St. George’s College Old Boys’ Association ON, Canada Newsletter, Issue # 57 (pg.2), March 2010
In the unavoidable absence of the President Chris Chin, Robbie Vernon chaired the Annual General Meeting held at St. Aidan’s Church Hall on Sunday March 14th. Board members unable to attend were Carl Chang and Ray Chang, who were both in Jamaica on business and Patrick Haddad.
In the business session Danny Ho Lung presented the President’s report, highlighting our achievements over the last two years, especially the contributions to the school and the building funds. The outgoing president thanked the Board for its outstanding support over his two years in office.
Robbie Vernon presented the Treasurer, Ray Chang’s report.
From our fundraising we were able to send down C$25,000 to the school at the end of last year ($20,000 towards operating expenses of the school and C$5,000 for the building fund and a further C$5000 for computers; the last from our reserve funds.
In addition in our outside fundraising campaigns for the school building fund, we obtained from Georgians C$19,705 and US$4915. As a group we should be proud that we were able to raise over C$55,000 for the school in 2009 (over J$ 4,000,000). All the money from our annual fundraiser is sent down to the school, except for a contingency reserve and our local scholarship with the expectation that dues will cover newsletter costs. The fiscal year end is March and a full report will be printed in the June 2010 issue of the newsletter.
Robbie also presented Liaison Director Carl Chang’s extensive report which highlighted his work on the Emmet Park pavilion; the building of a 600 foot chain link fence, between Winchester Park and the cathedral, from North Street to the Jesuit Building; repairs to the O’Hare Building; The groundbreaking for the Lawrence Burke SJ Building. Carl listed as his aim to continue to maintain close contact with the Jamaica and Florida chapters in addition to the school and wished to have the Lawrence Burke building completed for the 160th anniversary of the school coming up on September 2, 2010.
To a round of applause from all present Liaison Director Carl Chang’s outstanding work for the school was acknowledged and praised.
In giving his own Membership Director’s report Robbie informed the group that we had 22 new members since March 2009 and had reconnected with 20 from our “Can’t locate” list. Our current active membership is 602; Canada 378; USA 153; Jamaica 58; UK 5; other 7 including Barbados, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Cayman, Switzerland, and Honduras. (148 paid membership dues 2009). The newsletters had kept membership interest high: we need to do a better job however in getting more of the 602 who receive this to pay up.
In this election year Robbie reminded the group that it was a little over 25 years ago, on March 3, 1985 that the very first Annual General meeting was held, at which existing board members, himself and Uncle P. Pat Ferguson were on that original Board. As he stated “ this was not a mickey mouse operation- it was run like a business, and over the years due to the efforts of many the STGC spirit has been kept alive and well in Canada and worldwide and our chapter is held in high esteem.”
In order to maintain this, members were urged in this 25th anniversary year to take more ownership in its operations and consider positions on the Board to ensure the good work is continued. He also thanked outgoing Board members Francis Cooke and Patrick Haddad, who were not seeking re-election.
The outgoing Board demitted office and Robbie presided over the election of the new Board.
Seems as if the challenge was taken up as our dynamic new President Milton Hart was presented with the backing of a power house Board with the newly elected President Elect Dr. Fred Kennedy, former Principal of STGC; Howard Shearer, President & CEO of Hitachi Canada Limited, Gary Thompson, and young Tariq Wright (class 2008) to shore up our youth arm . All these added to the highly energized returning directors including the likes of Ray Chang, Carl Chang, former Presidents Robbie Vernon, Danny Ho Lung and Chris Chin augers well for the future. (See complete Board list on page 1).
The new President Milton Hart took over “I am undaunted by the challenge’’ he said, “ I am ready and focused not only to carry on but to take us to even greater heights”.
We know he will.
The Memorial Mass for our beloved Archbishop Burke on March 24, 2010 was indeed a celebration of his extraordinary life and a recollection of his unselfish dedication to education.
The whole event; mass and reception after, ran like a well orchestrated symphony.
