Newsletter St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter

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St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 


Good & True 
ISSUE #27
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Part 3

 

The Good & True

The Good & True ...issue# 27...December, 1999


Warren Abbott

The President's Message

Greetings to my fellow Georgians, our families, friends and supporters. Here's hoping that this newsletter will find you and yours in good health and spirits. My best wishes to you all for a happy and holy holiday season.

Some Important News:
Tax receiptable donations can be accepted on behalf of St. George's College for their scholarship fund to assist in tuition fees and other school related needs. In the past the New England Jesuits heavily subsidized St. George's with mainly manpower needs, which was free of cost. Just twenty-five years ago there were more than twenty priests teaching at St. George's. Today there is only one.

The school needs twenty one-million Jamaican dollars annually. Government's assistance falls far short of this sum and this translates into fees from parents or donations. This is a heavy burden and many are missing out on what we obtained. Now is our chance to assist, to hold out that helping hand to pull our brother up. Make cheques payable to Canadian Jesuits International and mail to St. George's College Old Boys Association, 504 Karen Park Cres., Mississauga, Ontario, L5A 3C6. Send your address so we can get the donation receipt to you.

Our thoughts and prayers for DB's sister Berna, who recently underwent surgery. May she have a speedy recovery.

Congratulations to Gillie Aarons' 17 year-old son Andrew on his piano accomplishments and his participation in the Christmas concert at St. Matthew's United Church. He is garnering accolades in classical music circles: collecting first place in the Provincial Finals of the Canadian Music Competition in his age group from 1996 to 1999. Also in the concert was Lloyd Chung singing with the Heritage Singers. There was too, Robbie Vernon providing a musical interlude on the piano at the recent Alpha dinner/dance. Neil Dalhouse, our Liaison Director's presentation of flowers at this event to the Alpha president Gaye Donna Young on behalf of our Association was touching, classy, and very fitting, given our close relationship with Alpha. Robbie and Neil you both represented us well there. But then so did the numerous other Georgians in attendance, many of whom were on the Boston trip.

Our thanks to Neil Dalhouse and Fr. Hosie in Boston for their tremendous work organizing the excursion. Our thanks as well to Ray and Elsie Chang for hosting a reception for all the Boston trip attendees and their spouses. It really gave the wives a chance to share in their husband's experiences, as they mulled over photographs of the tour and listened to them reminiscing. I feel like all those who were not able to make the trip that I missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime.

So great were the outpourings, verbally and in writing on the now famous trip to the Jesuit Centre in Weston, Mass., that we have decided to devote this entire issue to the one event, allowing all who wish to express themselves.

There is one surprise inclusion at the end: a view from the outside. This is by Andrea Cha-Kim, a relative of Francis Rutty, who came up from Boston and joined us in some of the events including Mass. It presents a unique outside perspective from one who was obviously deeply moved by what she witnessed.

There will be repetitions, yes! Some poetic licence as we wanted to present the feelings evoked rather than literary content. Everyone will have their say and indeed we will be privileged to view the same event from different eyes as all have their own personal reflections and their own stories to tell.

- Enjoy!


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St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 


Good & True 
ISSUE #27

 

 

150th Anniversary Events (Year 2000) in Jamaica.

 Full details, updates and contacts for tickets etc, are available from web site: http://www.infochan.com/~stgcl50th.html.

Jan.20 - Thursday -
Opening Liturgical Service, Holy Trinity Cathedral.

 Jan.21 - Friday - 1:00 p.m.
 Dedication of the Father Leo F. Quinlan Administrative Building - at St.George's 
7:00 p.m. - 
Opening Banquet at Meridien Jamaica Pegasus, honouring Past headmasters Fr. James Hosie, SJ, Fr. Kenneth Hughes, SJ, Fr. Leo Quinlan SJ, Mr. Van Hitchener, Mr. Hector Stephenson. Entertainment by Byron Lee & the Dragonaires


March 4 - Saturday -
Memorial Mass for all Jesuits who have served at St. George's College.

 March 11-Saturday-
 Home School 150th Anniversary Barbeque.

April 18.-Tuesday-
St. George's Day 150th Anniversary Celebrations.

April 22 - Saturday-
St.GCOBA Alumni Reunion.

April 23 - Sunday -
St.GCOBA Golf Tournament.

May22- Monday-
Labour Day Campus Clean-Up & Paint- Up by students, parents, staff and alumni.

 July 2- Sunday -
 Graduation Day- The Class of 2000.

