|Newsletter||St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter|
St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 35...Dec., 2002
Ask anyone what is the major social event over the Caribana weekend and they will say, "The George’s Dance!" And this year on Friday, Aug. 3rd there was no exception as enveloped in the music of the Fab 5 over 870 elegantly dressed and party mood guests rocked and swayed at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto, till the wee hours of the morning.
We keep hearing every year "This was the best ever" and wonder what we can do to top it. This year we added the special guest appearance of Pluto Shervington and was it ever a success! The music was great, the catered meal plentiful and the service excellent!
This is the event to meet the social elite of Toronto, and seeing enjoying themselves in the crowds was the Jamaican high commissioner to Canada Mr. Raymond Wolfe and his wife Sharon, an Immaculate ‘old girl’. He again graciously agreed to hand out prizes. Also dancing up a storm was the Jamaica Trade Commissioner Cherita Girvan Campbell.
Taking a long trek to be with us were Laddie & Marie Kong from Miami, Howie & Anne Williams from Connecticut, Greg & Josie Chin from California, Terry & Ada Kong from Vancouver, Dennis & Marjorie Ho Sang from New York, and Dr. Derek & Lisbeth Haddad, Shaun & Laurie Wilson from Waterloo.
The drive and work put in by the executive to make this a success was tremendous and extra kudos to the core committee of Ray Chang, Neil Dalhouse and Buski Charley who came through as they always do, with honours.
Our thanks to our Platinum Sponsors: Air Jamaica, CI Funds, Sandals, SuperClubs, Uniglobe/Bon Voyage Travel and our Gold Sponsors: Grace Kennedy (Ontario), George’s Tasty Patties, Jamaica Tourist Board, Montego Import & Export Ltd, Nicey's Food Mart, Ray & Nolia Jackson
The pictorial gallery captures some of the revelers and the mood of the evening.
September began with a lot of energy - the start of a new academic year, and the arrival on campus of a new and energetic group of students (and accompanying parents.) A large number of the incoming First Form students participated in either the Summer School (in July) taking classes that will give them an academic head-start, or Camp St. George (in August), the Ministry outreach programmed that allows St. George's College to open its gates and classrooms to primary school children of the neighborhood.
This is the third year of the Camp, and we had over 200 students participate this year in the two-week summer Camp, a slightly lower number due to the threat of pre-election violence.
In September and October, elections dominated all aspects of life in Jamaica, and the schools were also affected greatly. In the garrison communities that lie so near the school, regular incidents broke out forcing the school to close its gates early and send students home or reroute and warn students to avoid possible troublesome areas of the city. The threat of election violence had a toll on the students, their families and faculty. It culminated the week before election in a series of incidents of violence and roadblocks in the local communities surrounding the school, which led to the school closing most of election week.
One particular gruesome incident occurred on the Friday before elections when three dead bodies were found in the gully outside the back gate near Emit Park, and meetings were held with students, parents and staff to calm their fears and allow them to vent their anger and frustration. Plans were announced that provided for alternative exit routes in case of violence on North Street and arrangements were made with the Bus Company to shuttle students to Cross Roads and Half-Way Tree. In the end, the alterative arrangements were never used, as Election Day came and went with little violence in the country. Teachers and staff were among the local community leaders that assisted in monitoring the elections.
Because of the fear-driven atmosphere leading up to the elections in October, the academic curriculum was interrupted and the toll has been great on the students and their families. The school missed the usual smooth flow of classes in the first semester and we are hoping that all will soon return too normal.
Hurricane Season brought a few strong storms close to Jamaica, and the school was hit hard by tropical storms Lily and Is adore, which brought heavy rain and strong winds to Kingston. Both storms strengthened and eventually hit our northern neighbors even harder. The school was littered with fallen branches and one large tree. When water damage caused the ceilings of several classrooms to fall, several Second Form classes had to be moved into the auditorium until they were fixed.
Sports are always a great diversion and this year the football teams dominated the news. A new Manning Cup Coach Andre Bell brought a good team of coaches and managers and supporters together to rally the school behind the young, yet talented team. It was a team that was driven hard by the Coach and Assistant Coach Albert McDonald, who brought out the best in the players. Despite winning four and only losing one game, the team was stopped by Group Leader and rival Kingston College from going to the elite 12 team second round. The offense was led by Fifth Former Mitchily Waul who was among the whole Manning league goal scorers. The younger Colts football team and very young Pepsi team also fared well, with both teams succeeding again this year with strong winning records. Expectation is high for the Track and Field team and the Basketball teams as their seasons soon begin.
StGC is being recognized as one of the Information Technology schools in Jamaica, and the new Fr. Thomas Brodley Computer Laboratory opened in early October, with 40 new IBM computers added to the growing IT resources for students and faculty. The laboratory was built with strong support from Old Boys, Parents and Friends, with no Ministry money used. Special thanks must go to the Old Boys Association / Jamaica and OBA/Canada, the Home School Association, and Food for the Poor. A fast ADSL internet and a new network connection now link every building on campus, and provides internet access for students and faculty/staff alike. The school website (www.stgc.org) has expanded and now has staff regularly updating the site, keeping StGC friends up to date with the latest football scores. The "Current News" page and the Football pages are getting the most hits by visitors. Teachers have now begun posting their homework and class outlines on the pages, further expanding its use by students. The website was recently named one of the "Top Five" web sites in Jamaica.
The scholarships offered by participating Jesuit Universities in the U.S. have created renewed interest in studying abroad and more Sixth formers have been encouraged to begin the process. A new seminar on "Applying for University Study" is being offered after school along with S.A.T. classes held this summer and during the year. The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. recently announced the naming of a scholarship in honour of Archbishop S. Carter, S.J., to be given annually to a graduate of St.G.C. Two recent StG.C. graduates just started their new scholarships given by Georgetown and Le Moyne Colleges, raising the total of Jesuit Scholars studying in the U.S. to eight. All are committed to return to StGC to teach for two years after receiving their first degree.
The school announced its inductees into the 2002 Hall of Fame, naming President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ian Forte, noted teacher and Jesuit priest Fr. Bill Hannas S.J., Grace Kennedy builder Fred Luis Kennedy, and Sportsman /Manning Cup Coach Arthur MacKenzie. The Hall of Fame Banquet was originally planned for October, but due to various factors, was moved to a new date - Friday, January 31, 2003 at the Hilton Hotel. Headlining the event and providing entertainment will be BYRON LEE and the Dragonaires. All Old Boys and friends are cordially invited!
The StGC School of Continuing Education (the Extension School) has reopened its doors after a two-year hiatus. In response to a strong groundswell of interest, the school has decided to reopen for CXC and A' level classes. In addition, a new focus on Information Technology will be developed with new classes and teachers brought in from outside. While starting small, it is hoped that the first School of Continuing Education in Jamaica will grow again in size and stature to meet the needs of the local community.
Selected as the new Director of Programmes is teacher Mrs. Barbara Leveridge.
That's all from the blue and white school of the Caribbean. Come visit and say hello and continue to support those young hearts and minds that are carrying on the great traditions that were built on the shoulders of so many men.
Fr. Ted Dziak,
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