St. George’s College Old Boys’ Association, ON, Canada Newsletter, Issue #56 (pg4) Oct, 2009.
As I observed the students filing into 5th and 6th form classrooms on the opening day, September 7th, some accompanied by their parents, it was obvious they were pre-occupied with either listening to their teachers or choosing the best seat (out of hearing or out of sight). Yet it occurred to me that they were acting out a normal school day. They had no clue what took place over the summer in their classrooms!
I have to admit the renovation of the O’Hare building, by Jamaicans standards, must be one of the most successful, low-budget, construction projects undertaken in Kingston. And it could not have been done without the tremendous effort of Rupert Johnson and his workers who all went about the task of rebuilding as if they belonged to the school, and understood the urgency. The masons, painters, carpenters, power washers and sweepers were outstanding.
Primarily, the basis for this unexpected and lengthy construction was the expert examination by Tommy Lyew of the building itself, which turned up dangerously weakened walls that separated the classrooms and bore the weight of the second floor. These walls were built with bricks on a platform of wood and this wooden base was badly termite infested. Much gratitude to Tommy, another Old Boy.
We cannot forget the generous suppliers of the materials who gave significant discounts while at the same time having to wait to collect payment. Mr. Ray Wynter, contractor, has been exceptional in this regard and consistently ensuring that there is no shortage of materials. He is now planning to finish the floors of all the classrooms on the weekends. We must give special thanks also to Mr. Clive Johnson, a non Georgian, who delivered loads of gravel and sand, estimated at JA$600,000 FREE OF COST!!! Then there were Kenty’s Blocks, Pokar Chandiram, Howard Mitchell, Donovan Chen See and Lennox Robinson donating the much needed paints, etc., valued in excess of JA$800,000. And, of course, the 500 chairs/desks and 15 teachers’ chairs/desks contributed by Food for the Poor – another saving of over JA$2,000,000!!! We have also received free consultation on the landscaping from Mark Martin and free installation of the blackboards by Laurie Heffes who has also promised to redo the banisters on the staircase.
It is undeniable that were it not for Carl Chang, the key figure in this renovation – negotiating for the best prices (or free), beseeching Georgians and non-Georgians alike to give as they could – this project would not have been completed in time for the beginning of the 2010 school year. He has been our banker in advancing millions of dollars to cover the shortfall and which has to be repaid. Over the last few months, Carl has spent days upon days on site to ensure its completion and, for this we all owe him “nuff respect.” Carl, the school and its students, old and new, cannot express enough thanks.
Let me not finish this without giving some account of the collections received and expenditure to date. Contributions to date total approximately JA$16M. Expenditure (not fully reviewed) includes estimated cost to complete totals approximately $25M. Any shortfall incurred was advanced by Carl Chang, our involuntary Banker. We estimate we will need at least another JA$9M, to repay our Banker; complete the installation of doors and windows and lights for the corridors; and rendering to the administrative rooms which also needs painting. The old desks and chairs have to be repaired for future use, the staircase needs replacing and further power washing needs to be done. And still there will be much more to be done before it could be said the O’Hare Building is again “Good and True” … but we are nearly there and hopefully it will all come to past in the schools’ 160th year (2010).
As I look at the bigger picture, I see an area of Kingston that is being restored with an educational Icon, St. George’s College, and the to-be-restored Holy Trinity Cathedral and Alpha Academy, all of which, in this day and age, exemplifies the good that is so needed in our communities and our lives. And they will continue to remind us, Old Boys, of the environment that surrounded us while we attended St. George’s and which shaped our faith and developed our sense of values.
To all you Old Boys, who have contributed and helped to renew the spirit of our Alma Mater, St. George’s College should be eternally gratefully. But we all must continue to beg and beseech and continue giving to make this our way of giving back … Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
— Tony Wong
Congratulations to the Jamaica old Boys on the excellent staging of their Monsignor Gladstone Wilson Awards Banquet at the Mona Visitors Lodge UWI on Sept 26, 09. \
Our Ontario Liaison Director Carl Chang represented us and provided details of a most successful and entertaining event with Professor Barry Chevannes shepherding the proceedings as Master of Ceremonies. Dynamic young Jason Deer VP of The Jamaica Old Boys welcomed all and Margaret Campbell, principal brought greetings and an update from the school.
Monsignor Mock Yen attended as a special guest, not to delight the group with his beautiful tenor voice but on this occasion to be feted on his 70th birthday.
Charles Williams, Jamaica Old Boys President and himself one of this year’s honourees assisted in the cake cutting along with Dr. Eve Palomino, wife of Basil Lue.
