|Newsletter||St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter|
St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 32...Nov. 2001
Meet our StGC 2000
Scholarship Winner Nicole Charley:
Our panel of distinguished Georgians Drs. Louis Lee, Herbert Ho Ping Kong and Keith Lowe made the choice.
But - Who is Nicole
Unfortunately our scholarship winner was not yet in Toronto and Nadia her sister accepted the award on her behalf at the family dinner.
Intent on getting a
photo for our newsletter, I
called the Charley home; they were out but the ‘We’re Jamming’ Bob Marley
song wafted out on their answering machine and a chirpy voice reminded all
of the proud Jamaican heritage.
And so in the quiet of her home I was finally able to capture for our readers the image of our proud scholarship winner. What an utterly charming young woman, what a remarkable history of achievements. I will share some of this with you.
Nicole is the daughter of Michael (Buski) and Beba Charley. She began her post-secondary studies in Art history at York University on a full entrance scholarship.
Before completion of
her Honours B.A she involved herself in student politics and became house
president at her residence. Majoring in French she participated in York’s
French culture club, Le Cercle Français, and was elected secretary of the
council. This busy student
was a member of the varsity swimming team and with all this activity made
the Dean’s list.
Nicole took a year off to
prepare for further studies in France, and more particularly Paris, a
recognized world centre for the study of art.
She was accepted at the
prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, where she undertook the
equivalent of a Masters degree in Mediaeval Art History, written entirely
in French and finished with a ‘Mention Très Bien’, the highest grade
possible. The Sorbonne’s international reputation has always placed it
among Europe’s most important universities. It was founded in 1253 and
some of its more famous professors including Albert Le Grand, St.
Bonaventure and St. Thomas Aquinas studied there. The well-known
historical figure Cardinal Richelieu was elected its president in
At the Sorbonne, Nicole found
time to teach English both in a private business and at the university;
translated papers into English for international conferences, and even
started a third language, German. She viewed her sojourn in Paris as a
period of great personal development.
But there’s more to come.
After the Sorbonne, Nicole began, in
September 2000, an intensive four-year program at the Institut de
Formation de Restaurateurs d’Oeuvres d’Art (IFROA) in Paris leading to a
diploma in Conservation-Restoration (equivalent of a Masters degree). This
will enable her to either set up her own private practice or, as she
hopes, obtain a position in her profession in a Canadian museum.
The diploma itself is offered
to a very limited number of students who, to gain acceptance into the
programme, must first pass a series of gruelling exams, each series of
which is eliminatory. Of 200 applicants only 13 achieved their objective
and our own Nicole was the first Canadian, indeed, the first non-European
to have succeeded – ‘WOW!’
Having won our scholarship,
Nicole wants to represent StGC Old Boys Association confidently and with
Fellows, she will!
It suddenly dawned on me one day as I contemplated the fact that my daughter would soon be graduating as a medical doctor, and reflected on the state of affairs in Jamaica, that the youth of our country are in crisis and that our schools are in crisis in more ways than one.
I soon came to the conclusion that this crisis had developed because the youth had been abandoned by adults and were not getting proper guidance. I also concluded that the existing 'shotta' culture of disrespect, indiscipline and violence which has resulted, would continue to kill our bright young minds if more of us did not attempt to interact more actively with our youngsters. I resolved to find a way to do so.
I decided to try and reach the youth through football. I would have their attention and thus a high probability of influencing their thinking. I could therefore, hopefully, convince at least some of them to change their behaviour. I see football as a microcosm of life and hopefully, I could impart some of the values and attitudes, some of the life skills many of us feel are critical to our youngsters leading a better life. I therefore set off on my first stint at the helm of a Manning Cup squad. I took charge of my Alma Mater's Manning Cup programme for 2001.
Fundraising for the programme went very well, with us being able to achieve all the goals we had set in this area. Thanks especially to Carl Chang (Twin Gates), Carl Chang (Western Sports), Peter Prendergast, Nigel Chen See, Herman Athias and Maurice Rhoden we were able to acquire all the equipment and gears we required. Richard Khouri saw to the feeding programme which provided two meals a day for the youngsters while the Hon. Francis Tulloch and Dr. D.K. Bennett took care of our camping needs. Marsden Chen and Laddie Kong spearheaded the acquisition of a video camera and other video equipment for the squad. Michael Archer headed up the welfare unit of the programme while Dr. Aggrey Irons was in charge of counseling. Thanks to all who contributed in cash or kind particularly Dr. Dave McGaw the team Physician, Glenroy Thame -Team Manager, and the coaching group - Christopher James, Glenroy Brown, Errol McGaw, Chad Cunningham, Andre Bell and Ainsworth Beckford (physical trainer).
