun looking over old school magazines and seeing the beautiful teen faces of Patrick Lee’s Loraine and Lipton Wong’s Shirley. Bwoy, they haven’t changed much at all.

Patrick and Lipton, before you get all preened and full of yourselves with your conquests, I am reminded of a section of Fr. Ken Hughes’ poem about St. George’s ‘The Dragon’ which was a take on Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’ and was specially written for the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of the school last year. I quote:

Have you ever wondered lately, have you ever pondered greatly,
What’s so grand in George’s men, that Alpha maidens do adore?
Is it that they are so charming, witty, smiling, all disarming?
Bright and handsome, muscled bodies, spirits faithful to the core?
No, my friends, it’’s only that St. George’s is the school next door,
Only that, and nothing more!

Fr. Kenneth J. Hughes, SJ

Board Appointments

Congratulations are in order for two old boys who have been called to give further of their skills and expertise to the Canadian community.

Dr. Keith Lowe was elected to the board of The Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. Dr. Lowe will act, in the words of Chairman Dr. Ming Tat Cheung, as a bridge to the Hakka Community.

Ray Chang has also been appointed to the Board of Ryerson Polytechnic University, which is a major university in Toronto with approximately 15,000 students.

Historic meeting - StGC Alumni Association - Jamaica & Canadian Boards

Herman Athias and Peter Chang flew in to Toronto from Jamaica to attend our family dinner and, to seize the opportunity, requested a meeting of the two boards while they were here. Neil did a fabulous job with the arrangements at the International Plaza hotel and this ‘No holds barred- let’s clear the air meeting’ all for the good of our alma mater took place on Friday June 15th. A warm welcome was given the two Jamaican executives and Warren Abbott gave a brief history of the Toronto association, its aims & objectives, challenges over the years, especially in executive burn out, and the historic retreat in 1997 and change in direction with regional Directors and regional activities and the growing use of the newsletter as a communication tool.

Herman in turn gave an overview of the school and the Jamaican chapter and outlined his own vision for it. They were zeroing in on four areas for special attention: mentoring, financing, sports and academics.

Coming out of it was a renewed effort to work together for the good of the school and the key was open communication between the two chapters. In this spirit of cooperation it was agreed that we would share the minutes of our Board Meetings.

Both Jamaican executives Herman Athias and Peter Chang were presented with Thank you commemorative plaques for their great personal sacrifices and individual efforts to make a difference for the school.

 At historic meeting, Warren elaborates as Herman Athias & Peter Chang listen intently

It was not all work for our visitors Fr. George Winchester, Peter Chang, Herman Athias, who had their own off duty agendas with friends here. It was however not the case with Van Hitchener, this being his first trip to Toronto. He was taken shopping by Robbie and Heather, later joined by Buski Charley and was given the grand Niagara Falls tour with a side trip to picturesque Niagara-on-the-lake. It was a wonderful day with home-made picnic lunch on the banks of the Niagara River.

Buski Charley, Robbie Vernon & Van Hitchener, in front of the Falls

Van, it was a pleasure having you with us, chatting about old times, as you prepared to ride off into the distant sunset after a long period of association with St. George’s College as student, teacher and headmaster. All the best for your future.

Robbie Vernon

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