St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 41...Oct., 2004
In recognizing the need to strengthen linkages between Jamaicans living in Jamaica and those living abroad, the Jamaican Government has been trying for years to encourage a systematic approach to developing a strong relationship with overseas Jamaican communities.
Last year, it finally joined forces with members of the island business community and together, they created the first ever Jamaican Diaspora Conference held in Kingston on June 16 and 17, 2004. The conference was chaired by Douglas Orane, Chair and CEO of Grace Kennedy & Company.
It was my honour and privilege not only to have been a member of the 50 person Canadian delegation that attended this very historic event, but to have represented our Association's Ontario chapter at the table, and be the "co-organizer" (along with JC old boy Willoughby Edwards) of the Canadian team's strategy at the conference. The United States and the United Kingdom also sent delegates as well, and overall we numbered some 250 delegates in attendance.
We felt like royalty, as each morning at 8:00 a.m., we were boarded onto private buses at the Pegasus Hotel enroute to the city's waterfront convention centre. We were literally whisked through Kingston's hogtied peak hour traffic by police escort, sirens a blaring. The same was repeated at 5:00 p.m. each afternoon as police outriders, with our buses in tow, streaked through the city, returning us to our hotels before we had a chance to even comment on the day's proceedings amongst ourselves. And even if we wanted to chat, we were unable to do so, for we were pleasantly distracted by the show the motorcycle police put on for us. While riding in front of the bus at between 35 and 40 mph, these daring gentlemen, stood up straight in their motorcycle foot rests, released their hold of the bikes' handlebars, and with arms flailing to the right or left, directed traffic to move out of our way with the precision of an orchestra conductor. Only in Jamaica, man, only in Jamaica!!
During the two-day conference, we heard Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, government ministers, top civil servants, business and intellectual leaders tell us why Jamaica needs the Diaspora now.
We were told the Diaspora's voice was needed to help with a number of overseas issues affecting the country. For instance, curbing the stream of criminals from countries like Canada, the United States and Britain, criminals who have lived in these countries for most of their lives, but are currently labeled unwanted and are being tossed back to Jamaica in droves.
We were told Jamaica needs us to invest in our native land's businesses, to push non-Jamaican and Jamaican companies in our adopted lands to invest in Jamaica, that we were needed to push the governments of our adopted countries to invest in Jamaica;
That we were needed to buy into publicly-traded Jamaican companies, to lend our financial power to public and private projects, and that our beloved island needed us to holiday there with our families as often as possible.
In return, we were told we would have a voice in our country's affairs, and the Prime Minister promised that we would be heard and listened to and as a Diaspora be able to effect real change.
The organized Diaspora would not only be able to help Jamaicans in Jamaica, but help Jamaicans all over the world.
To prove Jamaica's sincerity in all of this, several resolutions were agreed to during the conference, some of which were:
• The establishment of a Jamaican Diaspora Foundation to strengthen the links and support systems between Jamaicans residing overseas and those living on the island
• The proposal to establish and issue a Jamaica Bond Issue, a Government secured financial instrument which would provide financial returns to be made available to Jamaicans residing overseas who wish to invest in Jamaica
• The establishment of a Diaspora Day
• Proposals for improvement in the management of and delivery of passport services
• The next conference would be set to take place on the island in 2006
Canada was asked to select two members of its team to be part of an International Diaspora Board of Directors. The UK was also asked to select two of its members, and because of the great numbers of Jamaicans scattered throughout the USA, they were allowed three members. This seven person Board would meet twice per year to discuss what strategies to implement in assisting Jamaicans worldwide.
The Canadian representatives selected are, Toronto Star journalist Philip Mascoll, and Lawyer Sharon Folkes-Abrahams. Together with a Toronto-based steering committee, these representatives are busy setting up the Canadian Diaspora Group as a legal entity, creating its website, and forming a Canadian Board of Directors to oversee future Canadian Diaspora activities. I am pleased to say that I represent our Ontario Old Boy's Association as a member of this steering committee.