Georgian Senator Dwight Nelson made the introduction for all five awardees.
This year’s honourees were: Neville Bell, Paul Chavannes (dec’d) represented by his son Peter Chavannes from Georgia, Deacon Trevor Graham J.P, Cecil Knight (dec’d) represented by Patrick Knight and Charles Williams.
Delightful entertainment was provided by the Alpha Boys’ Band & Wayne Armond and Friends.
The Awards are named after St. George’s most accomplished graduate the Rt. Reverend Monsignor Gladstone Orlando Stanislaus Wilson (1906-1974) Class of 1921. Ph.D., M.A., B.A Hons., B.D., D.C.L., B.C.L., F.R.C.S, Dip. Soc. Sc. Monsignor Wilson made contributions to several specialized Magazines and Journals; was considered one of the most highly qualified Ecclesiastics in the Roman Catholic organization and was at the time of his death on December 1,1974 deemed the seventh most learned person in the world. He travelled extensively in Europe, and the Americas, and spoke several languages fluently, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.
Rt. Reverend Monsignor Gladstone Orlando Stanislaus Wilson was inducted in 2000 into the St. George’s College Hall of Fame and named St. George’s College Student of the 20th Century.
— Robbie Vernon
To say how proud of Archbishop Burke we Old Boys in Toronto are, is an understatement. Not to mention the fact that he is also an Old Boy himself.
They say if he bleeds, his blood is of many colours, the brightest of which are Blue and White. Archbishop Burke received the Order of Jamaica from the Governor General of Jamaica at King’s House, on Monday Oct. 19th, much to the joy of many friends and family both abroad, and on the island. The day before, while saying Sunday Mass at Stella Maris Church, when the service was over, and in full view of the congregation, he also received the Knight of St. George medallion. What a feat, Sir! Rub-a-Dub-Dub.
Name me one other person who has ever received both these awards within a 24 hour period. You can’t!! And guess what, not to be funny, but only a Georgian could accomplish such a feat, right? May the good Lord bless and keep you well, Archbishop Burke, for many years to come.
Did you know that bats always turn left when exiting a cave; that all polar bears are left handed? And the hyoid bone, in your throat is the only bone in the body not attached to another bone…. This information, and 25 cents, will get you a large cup of coffee at any coffee shop across North America. Guaranteed! So don’t forget it, as you may need to show off your knowledge one day to a KC or JC Old Boy one day, for sure.
In My View, Bertis Bell should take his team to the Manning Cup again this year. Good heavens, the team has played 12 Manning games so far, won 9 and tied 2, scored 45 goals, with only 2 against. In one game against St. Mary’s School, StGC’s team scored 13 goals, with school boy McKaully Tulloch, scoring 5 himself. Can anyone name me another Georgian (even one from the “Golden Years”) who ever scored 5 goals in a Manning match? Ruba- Dub-Dub. What an accomplishment!! Congratulations to him.
The team also went to the finals of the Walker Cup challenge 2009, but lost on penalty shots to JC. Congrats also to our team for getting so far in the tournament. So now… on to the Manning semifinals. But how times have changed, imagine, I understand when our team goes into rough districts to play a game, opposing fans standing behind our goal net, will taunt our goalie with death threats if he saves the next shot from going in the net. Coach Bertis Bell and the rest of the team also receive regular death threats as well, imagine that. So for our team to keep on winning is a heck of an achievement, don’t you think? May the good Lord watch over and guide them through to the end of the Manning and Oliver Shield season. Congratulations Bertis on your Monsignor Gladstone Wilson Award.
Did you know that it’s impossible to hum, if your nose is plugged.
Because of all Carl Chang’s great accomplishments in collecting money and overseeing the massive repairs to the 5th form building, there is no truth to the rumour that a petition is being collected, asking that the O’Hare building’s name be changed to the O’Carle building. No sir, not true at all! Fun and joke aside though, there are many who, for months now, have promised Carl to offer a substantial donation for the O’Hare restorations, and several have not paid their pledged money yet. Come on guys!! You know who you are!! Please pay up quickly. The job was completed early September, and a lot of money is still owed to contractors. Carl has been left holding an empty bag.
If you have three quarters, four dimes, and four pennies, you have $1.19. You also have the largest amount of money in coins, without being able to make change for a dollar.
Heard Conrad Lowe, (now living in China) wasn’t well the other day, neither was Minister Dwight Nelson. But, both have bounced back on a health track once again. Glad to hear. Keep well Connie & Minister Nelson! Don’t let your worries get the best of both of you; Remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
A beautiful funeral service was held on Oct. 14th for Carmen Bubb-Clarke, dear mother of Heather Bubb-Clarke. I saw quite a few Old Boys present, Danny, Buski, Robbie, Skedron, Lloydie, Sadat, Uncle P, Aaron Sani to name a few. Sincere condolences go out to Heather and family.
