Newsletter #56 (Pg 3)

      St. George’s College Old Boys’ Association, ON, Canada                                                        Newsletter, Issue #56 (pg3), Oct. 2009

The Annual Summer Ball, held at the Pearson Convention Centre on Friday July 31, 2009, provided fun, entertainment and great company. Most importantly, this high profile event that draws visitors from far and wide gives our association the means of sponsoring our Alma Mater, St. George’s College.

There was much handshaking, hugging, friendly banter in the cocktail hour from many of the over eight hundred in attendance, who had not seen each other in years.

Dr. Aggrey Irons, Master of Ceremonies extraordinaire, kept the early proceedings entertaining with his amazing intellect and jovial utterances. Aggrey, a past-student of St. George’s College, also showed his versatility in performing with the Fifty-50 band. The dynamic Fifty-50 band was on-hand to provide oldiesbut- goodies like only they can. Robert Burke and his band pitched in with some splendid selections – together, these two bands thrilled the capacity crowd with a wide repertoire of Jamaican and international favourites.

Liberal Member of Parliament Alan Tonks & wife Cecile (Alpha alumna), graced us with their presence, as did Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto Ms Anne Marie Bonner and Grenada Consul Jenny Gumbs.

Margaret Campbell, the current principal of St. George’s College, and her husband, Everton Campbell were special guests as were the lower school vice-Principal Dave Soares and Clifford Brown coach of the winning school basket ball team. Also spotted in the huge turnout, Past Principal Fred Kennedy and his wife Georgie, Paul Foreman and his family from Louisville, Kentuky; Dr Errol Reid from Potomac Maryland, Cecil Chew also from Maryland, Monsignor Bardowell from Barbados, Tom Dewdney, the former West Indian fast bowler .

Vice President Patrick Haddad’s managerial experience and expertise were displayed via a successful silent auction and Vice President Richard Saunders’ well-organized raffle was once again a great earner for the event. The Ball Chair Danny Ho Lung should be pleased with the overall success this year, due in no small measure to him. The backbone behind all this success, since inception, has been Ray Chang.

The annual Summer Ball is a result of the hard work of all the members of the executives, who were visible during the cocktail hour welcoming and greeting- truly a job well done.

Our thanks to our Sponsors, CI Investments, Jamaica National Building Society, Western Union, Red Lobster and our Donors, Hitachi, Air Jamaica, Sandals, SuperClubs, Bon Voyage, Stratford Festival, Appleton, Atlas-Pirelli Tires, Grace Kennedy, Travel Kiosk.

— Milton Hart

Unlike last year, this particular day was a beautiful one, with sun shining full blast, giving off a pleasant 79 degrees F, not a cloud in the sky, and slight breeze blowing. It was probably the best day ever for a StGC Annual Golf Tournament. And to boot, the Deer Creek Golf and Country Club’s fairways and greens were immaculately manicured, flowers and shrubs neatly trimmed along the course. We couldn’t have received a nicer day for the event.

We had a full showing of competitors, with all 36 spots filled. Guys came from all over the city to play, including our two regular female contenders, Pam Summers and Joan Lyn. Some regulars were not present this year and were thoroughly missed, like Ray Jackson, Francis Dalhouse, (Dooley) Chung (injured), Michael Haddad, and a couple others. I played with Fen Chang, and asked him for a sand wedge on the 9th hole. I didn’t see him till the 11th hole when he handed me a ham and cheese on rye. Because I knew who I was dealing with, understandably, I just shook my head and played on.

Before teeing off, Rudy Chin said he would prefer not to see another Chinese winner for 2009, as he was getting tired of seeing this year after year. That’s nothing new, as Rudy has always complained about being tired due to age. But he wasn’t to be disappointed, as this year’s winner was none other than Pat Burrell, who has been in the tournament for a few years now. Pat looked surprised himself, when his name was announced as the winner.

Everyone left the Golf Club after the game and headed to our usual and favourite post game rendezvous spot, the Rudy and Eunice Chin Golf & Country Club. Their home offers a nice backyard atmosphere, where mouth-watering plates of varied foods, makes us forget our diets. The tantalizing dishes were all prepared by Anita Chang. A huge variety of desserts were also offered, and lots of Jamaican pop available as well.