 Sept.2-
St.G.C. Hall of Fame Banquet honouring alumni and faculty or staff who have made significant contributions in their professions or to society. In setting our vacation plans next year we can try to fit in some of these dates to participate in the events focusing on this historic milestone for our school.


Poker (Chandiram) Chatani at pokar@kasnet.com
 is looking for old photographs of cricket, football, swimming
 or any other teams as he in charge of collecting
 memorabilia for the 150th celebrations.


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St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 


Good & True 
ISSUE #27

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. St. G.C's song

 

 

Visit to the Jesuit Retirement Complex,
Campion House, Weston, Mass.

 Francis Lopez

On Friday, October 22nd, 1999 a group of twenty-five over zealous St. George's Old Boys boarded a bus in Toronto - our destination - The Jesuit Retirement Complex near Boston, Massachusetts.

 Our driver, Morgan, whom we immediately dubbed "Captain Morgan", had arranged two tables for the avid domino players. Neil Dalhouse made the roll call, and then we proceeded on our well-anticipated journey. The ten-hour trip took us via Kingston, Ontario with plans to return through Buffalo, New York.

 The regrouping of twenty-five Old Boys for this trip created much excitement in our anticipation to visit and converse with St. George's stalwarts such as:

 Fr. Leo Quinlan, Fr. James Hosie, Fr. Robert Higgins, Fr. James Barry, Fr. Richard Coakley, Fr. William Raftery, Fr. Lawrence O'Toole, Fr. John Sullivan, Fr. Eugene Brissette, Fr. Raymond Mc Clusky, Fr. George Winchester, Fr. James Hayes, Fr. Francis Sarjeant, Fr. Bill Sheehan, among others who paved the way for our education at St. George's College. My apologies to any of the participating priests whose name is inadvertently not listed above.

On arrival at the retirement centre, the equally excited group of Jesuit priests led by Fr. Leo Quinlan warmly greeted us. Emotions began to flow as our distant memories and associations with these prominent leaders were finally realized.

All plans were well in place for our visit. A complete agenda outlining activities for our two-day stay was distributed.

Our first afternoon began with refreshments and appetizing sandwiches while we intermingled and chatted with various priests, re-bonded and showed our appreciation for the Jesuits' long standing contribution to St. George's College.

Later we all gathered in the Loyola Wing of the building where Patrick Smith showed his photo album that vividly captured highlights from the St. George's Old Boys Chapter here in Toronto.

Fr. Hosie had a display with his Tennis pictures of days long gone by. Pictures of those priests who had taught at St. George's and who are no longer with us were also on display. In addition, there were at least seven recent St. George's Year Books for our review. The display and in particular the conversations with the priests visibly triggered nostalgic reactions.

Saturday, October 23 was the day to relive our dreams and firmly re-establish our connections with the priests. At breakfast and lunch, a priest was strategically seated at each table where "great" stories were retold. Many were heart rendering, while others highlighted the mischievous antics some of us displayed in our boyhood days. There were touching moments as well as humorous - "blushing" recollections that resulted in much laughter.

A few priests who were not able to make it to the banquet were later visited in their rooms. They were equally excited and amazingly, they remembered us all despite the many years that have passed. What else could we expect - these are Georgians that we are talking about!

A visit to the graves of all the priests who are laid to rest at Campion Centre further highlighted the importance of our visit to share warm moments with those priests who are still with us. Fr. Leo Quinlan said a prayer at the graves in addition to extending blessings on all of us.

Later fifteen of the twenty-five Old Boys from the visit were taken on a tour of the Seismology Lab. (a building housing instruments for automatically recording the intensity, direction and duration of an earthquake shock). Note: only the fifteen brightest were selected (do not ask who did not make the list.

In the afternoon, we all attended Mass where we further solidified our relationships and connected with God and our souls. The sermon by Fr. Hosie was very moving as were the hymns that were selected by Fulford Chin: Holy God We Praise Thy name, Soul Of My Savior. Everyone sang their hearts out. At the end of the Mass, we all offered each other the Sign of Peace, shook hands and hugged each other with a warm embrace. Mass ended with the singing of "How Great Thou Art". This activity by far was the greatest moment of my life. It is with regret that more of us were not able to attend and share in this heart rendering re-union.

The final activity was a banquet that featured a superb meal and great speeches that were delivered by Marsden Chen, Peter Rickards, Fr. James Hosie, Fr. Quinlan, Gary Williamson, and Robert Vernon. Neil Dalhouse was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. The touching speeches emphasized the bonding of the Jesuit's Priests and the Old Boys of St. George's. Tears came  to my eyes with the realization that our trip would soon be over.