The team started well by giving a very spirited performance in the Roper Cup, coming from behind to draw with a very experienced KC team 1-1, and so contributing to StGC winning that Cup for the first time in ten years.
We have not done as well in the Manning Competition, winning our first match 2-1, drawing with the team considered to be the strongest in the zone 2-2 (a game in which we had a number of opportunities to win) and then losing all but one of our matches so far by the odd goal.
The matches we lost could have gone either way. St. George's just lacked that little extra (luck? energy? will power? savvy?) to take us to the winner's circle. The team members have made tremendous improvement if we go back to when we started practice. They trained very hard. However, we have a very green and inexperienced group (only 3 members played Manning Cup before) and that inexperience came out in matches at crucial periods. They simply needed more time to have honed their skills and understanding of the game. Some of these youngsters will be around next year when I am sure they will give a much better account of themselves.
In terms of their behaviour, which is my primary reason for being around, that has improved tremendously, for the great majority. Although getting the youngsters to change their attitude and behaviour is a continuing process, great strides have been made in that area, in a relatively short time. We have had comments/affirmations from nearly all the parents/guardians about such things as the new sense of responsibility, better anger management and general improved discipline displayed by their charges. This suggests that we are on the right path and that the youngsters are at least questioning the distorted values, attitudes and behaviour they had embraced wholeheartedly in the recent past. There is still a lot to be done re the socialization of these students, but at least they have started the journey.
One of the things I insisted on since we had such a short time to make an impression on the socialization of the group, was that whoever wanted to be a part of this programme had to attend practice. We would not be tolerating the indiscipline of the so called 'ballers' missing practice or coming to the programme at a later date than the designated start. This of course upset a number of Old Boys and community people, since in the past these 'ballers' were able to do pretty much as they pleased. They had to be picked on the team.
The St. George's College fraternity needs to decide what the institution is about. Is it about educating young men using all the means at its disposal, including sports, so that when they leave the school they are well-rounded better persons, groomed to better cope with the challenges of life, or is it about cutting corners so that we have an apparently better chance of winning a competition? I contend that if we are consistent in our drive to educate and produce better persons, disciplined and with the proper attitude, we will also produce winning teams more often.
Coaching the Manning Cup team has been quite a challenge, not so much in terms of dealing with the youngsters, who have been quite receptive to what has been offered, but rather with respect to the milieu, the environment within which the programme has had to operate. I have found the environment hostile, unfriendly, unsupportive and not conducive to development, creativity or excellence. The squad had to operate in an intimidating atmosphere, as if StGC is now hostage to a garrison community and winning at football is the be all and end all. This garrison community is made up of people who live/operate within the vicinity of the school, some Old Boys and misguided parents. The school needs to insist and ensure that football goes back to being a sport in which students are encouraged to participate to further their education and to expose them to the life skills that will help them to lead more fulfilling lives.
Dr. Lascelve 'Muggy' Graham
Register your Email address on the site- this allows
you to direct Email to anyone on the list. Email us your ideas. Kudos here
to Buski Charley and his fantastic job with it. The site in addition to
covering our exciting events has access to all our newsletters and in
colour. Do you know that we have registered over 6000 sessions on our
website since May this year? There are significant numbers logging in
from all States in the USA, all across Canada as well from the U.K,
Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and Jamaica. News to us, but there are
Georgians checking in from Japan, China, France, Norway and Turkey- None
yet from Afghanistan. Buski is able to track what was looked at and even
the issues of the newsletters, which are big items of interest. A big hit
was the #27 December 1999 issue covering the visit to our former teachers
at the Jesuit Retirement centre in Weston, Massachusetts. Banners are
planned which will allow links to websites advertised by the banner. Just email us on the site for more
And so it came to pass that after being warned to stop speaking in class, three of us were sent to see Fr. Donahue, Dean of Discipline. I should have figured what was going to happen when the Dean asked WT and myself to wait outside his office while he kept the 3rd. culprit with him. We left, and he closed the door behind us. Three strokes were heard distinctively. Whap! Whap! Whap! The door opened, our classmate left rapidly, both hands securely clasped on his buttocks, running off towards class. WT and I looked at each other and said the "R" word simultaneously. Fr. D. then pointed at me and beckoned to come forward for my turn. I walked in. He closed the door, then said to place both my palms on top of his desk and lean forward. While holding a straight, 3ft-long and 3/4 inch thick piece of black rubber hose in his hand, he ran a piece of chalk up and down the shaft of the hose about 4 times. Then, Whap! The first stroke left a white mark against my khaki pants bottom. Whap! The second stroke was a direct hit on the chalk imprint, so was the third, which stung like hell. If I had one more whack, I would have had to scream. He opened the door gesturing for me to leave, and WT walked in for his. He got 5 of the best, cause it was he who got us into the mess in the first place. That was the only time I got a licking at StGC. Heck, my father never knew I got that licking, cause if he did, I'd get another one from him. Back then, we were taught to fear consequences, something that is drastically lacking in the upbringing of today's youth. In my view, those of us who hail from the old ways are far better off then the students of this current era. In many areas of North America, today's students are allowed to come dressed in whatever they feel is appropriate. They are allowed to wear hats in class, hair - in the style of the week, - noses, tongues, eyebrows, nipples, pierced and linked together with a chain, make up, boys too. In my view, - disgusting! These are the people who will rule the world in the future, a world, we as old folk, will have to live in.