After the dinner, Ray Chang was asked to bring everyone up to date on the excellent work done by Carl Chang, in refurbishing the O’Hare building at 2 North Street, in Jamaica, then the prizes were given out. The annual trophy this year, was presented to Joe Burrell by (Speedy) Tait, last year’s winner. Pat Haddad won second prize and Rudy (he who has the fastest cart never has to play the bad lie) Chin and Derrick Haddad coming third. There were enough gifts from sponsors and people present, that everyone was able to receive a prize. And the prizes weren’t shabby either. For instance, I got a red cool weather golf jacket and pants worth well over $200, while someone else got an electric hedge clipper. Several others received expensive gifts as well.

Special thanks go out to our sponsors who supported us this year, Michidean Patties, Patty King, Herman Lyn, Grace Kennedy & Home Depot. Their contributions certainly enhanced the event more. We truly appreciate their support.

The Annual StGC Golf Tournament is one of the nicest events the Association holds each year, and I am truly surprised that it only attracts the same attendees every year. (No offence to these annual attendees implicated here) Not to worry though, as there is always next year. Try it! You certainly won’t forget it!

— Neil Dalhouse

Margaret CampbellIt is hard to believe that we are already six weeks into the 2009-2010 academic year. Despite the economic challenges and financial constraints, Godcontinues to bless the school community.

The effort put in by our Manning Cup team during the summer is paying off. The team has been victorious in four of the six matches played so far, drawing the other two. Neville Bell continues to work selflessly with them and we thank him and all the other old boys for their support to the team.

Our CSEC and CAPE passes for 2009 were very good with 80% or more of the students passing in 18 of the 25 CSEC subjects that we sit and 26 of the 34 CAPE subjects that we sit. 100% of the students passed in 11 CAPE subjects. Charles Frost, our valedictorian for the class of 2009 obtained 10 ones and a one in CAPE Communication Studies. He also obtained a one last year in CSEC English Language. We are very proud of him and all the other students who excelled this year and commend both students and teachers for their hard work.

This year we are emphasizing to the school population the importance of reading for success. Our Drop Everything and Read session once per month is aimed at raising this awareness. We thank Food for the Poor for their support in this area by providing a large number of books in a variety of subject areas.

Work continues on the O’Hare building and we hope to complete the renovation by December 2009. Classes are being held in the building but there is quite a bit of work remaining. We still need financial assistance in this area and all contributions large or small are welcome.

Thanks once again to Carl Chang who has committed time talent and treasure to the project. Thanks also to all of you across the globe who have contributed so generously. Your commitment to your Alma Mater warms my heart.

As I tell my students, time is short and there is much to do, much to learn and much to achieve. May God continue to bless you all richly as we face the challenges of our 160th year together.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

Margaret Campbell
Principal – St. George’s College

Anthony HillToday Thursday, 30 July 2009, is another Special Day. It is high summer, green, sunny and warm with blue, white clouds in the sky, here in Geneva, Switzerland, and in comes by Post, the “Good & True”, the StGC Newsletter of our Old Boys Association, Canada.

I read through line by line, page by page, with nostalgic delight, to see familiarly present faces and names of 50 years still-in memory. To see and read of their offspring, children and grandchildren; to read of their love, loyalty and commitment to St. George’s, which brought us all together for so short a time. Enjoyable, constructive years, well tutored and well formed to know the difference between what is ethically good as distinct from conveniently satisfying.

Have future Georgians lost some part of life’s instruction, from the daily surroundings of faith and the religious precepts, which accompanied us from Class to Class, on and off the field, in the Drama, Elocution societies and the not-so frequent visits from Alpha and Immaculate (few at least in our day, yes?). It seems the Class of ’59 fared better and hence the joint and first ever Alpha/SGC ’59 Reunion, to which I was a part. It was unforgettable, in that the ‘spirit’ still shone through.

The Newsletter even had space for a picture of one of the older generation, in a quasi-line dancing mode, ‘toe to toe’.

Indeed! And by happenstance, I had just put on Ernie Smith’s simply enthralling ‘Life is Just for Living’. If possible have the musicians at the Summer Ball, 31 July 2009 play songs like – Life is Just for Living, Ride on Sammy, Sunday Morning, Duppy Gunman, Play de Music, Footprints in the Ceiling, Hail the Man, Rebel Music, Don’t Worry Mamma. Ernie sings!! So thanks to Robbie Vernon and of course his always fully supportive wife, Heather for posting the Newsletter out to me.

