|Newsletter||St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter|
The Good & True ...issue# 20...December,
The President's Message
As this is the last newsletter for 1996, there are a few things I would like to mention to the membership. First, as we approach the end of this decade and this century, we look forward to facing the 21st Century with vigour and continued success. We already have all the tools we need (you the members), and the School continues to move on despite the Jamaican and the World economic situation. With your continued support, we will also maintain our assistance to the school in the many ways we have been doing over the years. At our last Family Dinner, which I missed because of work travels, we met the current Headmaster who thanked us and asked for our continued support.
Second, we the Old Boys of Canada will in 1997 put together our biggest fund-raising bash in the history of our Association. The details have not been completed yet, but I can tell you this much, it involves Caribana and Byron Lee. Our present Treasurer, Ray Chang, is the Chairman of the special committee that will be putting this event together and I am sure he will be putting out information as it becomes available. We will be asking you all for your support, so please remember, when the School benefits, we all do.
Finally, I would like to emphasize the fact that dues are to any association what petrol is to automobiles, so please keep those $25.00 cheques coming. It is very sad for me to note that despite all of our pleas to support our newsletters in the previous issue, we have only heard from 18 members, and that included Fr. Quinlan and Fr. O'toole. While we are very appreciative of the support shown by those 18 who took the time to respond and submit their dues, we are very disappointed in the lack of interest shown to such an important issue. We are again asking you to show your support and interest in continuing to receive your newsletters regularly by sending in your annual dues of $25. As I said earlier this is the last newsletter for this year so I will take the opportunity now to wish all Georgians and their families a Peaceful and Joyous Holiday Season when it comes. Also, until 1997 keep the Faith and God's Richest Blessings to you all.
President ..... Bobby Wills ..... (905) 940-2392
1st Vice President ..... Warren Abbott ..... (905) 831-9814
2nd Vice President ..... Don Barnett ..... (905) 873-1365
Treasurer ..... G. Ray. Chang ..... (905) 824-4308
Secretary ..... Robbie Vernon ..... (905) 622-9408
Liaison Officer ..... Neil Dalhouse ..... (905) 278-5568
Social Director ..... Pat Ferguson ..... (416) 292-7620
Public Relations ..... Michael Charley ..... (905) 275-3071
Past President ..... John Chavannes ..... (905) 509-1265
Sports Director ..... Ken Chin ..... (416) 495-1286
Phone Committee Director ..... Pat Garel ..... (905) 475-3430
This year's annual family dinner featured two speakers from Jamaica; Mr. Hector Stephenson and Dr. Aggrey Irons. Most of you may have heard of the appointment of the current principal of St. George's College one Hector Stephenson. Up until our dinner in June, Mr. Stephenson had three strikes against him, but he is far from out. First he is not a Jesuit nor an ordained priest. Second, he is not an Old Boy. Third, he is not Catholic. Being quite cognizant of these concerns, Hector came prepared to deliver warmest greetings in the spirit of our Alma Mater, to remind us of the mission of the founding fathers, the Jesuits, to update us on the progress and challenges facing our school, and most importantly, to alleviate concerns.
His theme was that the mission of the school, i.e. the education and development of young boys, rooted in the values of the Kingdom of Christ, on the principles of peace and justice, towards the development of a nation. This daunting devotion is alive and well in the school today. Yes there have been profound changes and challenges but the spirit lives on.
Mr. Stepheson is very much part of the fabric of the Georgian family. After attending Mico Teachers College, Hector was bitten by the Jesuits while attending Boston College. He commenced his professional career at Georges as an intern teacher of Integrated Science in September of 1982 and served in almost all positions in the school before being appointed Principal some ten years later; no small miracle. In his words, " the miracle of metamorphosis began in 1982 and ended ten (10) years later, and that this was indeed a process which gave rise to a butterfly and not a moth".