Don Barnett, a member of the Old Boys here in Toronto presented the priests with a Plaque of the Toronto Chapter as well as a painting of St. George's College. The painting was signed by all the visiting Old Boys. Individually, the priests were presented with golf shirts bearing the St. George's crest as a reminder of our visit.

On behalf of all the St.GC Old Boys, I must conclude by saying that we felt and still feel quite privileged to have been a part of the visiting group to Boston. We returned across the border so energized that we rendered the St. G.C's song as well as the Jamaican and Canadian National Anthems.

We all returned safely to home on Sunday, Oct.24, 1999 feeling re-vitalized and spiritually fulfilled. The increased bending developed from the visit was still very obvious as we disembarked the bus and reunited with our loving families. The rekindled memories and bonding gained at the Jesuit Retirement Complex will definitely last for many years to come.

 Members from Canada- Don Barnett, Fen Chang, Ray Chang, Michael (Buskie) Charley, Fulford Chin, Stanley Chin, Francis Cooke, Lloyd Chung, Neil Dalhouse, Greg Lee, Dr. Louis Lee, Patrick Lee, Francis Lopez, Keith Lowe, Dr. Stanley Lowe- Ching, Herb Phillips Jr., Deirick Potopsingh, Peter Rickards, Francis Rutty, Patrick (Skedron) Smith, Robert Vernon, Gary Williamson, and Lipton Wong.

 Members from the USA:-Jimmy & Marsden Chen, Stanley Waite, Bernie Chin, and Donovan Wong.


A Trip down Memory Lane

Fulford Chin Choy '54

This past summer the Old Boys had a banquet to honour a stalwart Jesuit who left a lasting influence on many Old Boys in the class rooms and on the field of sports. That stalwart is Father Ryan, S.J. His speech that night rekindled the school boy days, and years, in each of us there. That was later followed by the bombshell of the evening when the Old Boys Executive told us about a tentative trip to Boston in the latter part of the year to see the Jesuits. We would journey in comfort: Coach bus with VCR and washroom; Only three hundred dollars. Price included the bus ride, accommodation and a big banquet. Sign up now as only so many can go since, I surmised, only so many rooms are at the Campion Centre Residence. But that night there was no maddening crowd stampeding to register for the trip. Apparently many had to check their social calendars with their wives. Besides, the price was more than quattie. Anyway thirty eventually decided to make the trip.

On the morning of the excursion the weather was bleak. It had rained overnight and the morning was overcast. In addition, the forecast was for rain in Boston all that weekend. Departure time was set for eight thirty. No waiting, we were told, for delinquents. So a Jamaican departure time of nine thirty is out of the question. That morning there were a few at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts by seven thirty. Believe it or not, the last Old Boy showed up at eight twenty nine. So away we drove off alter Neil Dalhouse made sure, through a roll call, that all those who signed up were on board.


Gary Williamson, Fulford ChinChoy, Khus(Herbert Lee)(back to camera) & Neil Dalhouse

The Old Boys Executive had booked a thirty seat bus. To our good fortune the transport agency provided a sixty seater. So we traveled in style. The driver, whom we later nicknamed Captain Morgan, saw us taking three domino 'tables' (a flat piece of board) onto the bus. He came up with a better solution. Two proper bus tables were put in place and the appropriate set of seats reversed for two four-seat table settings. Furthest from our mind, at that moment, was how these settings were to result in many memorable moments. These tables were later graced with bulla and pear as well as Jamaican crackers buttered with home-made jam laced with scotch bonnet peppers. More treats followed such as solomon a'gundie on a biscuit. Who cared about the rain outside beating on the bus. Wait 'til you hear from those there how lovely this set up was. let's put it this way - there were three six-love domino games. Naturally, each ended with some rambunctious mouthing. As a matter of fact not everyone on the bus who could play, in my opinion, played. Maybe they dreaded getting on the short end of a six-love game. There was one set that came pretty close to that. The score was five love with one pair sweating out the sixth game. Near the end of that game three players had only one piece with the fourth player holding three. He was very conscious of the fact that he was staring at six/love in his face. It was his turn to play. It took him what seemed like ten minutes to play and pass his opponent so that his partner could win. But the story, and excitement, did not stop there. Believe it or not, the luck had turned and the other side faced a 'technical' situation. That set ended at six-four. The stress around the table was so great that one Old Boy watching declared he would have had a heart attack if the set continued even one more game.