An official launch of the organization is being arranged before year-end. We will keep you apprised on the group's activities as they develop.
$1000 SCHOLARSHIP GRANT - Deadline March 1st Annually
Applications are sought from all children of dues-paying old boys in Canada, who will be or are currently attending college/university. Past unsuccessful applicants are encouraged to reapply.
All you need is to submit a profile of yourself including details on the choice of studies, why you choose the field and where you are or hope to be attending.
In addition the successful candidate will also have expressed his or her own reason behind why he/she should be a recipient of this grant.
The award is not necessarily granted to the person with the highest grades. Community involvement and potential contribution to society are also factors.
Before she knew it, four of her brats escaped through a back door that she accidentally left open. Mother Nature's eldest son Charley was the first to leave the gate, followed by Frances. It wasn't the first time these two got out, for Charley escaped as "Charlie" in '52, whacking Jamaica with a vengeance, while Frances, a mere toddler at the time, ran away as a tropical storm in 1998, severely flooding parts of the Caribbean. Together, this time they enticed their big bully brother Ivan to come along to help them blow down anything in their way. As the three scurried off, their little sister Jeanne dashed out after them at 110 mph. In the 6 weeks it took Mother Nature to locate them and drag them home, these four destructive little fiends killed over 2,500 people in Florida and the Caribbean, left more than 1 million people homeless, hundreds of thousands jobless, 1 billion dollars in property damage, and caused Florida's Unemployment and Welfare benefit applications to shoot up to record highs during the months of August and September. Our continued prayers are badly needed for all those who remain affected. Thank God for time, because time is what keeps things from happening all at once.
Back in December 2003, our very own Toronto old boy Ray Chang, a member of Ryerson University's Board of Governors, gave the university a personal $5 million donation. The money is slated for erecting the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education building. I, along with several other Georgians, had the privilege of watching the official ground breaking ceremony for the building, where several of Toronto's city fathers and mothers publicly bestowed their thanks to Ray for his generosity. God bless you, Ray, we are all proud of you!! Compared to the cost of ignorance today, education isn't really all that expensive after all now, is it?
Did you read my article on The Toronto Diaspora organization a couple of pages back? Well, I forgot to mention that two of the organization's officers, Philip Mascoll the Diaspora President, and Willoughby Edwards, the Secretary Treasurer, are JC old boys. "So what?" - you say. Well, I had to mention this, because it proves that Georgians are not the only ones who run everything in this world today. Besides, when George’s boys aren't at the helm of things, then who else better to take charge of things, -- nuh JC old boys, right? Please join me in wishing Philip and Willoughby all the best in this very important venture. In my view, I think it's time that all Georgians rise up, speak out, and be heard. Come on guys, Boycott SHAMpoo!! Demand REALpoo!!
Heartiest congratulations to Alexander Vernon (Robbie & Heather's elder) who recently got married to the lovely Carole Staudacher of Holcombe Wisconsin. Carole is enrolled in the elementary education programme at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, while Alex is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a degree in Political Science, and is now a senior at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You will recall he is a previous winner of our chapter's annual scholarship. Their marriage took place on August 7 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Cornell, Wisconsin. May they follow in their parents' footsteps and have a wonderful life together. You two guys have now joined the "love you forever club." Let there be no mistake, Love is not easy. Love is a battle. Love is war. Love is growing up. So give in to each other more often, say "I love you" frequently, and grow old together. My wife told me the other day she doesn't have hot flashes, that she really has power surges.
Oh yes, and kudos to Milton Hart our Sports Director and his Toronto StGC soccer team. They beat up on the competition in a Toronto east end soccer league for the second time in two seasons. Gees! What a team. And they are so confident, that they leave for Florida in October to challenge a similar StGC team in Florida. Good luck to our blue and white stallions. "More hay, Trigger?? No thanks, I'm stuffed Roy!!"