Our school continues to produce some of the most learned men that our nation has seen, despite the rapid turnover of teachers due to substandard compensation. Recent Rhodes Scholars Daniel Thwaites and Richard Thompson are Old Boys of Georges. In addition four of our top Sixth Formers attended summer school at Harvard, Cornell, and Yale Universities, where they stand a good chance of accessing scholarship funds. Our school is at the top or the top in most sports; winning manning cup in 1992, won the Walker Cup four consecutive years and was voted the most disciplined team over that period. We made it to the finals of Pepsi, Colts and Manning Cup football competitions in 1995. We won the Sunlight Cup after a forty-five year drought. Indeed three of our Sunlight cricketers we called for trials to represent Jamaica at the Northern Telecom Youth Tournament, which is a farm club for test Cricket in the West Indies. Our swimmers and track and field athletes are showing great promise. And for the first time in many years, our Cadet Unit was the top unit among ten battalions in Kingston this year and is now competing for the national trophy. Our outreach ministry programmes continue to serve the less fortunate in downtown Kingston where the school choir and band provide expansion in the creative arts.
In the last eight years, there has been an active programme to refurbish and improve our physical infrastructure, resulting in additional classrooms, multipurpose centres for student development, a state of the art library, the science labs, the playing fields and through your generous support to our chapter here in Toronto, the restoration of Emmet Park. But the Partnership for Excellence campaign is the single most important achievement over the last eight years. Inspired by the vision of Fr. Thomas Schneider, S.J., whose belief it is that the only way forward for secondary schools is Endowed Education. The goal is to raise JA$50mm which will continually generate sufficient interest year after year to support a well rounded curriculum in four major areas; supplement teachers salaries, provide scholarship funding, support Spiritual Life in the school and to supplement administrative areas neglected by the Ministry of Education, primarily aimed at health and safety. In addition to all this, there is on going curriculum reform such as the inclusion of French (due to pressure from Bouchard), a 3rd form Industrial Arts programme, Integrated Science combining Arts and Business and the introduction of Humanities into 6th form.
My fellow Georgians, Mr. Stephenson not only had three strikes against him, but Mount Everest to climb without sherpas and the proper equipment. Indeed it is truly a miracle and the intervention of the Divine Spirit that engineered this beautiful butterfly, Hector. On behalf of every Georgian, past, present and to come, we thank you for the comprehensive update, we salute you Sir on your achievements in four short years and pray that you will be continually guided by the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Aggrey Irons, a psychiatrist, entertained us with whit and humour and added a balance to the evening by subtly reminding us of who we are and from whence we came. The two deliveries and the camaraderie of the families of the Old Boys in attendance, served as a strong reminder that St. George's College is greater than all of us, that it is an institution with a life of its own and as such it will outlive all of us. This is exactly why each and every one of us MUST make a small contribution in our own way.
~ Herbie Phillipps Jr.
CHRISTMAS 1996 ... Once again Christmas is upon us, how will you celebrate it with your family this year? For a lot of people, myself included, this time of the year signals the start of the mad dash around the stores trying to figure out what we are going to get Auntie Soandso and Uncle Bob, whether we are going to buy the kids what they want to get or what we want them to have, and on and on. How many times have we stopped to catch our breath after Christmas and said "Next year I am going to do it different, next year I am going to slow down and really make sure that the family remembers what Christmas is all about, next year...." Now don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of you remember...and it wasn't you that I was talking about, it was the other guy. You know the one dat all im can tink bout is the kriss set a golf clubs dat di wifey goin get imfi Christmas...or di nice pair a bugga boots dat him going sport pon Christmas day...yeah mon, dat guy. All I am saying is that while it is nice to give and receive presents during CHRlSTmas, just remember who it is really all about...a foget, yu dun know dat arredi, so jus tell dat odda guy.
IN MEMORY... For those who might not have heard, it is with sadness that we note the passing of Kaye John Nash on February 20, 1996. Kaye Nash was a richly gifted athlete, who will always be remembered as a great swimmer and who, with the help of the rest of the Nash family, helped George' s reign supreme in swimming for over 15 years.