So too, I take the opportunity to include him in this email, with appreciation for remembering and acting following our meeting at the Reunion in Jamaica.

And Dr. Louis Lee surfaces. Good to hear from you Louis. Yes, we should, can, and will support each and every one of the ‘worthy causes’.

In rounding out this, a few brief comments, from reading the Newsletter:

It will be good to see the O’Hare Building restored. It was the ‘home’ in which one learned, and laughed, at Fr. Fuchs’ jokes.

Archbishop Burke, who I run into from time to time, most recently at the ’59 Reunion, was my first teacher at St. George’s, in form 1D. It was a fortuitous beginning for me. A teacher close enough in years, and experience. We pray for him.

A building in the name of Archbishop Lawrence Burke S.J., as a memorial in his own time and classrooms is most appropriate. And thanks again to Carl Chang (with his camera and skills. But wait! I see his picture. Carl is ‘unmasked’) and others, for creating in mortar and brick the ‘housing’ to nurture generations of Georgians.

To you all, warm regards,
Anthony (Hill) – Class of 54.

Editor’s Note: Anthony, thanks so much for your kind words; your thoughts were indeed inspiring and will certainly help to keep the enthusiasm and momentum going among our hard working directors and members. This distinguished Georgian represented Jamaica as Ambassador at the United Nations and Specialized Agencies in Geneva, Switzerland (1978-1989 & 1995-1999).He presently resides in Geneva but was in Jamaica as a special guest at the 50th Anniversary reunion of the class of 1959 in May 2009 and again in October for the ceremony and luncheon in honour of Archbishop Burke S.J on his award of the Order of Jamaica. The June issue of the newsletter that he refers to and other issues are available on line at our website:

As a small boy, I knew that control of Winchester Park was that of the Jesuits and they kept the school, StGC, as a separate entity. Winchester was at first tied to Holy Trinity Cathedral rather than to the College. It was used by the College for games and as that grew then Winchester reverted to the School… Other entrances were through the Cathedral grounds from the Emerald Road. I recall that many priests who were not connected to the school lived in the Rectory across Emerald Road and they controlled Winchester Park at one time.

Back to the gate – one of the main happenings at Winchester was The Garden Party. That was an event in those days. It was tantamount to a fair with booths selling wares and ice cream, sodas, toys, artcrafts and games. The purpose was to raise money for different ‘charities’ or organizations supported by the Catholic Church e.g. ladies or men’s sodalities etc. This gate was the main entrance to the garden parties at Winchester Park and the entire Kingston went to these.

The gate was a large two-sided iron gate which swung inward to the park. Heavy types would man it for the events and charge a shilling to enter. The gate was square with some kind of adornment in a peak at the middle. Large vehicles would enter Winchester through that gate for delivery of booth counters, tables and chairs for the garden parties. My parents and aunts would go to these garden parties and of course as children we were happy to go for rides and games, Grab-bag, races., potato sack races, etc.

It was also the main entrance for Manning Cup matches. The other gate for entry was the main entrance and, also used were the two gates from The Cathedral. Students would manage these gates from Cathedral but Joe Lywood and his handpicked guys managed the two main gates.

The gate was closed when StGC stopped playing Manning Cup matches at Winchester and moved to Sabina Park. By then also garden Parties were history although there were other events at Winchester but more irregularly. The gate then became covered with vines, rusted and hung precariously on its hinges, was no longer functional and rather than being repaired, it was removed.

I also recall Joe Lywood supervising the removal of the gate and cementing of the wall. It was then forgotten. The sign above it tells part of the story.

— Gene Burkett

Editor’s Note: Carl Chang came across the metal arch, hidden in bushes atop the southern wall of the school.. He cleaned it up brought it to the attention of the principal and us Georgians. Our thanks to Dr. Gene Burkett in Florida, for this information and his reminiscing on the gate, which is a part of our history. Carl needs ideas on where to relocate it.

Charles Frost, Robbie Vernon. I met this young man on a school visit in October 2008, on a school offday, but I wanted my two Canadian sons to see the School that they had heard so much about all their Canadian lives as children of a Diaspora Georgian. They had come too late for the official school visit the Friday before.