We made good time. We reached Campion Centre in Boston around eight thirty that evening. It was pitch black; dark all around except for the lights of the bus and from the Campion Centre building. Anxiously awaiting was Father Hosie and Father O'Toole. More anxiously awaiting was Father Quinlan. Our welcoming mentors were happy to see us. Also awaiting us was hot chicken soup with real noodles, sandwiches and alter dinner treats. After supper we all checked in and got together in the Loyola Room on the second floor. Father Hosie gave an overview of what was to come and then the personal reunions began in earnest. There were St. G.C. papers and publications of past years spread out over two tables. 'Not to be taken away as each of these was the only copy'. There was a lot of informal personal catch up as many hadn't seen each other in donkeys years. Many did not get to their bed until midnight.

The next morning at breakfast the reminiscing continued. Then it was time to visit our ailing Jesuit mentors to whom personal assistance is given right around the clock. Father Quinlan was a guiding light to each within their room. Reminiscing with each seemed to take them back to Winchester Park. Tales of those days brought peals of laughter. Even a nostalgic tear. It was touching to see our Jesuit mentors being cheered through our presence. It is, for me, too emotional to jot down any details. In case you would like to know more about this mini-visit then get in touch with an Old Boy who was there.

The toughest part was next. Our welcoming mentors took us to the two cemeteries at the Jesuit Centre. Here is where all those Latin lessons were put to use. All the inscriptions on the tombstones were in Latin. Even the proper names. At each recognizable tombstone our Jesuit mentors gave an update of the deceased's personal history since leaving George's. A few tombstones had an American flag waving beside them: signs that these Jesuits had served in the American Armed Forces. Many, many pictures were taken as individuals wanted to capture that special moment next to the final resting place of a personal Jesuit mentor. At the end of the stroll Father Quinlan, led us in prayer.

At St. George's Father Blatchford would caringly look after the seismology equipment and building. It was a building many students held in awe. You should see the seismology equipment at Campion Centre. It makes the one at George's look like boy. Man, there were so many doodads and doohickeys. Even jumping on the floor produced a recorded tremor. A selected few saw this equipment after lunch. Most of the others took a nap. Fatigue, possible from the excitement so far, seemed to have set in.

What came next was a natural ceremony of bonding. Our Jesuit mentors celebrated Mass with us. Father Hosie, encapsulated the historic moment so beautifully in his homily. Naturally we celebrated the Mass with organ music and with everyone singing hymns. For a brief moment we were back in the Cathedral pews on North Street. Incidentally, like Holy Trinity, the kneelers were so-so hardwood board. Just the names of the hymns would put any Old Boy in the North Street setting. Holy God we praise thy Name, Jesus My Lord My God My All, Soul of my Saviour, and How Great Thou Art. We all sang our hearts and souls out. A few shed a nostalgic tear.

What came next was the biggie. It was the banquet. But before that happened there was a little bit of socializing and cocktails. Man, it was a challenge not to full up the belly before the banquet. Finger treats like dirt. Drinks like water. Then it was picture taking time. First were our Jesuit mentors. Then the Old Boys present. Finally everybody. There were so many flashes it was like looking up at the stars on a clear night sky. Well, maybe a slightly clouded night sky. The banquet was done in immaculate taste with mementos to all for this special occasion. That was followed with a few toasts. Neil Dalhouse emceed that session. Old Boys were given a chance to have their say. Talking about memorable moments of their school days. Thanking personally our Jesuit mentors for all that great tutoring and personal development. It was emotionally moving, for a few, putting into words one's appreciation of what they have done for each and every one of us. Father Hosie and Father Quinlan graciously replied. Then presentations were made to our Jesuit mentors collectively and individually. Long after the banquet Old Boys and Jesuits kept on talking. A handful of us even kept going until a few minutes past midnight.

Next morning the visit came to a close. Checkout was done alter breakfast. More group pictures. More blessings. Naturally, we drove off chanting, if not shouting, (St.G.C. Good and True.) Naturally the domino sessions resumed shortly thereafter. Everyone was in high spirits all the way home. As much as we each would like to make another trip like this to see the Jesuits, we all knew, deep down, that none can ever match this one. The trip turned out greater than imagined. Even the weather cooperated. For instance, the Saturday in Boston the forecast was for rain all day. Well, shortly after ten that morning it started to clear and the day turned sunny and bright. Likewise the trip back on Sunday was in gorgeous sunshine. All in all a fantastic trip! For those who could have come, but didn't, you missed out. Big time. Just ask anyone who went on the trip.


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