WE REMEMBER... Lester Chance was on the forward line of the Manning Cup team during his time at George's and he was always on the front line in his support of the Old Boys. Lester Joseph Chance passed away on September 11, 1996 in Toronto, having been bom in Clarendon, Jamaica on December 29, 1914. He left behind his wife Dorothy and children, Mike, Joe, Hilary and Theresa.
CONDOLENCES... to the family of Harold ("Sir Mets", "Menthol") Metcalfe, who passed away on November 16, 1996 in Jamaica. "Sir Mets" leaves behind his loving wife Elsie and children Clovis ("Metty"), Lois, June and Jackie.
Timothy 4: 7-8...I have fought the good fight, I have finished
the course, I have kept the faith:
In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
In profile this month we take a look at a very unique man, who was one of the founding members of the association in Canada and is also a current member of the present executive. The man I am referring to is none other than Mr. Robert Vernon.
Robbie as he is known to me and all his fellow Georgians, started at St. George's in 1995 and graduated in 1959 with honours in five subjects including the english language. After graduating from George's, Robbie did a short stint with Government Savings Bank for approximately 1 year, before joining the Royal Bank of Canada in Jamaica. There his career as a Banker was about to begin. Robbie stayed with the bank for 16 years at many different branches. It was while he was at the bank that he met a beautiful lady named Heather Gibson (also a banker), and in 1971 they were married. Marriage did not slow Robbie down because although he was working his way up the corporate ladder, he was also very busy in the communities in which he worked. Having grown up with a lot of influential people including his dad and role model William Vernon who was also the first Mayor of Montego Bay, Robbie always gave back to his community. He became a member of the Jaycees and the prestigious Lions Club of Jamaica and was awarded the Certificate of Merit by both clubs for his outstanding work in community development. He was also treasurer of the Association of Mentally Handicapped, President of Coopers Hill Citizens Association and a member of the Police Civic Committee.
In 1974 Robbie and Heather's first of two sons, Alexander was born. By the year 1977, Robbie decided to move his family to Canada after having worked his way up to Manager of the Duke Street branch, which was one of the largest branches in Kingston. Arriving in Canada, Robbie rejoined the Royal Bank and after serving as Manager for several branches was recently promoted to Assistant Manager (Risk Management Division) where he works today. Even though his second son Joseph was born in 1979, with wife Heather's tremendous support, he continues to be a very active and influential person in his community. Among other things, he is currently the Chairman of the Etobicoke Youth Soccer Club. Besides helping others, something that Robbie truly enjoys is playing the piano which he does very well. Today Robbie resides in Etobicoke with his lovely wife and their two sons.
I myself had the pleasure of meeting Robbie about 10 years ago and would like to say that besides being a perfect gentleman at all times I really look up to him and respect him a great deal and also to add that it has been my pleasure having someone like you on the present executive committee.
I always enjoy STGC Old Boys picnics. Like our other functions, the breakfast, dinner and dance, the memories seem always to be worth having and lasting. But as you know everyone loves a picnic. Just ask all our friends.
It is worth packing little bags, plastic containers, ice packs and certainly it is true that everything tastes better outside. The food always seems to be in its glory in the out doors. Still, there is more to it than that.
When we picnic, we are free. Free to mingle with our friends. Free from
walls and ovens, chairs and tables. Free from phones, bill piles, TV, to
do lists and dish duty. Even free from using a fork.
At least sometimes.
We needed two forks to BBQ the chicken that day. It had been seasoned to a glorious perfection. The chicken was there. We had the coal, the matches, the paper plates with us. The BBQ was there. In fact we thought everything needed was there. Come time to cook though, no prongs could be found.
This is how good memories start.