Back to the hurricane damages. Jamaica has asked that those of us wanting to help others who were battered by the wrath of the storms, that we not send barrels of old clothes like we have done in the past. But rather, we should send items like tarpaulins, 4-6 man tents, tools, generators, lanterns, baby blankets etc, materials that will make a real difference. Your Toronto relief packages may be dropped off at the Jamaican Consulate Offices, 303 Eglinton Ave., Toronto, phone 416-598-3008, or the Jamaican Canadian Association, 995 Arrow Road in Etobicoke, phone 416-746-5772. Hey! I saw a great bumper sticker the other day, it read "Jack Kevorkian for White House Physician."
Fr. Ted Dziak has been at StGC for almost six years. He announced his decision in May to take up another Jesuit post elsewhere. Over the years, Fr. Ted spent countless hours in creating and implementing changes to a school he truly cared about. He will be missed. God bless him. Drop him an email message now and again. I am sure he would love to hear from you. email@example.com We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.
Now the best person to have been assigned as headmaster of StGC is Fred Kennedy, a former old boy. In July 2004, Fred packed up his bags, his family and himself, and headed to 2 North Street as the new man in charge. Having had several years experience as Vice Principal of a couple of challenging schools in Toronto, Fred brings a wealth of knowledge to the StGC campus where every tree needs more than a good shake right now. Little did Fred know however, that not only would he be stepping into a place where "major change required" is now the operative phrase, but also the place where the phrase "major clean up" would be a necessity as soon as he arrived. Ivan the terrible caused 15 truckloads of debris to be removed from the campus, and thousands of dollars damage caused by leaky roofs. Within 3 days of the hurricane, our chapter sent Fred some monetary relief, and so did a number of other old boy sources. But the money he received isn't enough, as he desperately needs more. Please continue to send him whatever you can. A prayer from all of us to guide him in his work would be a good thing now, wouldn't it?
Due to inherit a fortune when his sickly, widower father died, Charles decided he needed a woman to enjoy it with. Going to a singles bar, he spotted a woman whose beauty took his breath away. "I'm just an ordinary man," he said, walking up to her, "but in just a week or two, my father will die and I'll inherit 20 million dollars." The woman went home with Charles, and in four days she became his stepmother.
Men will never learn, will they?? A Gaaannneeee!!!!
Letters to the Editor
Thanks for mailing the Canadian newsletter to me for the past two (2) years.
The articles are very interesting and the photos of school mates 1950 to 1954 are quite warming to the soul - photos with guys like Louis Lee, Keith Lowe, Marsden & Jimmy Chen, Cookie, and many others too numerous to mention.
Greetings to my friend Chris Chin who faithfully served our Kingston executive and his lovely wife, Charmaine. Greetings also to "top dog" Robbie Vernon and all others and best wishes for the big dance coming up.
Find NCB Ja. Ltd. cheque for Can $25 attached for my membership fee. AMDG
Tony "Count" Franklyn, Treasurer, Kingston Chapter.
Editor: Tony thanks for compliments on the newsletter and your good wishes for the dance. A lot of effort goes into each edition - all to bring us together for the good of the school and, too, ourselves. As you will see from this issue the dance was a tremendous success. Thanks for the dues. This helps to defray the cost of the newsletter and ensure fundraising dollars can go to the school and our other causes (scholarships, etc.)
I am a contemporary of Donnie Wilson, Martin & Raymond Veira and a few others. Is there any news of Fr. Raftery or Fr Fuchs? I was a boarding school boy for 7 years! Anyway, is there some way of getting in touch? Please let me know at your convenience if you could?
John Muirhead was also a good friend.
Dr. Patrick Mazier
Editor: Dr. Mazier, thanks for your letter and it was interesting talking to you on the phone.
Any of the above or anyone knowing of their whereabouts please communicate with us via the newsletter, or email via our website: www.stgctoronto.com and I will pass on the information to Dr. Mazier.
The Toronto Chapter and Good and True respects the confidentiality of each member’s mailing address.
Please drop us a email if you read this Newsletter online.
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