St. George’s College Old Boys’ Association ON, Canada Newsletter Issue #57, (pg.4), March 2010.
It was a gorgeous Sunday morning with the Holy Trinity Cathedral standing out brightly in the sun’s glory.
Entering the Cathedral, one was greeted with a splendor that is breathtaking. The artwork has been totally restored and one is struck by a sense of beauty and peace.
The service started a little late with Archbishop Emeritus Most Rev. Edgerton Clarke the Chief Celebrant, assisted Fr. Peter Mc Isaac, STGC Board Chairman and Deacons, Clive Chambers, Christopher Gooden and David Chambers.
As I looked through the moderately large congregation, I could identify the sick, the mentally ill, the poor and the regular church goers of this parish. You could also distinctly identify the STGC Old Boys and their families. There were also some very special persons present as well. Children living with HIV from the Mustard Seed Home, Matthew 25.40 and teenage mothers with their babies supervised by the house mothers of Mary’s Child, another Mustard Seed home for teen mothers. It was indeed a microcosm of modern Jamaica; the poor, the afflicted, the more fortunate and the powerful.
The service began with the readings for the Third Week of Lent. The first reading taken from Exodus 3 describes the calling of Moses and the story of the ‘Burning Bush’. The Lord tells Moses’ I have seen the suffering of my people in Egypt and have heard their cry….I have come to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptian and lead them out of that land..The Gospel reading was taken from Luke 13:1-9 and ended with the parable of the fruitless fig tree. We heard the solemn warning… ‘Leave it (the tree) for this year and I shall cultivate the ground around it …It may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’
In his homily, Archbishop Clarke reminded us of our baptism when we were grounded in Christ and like Moses, are called to be agents of liberation for our families, communities and the broader society. However, we are prone to lose our focus and sometimes conform to the values of the world. Lent is a period of renewal when we look at ourselves honestly and get back on track. His message was solid “ unless grounded in Christ and constantly renewing ourselves, we cannot make a difference in a broken world.’’ The breakfast was served at the Abe Issa Auditorium. It was very Jamaican with corn pork, ackee and saltfish, liver etc and was simply out of this world!
Jason Dear welcomed the Old Boys. He spoke of the mentorship program and his work with 5-VI, the worst class in the school! He told us of some of the activities he had organised for them and how it has resulted in a positive change in the boys.
Mrs. Margaret Campbell, the Principal reported that the school continues to improve in all aspect of endeavor. We recently got two prizes at the ISSA Principal’s Award for outstanding CSEC performances. We won the Manning Cup, Oliver Shield and more recently, U16 All Island Basketball Title. She thanked the Old Boys for the help and encouraged us to participate even more.
Craig-Anthony Jervis, the Headboy spoke of the need to get more Old Boys to get involved in the Mentorship Program. The present students would benefit immensely from the interaction.
Lyndon Latore, the Assistant Manager of the track team reported that the team did very well at Gibson Relays. The team was a very young one but full of talent. He solicited help from those present.
At this point, I had to leave. As I drove out of the school, I thought of the state of beloved country and the broken school system. Archbishop Clarke’s homily kept coming back. Yes, we need to renew ourselves and be instruments of change as we go through this dark period of our history.
IN MY VIEW, Twenty Five years, — that’s over a quarter century, a fairly long time for any volunteer support organization to remain functional. The brainchild of Peter Rickards, our St.GC Old Boy’s Association’s Ontario Chapter began back in ’83, with his phoning a few old boys and asking them to come together and discuss the possibility of forming an Alumni Association in Ontario. Roy McCatty, Winston Cooke, Mike Lym, Pat “Skedron” Smith, Robbie Vernon, Ray Jackson and I, met and listened to Peter’s exciting recommendations on creating a support body for the old school sounded like a great idea. My records show that our founding group then met on March 3,1984 and formed a steering committee, and started gathering names of old boys. They then called the first AGM of the Association which took place on March 5, 1985 at 150 Commander Blvd, Scarborough, and the date the Association was officially born. Peter Rickards was automatically voted as the first president, and the rest is history. Since its creation, the Association has caused a number of old boys, to really step up to the plate and go to bat for the school. The likes of Pat “Skedron” Smith, Michael “Buski” Charley, Robbie Vernon, Ray Chang, and most recently Carl “Ambassador” Chang have been notable stand-outs who contributed countless hours of their time and money to help St.GC maintain its high profile as one of the finest schools in Jamaica. Many others too have contributed, but in other ways, and not at the level as those whom I just mentioned. If you disagree with me on this, speak up and let me hear from you. The personal gratification we have received in seeing the positive results of our volunteered support for the school over the first 25 years, is priceless. The school’s future stability will depend on others to walk in the footsteps of those of us who marched through the first 25 years. Stop and think of the countless more students who need our chapter’s continued support for the next 25 years. It can’t be done without you. Your help is needed now. Contact our executive and offer your assistance. You won’t regret it.