The BBQ session drew a crowd. First we used sticks to do the turning, but that didn't work. We ended up using two folks. Patrick Garel had the last shift, and during the cooking, chef guidance was offered by all. At one time when the masterpiece began to draw raves, Ray Chang calmly observed "It nuh cook yet". Dinner's ready. I can smell the chicken. As you can imagine no BBQ chicken got left that day. We kept cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
There were lots of other things going on from jokes being shared to cards being played. Later, while getting totally injured keeping goal in the STGC/KC football game, a game we lost, my consolation was two things. First I had had nuf food earlier, and then our daughter Nadia came on to play to the screams of "Gal on, Gal on" by the KC players. Don't know how they found out that she had been an MVP roving centre half captain during her many football playing years. I call her "Buskita" at times like these. It gives her goose pimples when she plays. Never the less KC was prepared for the game. The football challenge closed this great picnic day for us. The next time STGC will win. Without a doubt these two champions from North Street will always meet.
Well, hope to see all of you again next year along with a lot of new faces. We will always continue to believe that your support will always be there. See you soon my friends.
~ Michael 'Buski' Charley
I was so distraught to read about it in the Toronto Star. The article said that on September 27/96, the Carib theatre burned to the ground.
Man oh man! I felt like I had just received 2 demerits on a Friday afternoon, at 2:15 pm, just 1 hour and 45 minuites before St.GC played KC at Sabina Park for the Manning Cup. Carib Theatre was a Kingston Town landmark. Oh the memories ! The Saturday morning serials, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Buck Rogers.. they were great. And then later in life, when I graduated from being a "lekle Buooay", going to Carib for the 4pm Saturday matinee with somebody else's girl was a gratifying expenence for those of us who lived dangerously. Sitting on the 2nd., floor up under the "cave", you were sure to find a colleague living "on the edge" as you were. Ah well, the place that housed male and female 'comradery' is gone for ever. But not the memories.
Saay! For those of you who didn't attend the annual StGC. dance... It was announced that the 11 year ordeal to get Byron Lee to play at a StGC dance, has finally come to an end. Yees! The Dragon will play for us on Friday, August 1st 1997. This gig will be sponsored soley by the StGC. association, Toronto chapter. And it is open to all Ja. alumni associations. We hope to generate as much as we can from this fette for the school. The dance will be held at the Regal Constallation Hotel on the aitport strip. It's going to be a jacket and tie affair, and it will include a sit down dinner. For it to be truly successful, we intend to sell 1000 tickets, or 100 tables. Some have said it's too expensive, but please remember the cause. Yes, it may appear expensive if you have to buy a ticket 1 week before the dance. Putting $15 per month aside from Nov. 96 will assure you of a ticket without causing a major hole in your pocket. Please pick up the phone rlght now and contact any StGC Board Member and pledge your support by confinning your interest in a couple of tickets, or, if you really want to be a big help, offer to organize a group of ten and buy a table. We need to hear from you ASAP, so that we can get some quick estimates to assist us in preparing for the event. Please call. Our numbers are listed in this newsletter.
Confucius said "He who is really kind can never be unhappy. He
who is really wise can never be confused. He who is really brave is never
afraid." Our last newsletter literally begged for your dues of $25
each, in order to help offset the cost of the production of our newsletter.
Assuming that I am already kind, wise and brave, how come I am unhappy,
confused, and afraid? I am unhappy because only 12 people responded to
the articles written. I am confused because I can't believe the O/B ASSOC.
has done so much for so many, and so many of you simply just don't care.
Afraid! Yes I am, because I honestly feel we will not be able to continue
printing the newsletter if we can't generate the proper funds. The first
to contribute was Dr.Derrick Haddad. Hell! Even Fathers O'Toole and Quinlan
contributed after reading the articles. So did Tony (David) Wong, from
Liguanea Drug and Garden Centre, Liguanea Plaza,in Ja. Heck! He even sent
money for an St.GC golf shirt. Many thanks to the 12 who contributed. "Wat
rong wid de res a hunou? Hunou tite no raawted buuooaay!" My views.
" Men are often capable of greater things than they perform. They
are sent into the world with bills of credit, and seldom draw to their
True, isn't it?