The celebrant at mass was the Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa and Con-celebrants Rev. Jim Webb S.J., Provincial Superior, Jesuits in English Canada and Rev. Rohan Tulloch S.J. Rohan along with Michael Davidson were just ordained in Dec.2009; the last official act of Archbishop Burke S.J.
The recently appointed Jamaican Consul General for Toronto Mr. George Ramocan graced us with his presence.
Dr. Fred Kennedy, Raymond Chang, John Flynn, Chris Chin, Danny Ho-Lung, Robbie Vernon, Neville McDowell, Carl Chang, and Gary Thompson represented the St. George’s College Ontario chapter Board.
Also joining us were former Presidents Neil Dalhouse, Peter Hitchins and Don Barnett and also founding member in 1985 Ray Jackson.
Donette Chin Loy, Heather Vernon, Annette Flynn, Arlene McDowell, Catherine Thompson, Paula Chang and a host of other wives, members and friends were on hand for this commemoration. The guest-list also consisted of many St. GC, Alpha and Immaculate past-students. It was good also to have with us J.I.S. information attaché, Carolyn Goulbourne-Warren.
The central theme of the evening was the late Archbishop’s Burke’s tireless work in education and his always-earnest quest to help others. In his homily Archbishop Prendergast made a very touching tribute to Archbishop Burke with some wonderful life anecdotes.
After the Mass, Master of Ceremonies Neil Dalhouse welcomed everyone to the reception and rightfully expressed high regards for those who were instrumental in planning and hosting the event.
Kudos to Neil himself and his organising committee, including Paddy Chung, Michael (Buski) Charley, and the Alpha and ICHS members and what a lovely job by Leslie Chin in arranging and singing the music for the mass and also in organizing the readers; Alison Martin, ICHS; Loraine Lee, Alpha; and Robbie Vernon, St.G.C., and the gift bearers Charles Young, Loraine Lee and Yvonne Lew.
Robbie and Ray Chang in their Tributes did masterful jobs in helping me (and those who did not know the Archbishop personally) get a better sense of who the Archbishop was and why he was such a special person. Robbie mentioned the Prime Minister’s desire expressed in his Tribute to Archbishop Burke at the Jamaica Vigil service for some edifice/building to commemorate this great Jamaican’s life and reminded us that this had already commenced in the groundbreaking for the Lawrence Burke S.J. Building on January 28, 2009. It was up to us now to see to its completion.
Memorable for me was Reverend Archbishop Burke’s sister Barbara’s moving response to the Tributes and her tearful plea as well for the completion of the Lawrence Burke Building. It was touching too to observe Jesuit Superior Fr. Jim Webb S.J. at the reception, pushing around Madge Burke in her stroller, making sure she was comfortable- there were indeed many very memorable moments. Archbishop Burke would have liked the attention given his sisters.
This was a wonderful celebration of life, a tremendous time of fellowship and a reminder that we need to continue the work of Archbishop Burke – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
Thanks all for coming; this was a great start for our new administration.
Our Ontario Thanksgiving ceremony for Archbishop Burke received extensive coverage in the Jamaica Daily Gleaner of Tuesday April 6th, 2010 under the caption “Burke’s gift to education remembered”
I met Larry (Mr. Burke then) the first time when I started taking extension Chemistry classes at St. George’s College in 1952 when I was preparing for my Senior Cambridge exams. I was a student at KC at the time. I was immediately impressed by Larry as a teacher and later after I became a Catholic, I was further impressed when I heard him preach at mass. My respect for him grew as he was elevated in the ranks of the Church and we regularly exchanged Christmas letters until he became ill and he stopped writing.
My last personal contact with him was in March 2008 when I visited him and Archbishop Don Reece at their residence in Kingston. At that time, I gave him a copy of my CD. He and Archbishop Don were very interested in the work I was doing in bereavement ministry here in Toronto and asked me to write them and explain all the details of my ministry. I did this on my return to Toronto. Little did I know that two years later, I would be helping to plan and sing at his memorial mass in Toronto.