Walking around the school seemed so quiet without the 1500 children. It was a bright, sunny and hot Kingston-weather day; security let us in after mentioning our mission and we wandered around, past the now fenced lignum vitae tree in front of what was the chapel. I could see us fifty years ago chatting away under that very tree; Bobby & Stephen Hill, Trevor Munroe, Buski Charley, Tony McNeil.

We ventured into the O’Hare building, I saw the classrooms were open and entered my old form 4D. A young Rasta boy sat at what could have been my desk; seeing us he quietly got up, shuffled over and tried to sell us some beads he had made. While I was at first a bit taken aback (who was this strange usurper of my 4D seat?) my two sons were quite at home with him and after introductions in which he was informed of my connection to the school and this very classroom he was in, the conversation turned to other subjects and out of this emerged a very enlightening experience.

He remembered my talk to the school assembly on the Friday morning. We could see he had been busy doing homework. Chatting to him I soon gathered this was like a second home – this was where he could retire from the area distractions and that’s why he was in classroom on a school holiday studying. We later learned that this young lad was from the area and from a single parent background, as are many here. I was impressed with his quiet demeanour; he oozed self-confidence and was quite articulate. Here we were getting a firsthand glimpse of the impact and importance of St. George’s College to the area it serves. It identifies with the neighbourhood community, not just a select up-town middle class and certainly from what we were observing serves well some real needs of this community that it is located in. Students engage in outreach projects.

Margaret Campbell, you are indeed taking the school in the right direction and carrying on the Jesuit tradition of service to those in need and where in need, ensuring the poorer and more excluded are not left out of the St. George’s learning experience.

My first encounter with this highly introspective, but eloquent Rasta student left a profound impression on me and my two sons, and we talked much about this incident later on. The experience elevated St. George’s College in our eyes. I later learned too that he was a promising student and a chess player as well. I was therefore not in the least surprised to see the glowing Gleaner write up on October 1, 2009 on StGC star student, Charles Frost, who got distinctions in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, English Language, Mathematics, Office Administration, Religious Education, Spanish, Information Technology, Electronic Document Preparation, Management. Yes distinctions in all. Charles also passed communication studies, a CAPE subject sat mainly by 12 & 13th graders, when in fourth form. He was school Valedictorian for the class of 2009.

Seeing the Gleaner report now confirmed what we ourselves observed a year ago. So, yes, he had a challenging childhood from a single parent family, wore locks not as “style”, but to reinforce his adherence to certain aspects of the Rastafarian faith, and was above all, as a young man, determined to succeed.

Principal Margaret Campbell says Charles wants to find a cure for cancer – ambitious, maybe, as many young have such aspirations, but watch out for this young Georgian.

Congratulations Charles, you have defied your environment and have shown a path through adversity that hopefully others in your community will follow.

Robbie Vernon, Craig JervisThe interfacing of different realities in the various elements of society in this one learning institution provides opportunity for greater interaction and opening of eyes to the challenges of each. From this environment can spring leaders of tomorrow, bridging cultural divides and coming up with solutions to the real problems of each segment of the Jamaican society. The climate certainly exists at St. George’s for this to happen. Margaret, keep this up.

With a bit of luck then from this unique learning atmosphere, new leaders will emerge to tackle Jamaica’s problems, and indeed I was on that October Jamaica visit likewise impressed from similar discussions with then Prefect (now head boy) Craig Jervis. Craig, the more traditional, high-achieving student, came up to thank me for the address to the student body and for making the effort to visit them at the school. This he insisted was even more meaningful and appreciated than money sent. He wished more alumni would come and mentor to them. Craig was equally self-assured and likewise articulate and from discussions with my sons and me at the Hall of Fame function later, seemed biting at the bit to make contributions at the political level too in the future Jamaica.

Another impressive young Georgian.

Two young men from different backgrounds at the same school and both poised to make a difference. The two solitudes! Yes at St. George’s the twain shall meet, and the opportunity exists to learn from each; to do something with this exposure, and to move forward from there.

That’s St. Georges College now; perhaps not quite the same as the 50’s or 60’s or 70’s , which many, especially overseas may remember differently and more readily identify with, but it’s just as or even more relevant to today’s Jamaica. Let’s all support.

— Robbie Vernon

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