A note of caution - Try and not be irreplaceable in your job, cause if you are, you will never be promoted. Many thanks to all you old boys, your families and friends who attended this year's Annual StGC Ball. The Fab 5 band delivered a wealth of great old Ja. dance music, and more people stayed and danced until the band stopped playing this year. It truly was an outstanding event, as always. Conversely, the Annual Joint Picnic with Immaculate and Alpha was a flop, as it rained buckets and washed out the entire event. A small bunch of Immaculate girls and their families are to be commended for showing up and attempting to make a day of it anyway, proving - when Immaculate commits to something, they commit, no matter what. You are unique ladies, just like the rest of us. And a quick tip - The fastest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
On behalf of the membership up here, I extend sincere congratulations to Muggy Graham and his group (see all those mentioned in his article) in their achievements this year with the Manning Team. Yes, we all had higher aspirations for them, but building a winning team sometimes takes longer than we think. There is, though, great satisfaction in learning that you have made better human beings out of the boys on the team, just from implementing good discipline, leadership, and a strong team spirit. Next year, the results will be twice as impressive. I'll guarantee it for you Muggy. You see, some days you are the bug, other days you are the windshield. There's more respect out there for you, m'boy, and you'll get it next year.
There is a more positive outlook on the September 11th US tragedy that many are not noticing. Bin Laden's wrath could have been far more devastating; if things had worked out the way he wanted them to. Terry Kong sent me this bit of, and it is worth contemplating on, for in truth, it does ease the pain a bit.
Consider this: Had the two jetliners hit the towers in the lower 25% of the buildings, they would have trapped many more people above, may have fallen much sooner, killing thousands more, both in the buildings, and on the ground below. In addition, the buildings would probably have toppled in a different manner, taking out more buildings and killing more people that way as well. Had the plane that hit the Pentagon come in just a few feet higher in altitude (perhaps as little as 25 feet), it would have hit elsewhere rather than the outer edge, and would probably have destroyed the A and B wings. Here, all the Joint Chiefs of Staff's offices and all high ranking military officials are said to be situated. The most powerful military in the world would be without effective leadership. Had the passengers in the fourth plane not tried to overcome the hijacking crew which ultimately lead to the plane's crash, the plane may have very well made its target.
The World Trade Center Buildings-The twin towers of the World Trade Center were places of employment for some 50,000 people. With the missing list of just over 5,000 people, that means 90% of the people targeted survived the attack. The Pentagon - Some 23,000 people were the target of the third plane. The latest count shows that only 123 lost their lives. That is an amazing 99.5% survival rate. And the area that was hit was under construction, with only a few people present at the time. The Planes-Flight 77 - This Boeing 757 that was flown into the outside of the Pentagon could have carried up to 289 people, yet only 64 were aboard.
Fortunately, 78% of the seats were empty. Flight 11- This Boeing 767 could have had up to 351 people aboard, but only carried 92. Thankfully 74% of the seats were unfilled. Flight 175 - Another Boeing 767 that could have sat 351 people only had 65 people on board. Again, by God's grace, it was 81% empty. Flight 93 - This Boeing 757 was one of the most uplifting stories yet. The smallest flight to be hijacked with only 45 people aboard out of a possible 289 had 84% of its capacity unused. Yet these people stood up to the attackers and thwarted a fourth attempted destruction of a national landmark, saving untold numbers of lives in the process. In summarizing, out of potentially 74,280 Americans directly targeted by these crazy people, 93% survived or avoided the attacks. We have MUCH to thank to God for. As for the terrorists, the attack was a statistical failure. And to bin Laden, I say- "You should never have tested the depth of water with both feet. May God have mercy on your soul!"
I close with this little bit. Timmy asked God one day "What's a thousand years like to you God?" God replied "Like a second, Timmy!". "What's a million dollars like to you God?" Timmy asked again. God replied, "Like a penny, Timmy!" God shouted back. "Can I borrow a penny then, God?" Timmy asked. "Sure, Timmy!" God replied. "Just hold on a second!"
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