In his letter dated March 22, 2004 from Nassau just before he was transferred to Jamaica, he wrote “I thank God for you and for all you have shared with me. I hope that you will keep in touch. Thanks for your love and support. I enjoyed and loved the Bahamas. However, I am happy to serve wherever the Lord calls me. Since it is He who calls and sends, I believe that He will also sustain me. Pray that my new ministry will be fruitful and life-giving for my new flock. You know that you can count on my love and prayers.”
He is an inspiration to me as I serve the Lord in my own ministry. I believe that he is continuing to pray for me and for that I am truly blessed.
Leslie’s “Until Today”, written and composed by him and sung at the Ontario memorial for Archbishop Burke, reflects the depth of feeling and reverence he has for his maker. Archbishop Burke was able to touch the lives of many, including this K.C. young man, and we know there are many more stories like this out there. Thank you, Leslie, for sharing this.
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In response to many Georgian inquiries, we are now pleased to provide this option to submit Articles to us to be posted on our News and Contributions Page. Only articles from the Georgian family will be accepted and published. All articles will first be reviewed by our Editor for content before being accepted for publication. Go to our website: www.stgctoronto.com, scroll to News and Contributions and follow instructions; note pictures can be sent as well and these are welcome.
This News page on our website, www.stgctoronto.com was created to share information with St. George’s College Old Boys and their families. It contains articles on people, places, the latest funny quips, recipes, and anything worthy of knowing. It may contain information that will inspire you to restore old friendships. The response as evidenced by the number of hits recorded has been overwhelming. So, check this site regularly.
Who knows, you may read about someone you haven’t heard from in years.
DONATION PAYMENT INSTRUCTIONS:
CANADA AND UNITED STATES
Make cheque payable to:
Canadian Jesuits International
St. George’s College Old Boys’ Assoc
Attention: Treasurer: Ray Chang
56 The Bridle Path ,
Toronto, Ontario, M3B 2B1
For USA & Canada-Send with your cheque a separate note
indicating “School Building Fund” and your mailing address
The Jesuits will issue tax- deductible receipts directly
to all U.S. and Canadian donors.
Make cheque payable to:
St. George’s College
St. George’s College
Attention: Chairman or Principal
Winchester Park North Street,
Kingston CSO Jamaica
Noting on Cheque; specific donation “School Building Fund”
Am I grateful for the opportunity for Heather and myself to join Carl Chang, our liaison Director in Jamaica, to represent our chapter at the various Celebration of Life events for our beloved Archbishop Burke.
On February 3rd, we attended the vigil service (Office of the Dead) at Sts. Peter & Paul Church, where the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen headed the list of Dignitaries, which included Senator Dwight Nelson, Minster of National Security. He read the message on behalf of the Prime Minister, who was off the island. Also present was the Chief Justice of Jamaica The Honourable Zaila McCalla and many members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Presider was Fr. Peter Mc Isaac S.J and the celebrant the Most Rev. Donald Reece, Archbishop of Kingston, assisted by the Bishops of Mandeville and Montego Bay and about thirty other clergy and deacons.
In addition to the Prime Minister’s message, Tributes were also made by representatives from the Jesuits, Deacons, Council of Churches and various church organizations and associations including the Old Boys Association of Jamaica by Charles Williams and The old Boys association Ontario, which I was privileged to give.
A lovely reception took place after in the church grounds, where family and friends gathered. Spotted among many others in the crowd Georgians Dr Fred Kennedy, Dr. Swithin Wilmot and Paul Bitter.
Thursday February 4th was The Funeral Mass itself- What a beautiful setting with Archbishop Burke’s body laying in state from 12:00 noon in the beautifully restored cathedral- largely his work.
Over two thousand people crammed in , with bus loads pouring from all over the country long before the 3:00 P.M mass: a chartered commercial airliner came in from the Bahamas with hundreds of Bahamian Government and other dignitaries and lay people. Many were forced to view the mass from outside in tents by video screen.