Today is the tomorrow you were so worried about yesterday.
Miller Canfield, one of the largest law firms in Michigan USA, announced on Oct. 15th. that 71 of its lawyers were named in Michigan Super Lawyers 2009 and in Illinois Super Lawyers 2009 list. Twenty one of the top up and coming Lawyers were named “Rising Stars”, one of whom is none other than Joe Vernon, son of proud mom and dad, Heather and Robbie Vernon. Joe has also been offered, and accepted a position as a visiting professor at his old law school, Detroit Mercy School of Law. Congratulations, Joe. But be fully aware that it’s not only your Mom and Dad that are truly proud of you. Joe was our Ontario Chapter 2004 Scholarship winner.
A new client came in to see a famous lawyer. “Can you tell me how much you charge?” said the client. “I charge $500 for 3 questions,” said the lawyer. Good Lord!! Isn’t that a bit much?” said the client. “Yes it is!”, said the lawyer, “and what is your third question?”
Let me leave you all with a profound statement: “Nothing Lasts Forever, Good or Bad!!” So, for those of you who have been enjoying a wonderful social, financial, healthy, or employment era in your life for a while now, then …. Do yourself a big favour and savour it, wallow in it, appreciate it, and try to change its direction if you can, to preserve its longevity, because, trust me, it won’t last long, and could end when you least expect it.
On the other hand, for those of you who have been in a terrible relationship, financial situation, work environment, one that you just detest and can’t stand, a situation that is stressing you out totally, then trust me again, have faith, because it won’t last forever either. It might not change tomorrow, but it will change, so that peace and happiness will eventually come around for you soon.
Three little old ladies are sitting in a restaurant one day, talking about this and that. The first lady said, “You know, I’m really getting forgetful. This morning I was standing at the bottom of the stairs and I couldn’t remember if I was just about to go up, or if I had just come down.” “Oh, that’s nothing,” the second lady said. “The other day I was sitting on the edge of my bed, wondering if I was going to bed, or if I had just gotten up.” The third lady smiled pleasantly at the other two. “Well, my memory is just as good as ever, knock on wood.” She then rapped on the table with her knuckle, raised her head abruptly and looked startled. “Who’s there?” she shouted.
— Neil Dalhouse
Her name is Rosanne Wong (Rosie), daughter of Ray Wong, a graduate of St. Georges College (1962)and the late Jennifer Wong.
It was a bright, sunny Florida Friday afternoon. Rosie was full of excitement, having just received word that she had been awarded a full scholarship to do Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. This day she was going back to her high school to teach and help some of the other kids. In her haste she made a wrong turn and her car was T-boned by a tractor trailer, She was air-lifted by air ambulance to Orlando Regional Medical Center. She was in a coma for ten days, and remained in intensive care for three weeks. The doctors advised there was severe trauma to the brain and compared it to scrambled eggs.
The prognosis was that Rosie would be a vegetable for the remainder of her life.
But her parents Ray and Jennifer never gave up as they watched Rosie fight back with all her might for life and reason. Over the period of several years, she had to re-learn to walk, talk, even how to eat. She was like a baby, learning all bodily functions all over again. However, she never gave up,. She kept on trying.
After several years of rehab Rosie felt confident enough to go to university. At first she tried Information Technology, but failed. That part of the brain re. math and science was gone, but she persisted.
She then turned to Psychology, but again kept on failing.
Eventually, after several neuro-psychological tests, they concluded that she could do essays & research. Rosie then switched to sociology, and in her last semester, she got an A+ in the final exam. After seven years of really hard work, she finally completed what should have been a three year course and graduated with a BA in sociology. Several newspapers including the Toronto Star, Caribbean Camera & others heard of her story, came to her graduation and interviewed her. Rosie learned well the Georgian spirit instilled by dad, Ray, “Never give up”. Unfortunately space is limited so the full text of her story written by her mom, who has since passed, is barely touched here. Mom’s story and other self-help ideas especially for those with similar experiences may be obtained by contacting Rosie at email: firstname.lastname@example.org. She would love to hear from you.
— Robbie Vernon
Editors Note: It’s another Helen Keller story – check out Rosie. Ray’s wife Jennifer Wong (nee –Ainsworth) her mum Nov. 1949—-20
Aug. 2006, was a Past President St. Andrews Alumni Association Canada)