Bahamians said he never ran from difficult questions. Jamaicans strongly agree with that statement as well. A past student and headmaster of St.GC, 77 year old Archbishop Larry Burke S.J was also viewed as a champion of education and a stolid defender of Roman Catholic values. Born Oct. 27, 1932, he was ordained a priest June 16, 1964, and appointed Archbishop of Nassau June 22, 1999, then Archbishop of Kingston, Jamaica in May 2, 2004 . I had the privilege of being in his presence on many occasions, some serious, others quite social. During the serious ones, whether you liked it or not, he never shied away from mentioning his strong beliefs on a variety of issues. In social gatherings, he took being teased in a light-hearted fashion, but dished it out to others just as well. This dedicated servant of God passed away on January 24, 2010 after a long three years annoying fight with cancer. A St.GC Memorial Mass was held for him here in Toronto on March 24th. The Jamaica Consul General for Toronto Mr. George Ramocan attended the mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Ottawa the Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast S.J., Fr. Jim Webb, Jesuit Superior for English Canada ,and no stranger to Jamaica, also participated. Archbishop Burke will be sadly missed by all who knew him. May he find peace in heaven with God.
Here are some straight answers: a) What’s a fibula? Straight answer – A little lie. b) The race of people known as Malays come from what country? Straight answer: Malaria. c) What’s the meaning of the word “Varicose” Straight answer: Close by. d) Where was the American Declaration of Independence signed: Straight answer: At the bottom of the page.
This year, St. George’s College celebrates its 160th year of existence. Over these many years, the school has churned out some world renowned graduates, recognized for their exemplary performance in the fields of sports, medicine, law, music, and even politics. Before he passed away, Fr. William Feeney gave me a document he wrote containing a bit of the school’s history. Not many people know that St.George’s College, when founded in 1850 by Jesuit priests, was originally located at 26 North St. and that Fr. Patrick Murly was the initial Superior. Later, the Jesuits bought an ample piece of property known as Pawsey’s Pen from a Mr. Alfred Pawsey. The property included a rambling one story residence, which was converted in 1905 to a proper school with chairs, desks etc. and the school was then officially transferred from its 26 North St. location. Officers and staff of the school included Treasurer Rev. Fr. William F. O’Hare S.J., whom the O’Hare building is named after, and who later became Bishop of Jamaica. Two of the six regulations laid down by the school’s governing body at the time contributed to the high esteem in which the College’s students have been held for years: 1) All must be clean and neat in their appearance, polite to their companions and reverent to their superiors. No conduct unbecoming of a gentleman will be tolerated. 2) Any injury done to the property or the college, or of others, besides subjecting the offender to punishment, must be repaired at the expense of the parent or guardian. This, plus the continued exceptional quality of education and training the students received over the years, is the main reason for the existence of the number of world renowned professionals I alluded to earlier.
Words of wisdom: – Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads. – If you find yourself in a deep hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. – Don’t pick a fight with an old man. He is too old to fight and might just decide to kill you instead.
Congratulations to the entire contingent of Canadian athletes who competed in the 2010 Olympic Games. They did us proud, didn’t they?
A french-fry walked into a bar and said to the bartender “ Bartender, give me a beer please.” The Bartender replied, “Sorry, but we don’t serve food here.”
Congratulations also to Heather & Robbie Vernon who were made grandparents once again on Feb.5, 2010. Daniel Joseph Vernon was born in Windsor to mother Carole and father Alexander Vernon, and weighed in at 7lbs. 4oz. I can just imagine how proud Daniel’s uncle Joe must be as well.
Doctor called a man and said “I have some good news and some bad news for you.” The man says” Give me the good news first.” The Doc says” Ok! You have 24 hours to live.” Man replies “ If that’s the good news, how bad is the bad news?” Doc. answers sheepishly “I forgot to call and tell you yesterday.”
So then, what can you contribute to the school in celebration of its 160th Anniversary this year? You could begin by attending our Annual Summer Ball on July 30th.. All proceeds go to the school. Your purchase of tickets to the event not only contributes to the school’s well being, but will guarantee you a great evening with old friends. This year’s event promises to be a good one, with entertainers Jay Douglas and the All Stars, along with St.GC’s own Pluto Shervington.
Visit our website at www.stgctoronto.com” and learn more about the event and how to purchase tickets. Your support will be greatly appreciated. Finally, all those who promised to give Carl Chang a contribution for the refurbishing of the O’Hare building, and haven’t paid him yet, please do so quickly. Father Quinlan knows who you all are, and you will be hearing from him shortly if you don’t pay up immediately.
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