Carl and I arrived at 12:00 noon to secure parking and a seat and to observe the ongoing procession of children from the various schools and teachers and others quietly paying their last respects.
There were reserved benches for various groups including the Old Boys.
One could see the beads of perspiration pouring down the faces of many .The heat in a full suit , especially for out of towners seemed almost unbearable after a few hours, but there was plenty of bottled water available. It was very well organized. Everything was thought of.
The celebrant for the mass was Most Rev Donald Reece, Archbishop of Kingston with Con-Celebrants the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop (Emeritus) Clarke, Archbishops and Bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference, and over 50 clergy . There were rows of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps and Ministers of Government.
Carl and I left before the mass ended to be part of the St.George’s College Old Boys honour guard, through which the casket wound its way to the rear of the cathedral. Other familiar faces in the big line up were Peter and John Mais, Wayne Wray, Donovan Chen See, Pokar Chandiram, Charles Williams, Courtney Currie.
During the interment the St. Georges flag was held prominently by sixth formers including head boy Craig Jervis.
It was a real “George’s” affair.
From the Archbishops’ Memorial Garden behind you could look across to the green Winchester Park field (Just days before the Canadian National soccer team practiced here for their game against the Reggae Boyz) to the beautifully restored O’Hare Building. It was his home turf.
We lingered around till after 7 PM talking to Archbishop Burke’s family: sisters Madge and Barbara; Cynthia and husband George.
It was a long day; one never to be forgotten.
Archbishop Burke meant a lot to us here in Canada. He meant a lot to people everywhere.
May his soul rest in peace.
On a not-so-cold New Year’s Eve in 2009, alumni of Jamaica College and St. George’s College collaborated to hold their second consecutive fund-raising Ball. Similar to the previous year, the event was held at the prestigious Pearson Convention Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
When planning for this event, alumni of both schools were already in great spirits as their football teams had enjoyed major successes; Jamaica College clipped us to win the Walker cup and we were victorious in the Manning cup. Our joint spiral into the heights of Jamaican, schoolboy football gave us even more reason to come together again to celebrate.
We share many things in common in Ontario, apart from the blue and white school uniforms (one washed out, one dark- one sky blue one drab- opinions varying depending on which school you attended). We both work earnestly to help youngsters achieve their full potential. Proceeds from this event go to the respective Jamaican schools. The great achievements of both schools can be attributed to the support they receive from alumni and well-wishers.
The ladies in the lives of JC/St. GC alumni have done a tremendous job in helping these two organizations maintain their prominent status in Canada. Red roses were given to all, and on this night, they were all about enjoying themselves and celebrating the advent of 2010.
‘Twas not the night before Christmas but it may well have been. Jack Frost was nipping at our noses but old man winter was dismissed to the recesses of our minds when the Ontario boys and their partners were once again invited to another warm Christmas soiree by the consummate hosts Ray & Donette. This has become somewhat of a tradition where executives and their spouses gather to share in the spirit of Christmas while looking back at a year, not so much coming to an end, but coming to fruition.
Joining us on this occasion was newly appointed Jamaican Consul General to Toronto, Mr. George Ramocan. It was a pleasure for the executive to welcome him to his new post, and in the Georgian spirit he led the gathering in a prayer of thanksgiving. The night was filled with its usual jovial banters, and not to be outdone was Past President Danny Ho Lung with his colourful recounts and jokes. Of great significance and pride was when then President-Elect Milton Hart informed us, in his usual eloquence, of the Manning team’s triumph in the Olivier Shield; All-Island champions once again. Great credit was given to coach Neville “Bertis” Bell by host Ray Chang, adding that the future looked bright for the team on account of retaining some key players.
As all good things must come to an end, the night drew to a close with the generous gesture of a parting gift for the spouses of the executives. As they say in Jamaica, “we a nuh smaddy too.” All joking aside, Ray and Donnette, we hope you never become victims of sensory conditioning when it comes to the constant heartfelt thanks we deliver; for they are not just words, they are sincere.
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