Aaaright! Some garage parking safety tips for those of us who have to park at night, especially women.* Choose bright, well lit, clean, busy, attended parking lots to park in. * Park as close as possible to the parking lot attendant. * Remember where you parked your car. * Be alert. Be mindful of suspicious characters lurking around. * When locking your car, store valuables in the trunk. Out of sight, out of mind. * Back your car in to the parking spot to allow you to get in and drive off quickly. * When approaching your car, have your keys in your hand at the ready, especially the one to open the door. * Before getting in, take a quick look in the back seat to see if anyone' s hiding there.
Finally, practice screaming out some serious Ja. "badwods". You might need them to scare off any weirdo with bad intentions. (My views)
Fed up with life? Just think about this....While there is life, there is hope, and while there is hope there is life. On the otner hand, nobody gets out of life alive. And did you know that to everyone, life in the first person is a mystery? So therefore, life doesn't seem so bad when you consider the alternative, eh...Hey! A gaanneee.
~ Neil Dalhouse
In spite of the inclement weather (lightning, tunda and rain), we had a good turnout to the annual dance. Present was out-of-towners including Dickie Crutchley and the Haddads. Let me assure those Markharnites and Scarboroughites that did not attend the dance because of the bad weather, "dem never use Noah' s Ark fe get there."
The music was irie served up by Dane whose music was, as usual, just "Cool and Deadly". It was quite evident as the night wore on that the dancing was heating up. Among the favorites was "To the Left" and "The Macarena". Unfortunately, many of our Alumni obviously were not listening in class when the difference between north, south, left and right was been taught. Many choose to move to a different drummer, moving to the right when the Iyrics called for moving to the left.
Our association's V.P. showed his great leadership qualities by attempting to lead the entire crowd to dance his intrepretation of "The Macarena". It was a good thing that the crowd chose to ignore him completely as his version of the dance could have been more appropriately entitled "The Macaroni"(see center spread).
Some of the other memorable moments at the dance included:
* The presentation of the $500 scholarship award to Aaron Sani, the bright and energetic son of Catherine and Anthony(Robbie's write up of this event is included elsewhere in this issue).
* There were umpteen prizes that were awarded the lucky winners of the "arm's length draw". Some people were crying "fix, fix" as it was rumoured that many of the prizes were won by individuals at the same table.
It was a pleasure to observe that a number of alumni from our fellow Jamaican high schools (other than the spouses of our old boys) attended the function. Their support was greatly appreciated. It was also a pleasure to note that many members of the association's executive had time to dance with their spouses, a feat that could only have been due to the great organization efforts this year.
~ Patrick Garell
Two outstanding Graduates Dr Louis Lee,and Dr Herbert Hoo Ping Kong,formed
the selection committee this year for our 1996 scholarship award of $500.
Lets meet this years winner - Aaron Sani.
Aaron ,a graduate of St.Michaels College school,in Toronto, excelled in academics,athletics and was recognized for his community activities by winning the Father Frank Mccabe Commemorative Humanitarian Scholarship Award.
Other Awards garnered by Aaron include: The St.Thomas Moore Society
Award- awarded to graduates who have consistently maintained an average
of 80% or better for their entire high school career.
The St. Michaels Outstanding Graduating Athlete Award. The Graduation "M" awarded to students who have made significant contributions to the St. Michaels community in the areas of sharing talents,community service for his dedication to the meals on Wheels programme,and athletics.
Certificate of Distinction for ranking in the top twenty five percentile of participants in Canada in the mathematics competition put on by the faculty of the University of Waterloo.
Having been accepted at the University of Waterloo, The University of Toronto and Ryerson Polytechnic in the fields of Science, Commerce @ Management, and Electrical and Computer Engineering respectively, we wish him every success in his future endeavours,whatever field he chooses, and know that his efforts will be done Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam ( For the Greater Glory Of God.)
~ Robbie Vernon.
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