St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 42...Mar., 2005
The idea behind St. George's Old Boys instigating a Florida vs. Toronto rivalry in football was to draw the two chapters closer. Notwithstanding this fact, something tells me that the boys from Toronto, who lost the inaugural game to their Florida counterparts, have pay-back on their minds.
The Floridian Georgians, who deserve much credit for the professional and skillful game they played under the red hot intensity of an afternoon Florida sun, now possess bragging rights (some in Toronto may argue that these rights will be revoked when the two teams go toe-to-toe again this year.
This much anticipated match-up for the Deltana Trophy donated by Philip Wong started at approximately 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 9, 2004. The obviously partisan spectators, the talent on the field and the overall organization of the game made this encounter one for the ages. But not to be outdone the Toronto Georgians had Howie and Anne Williams in the Miami crowd rooting for us. Brave souls! and "Boy they are everywhere".
Perhaps I should digress as a means of outlining the genesis of this idea. Indeed there would be no game had it not been for the support of the two organizations’ Board of Directors. On the Toronto side, the support of the executives on the Board was tremendous with the chapter's president, Robbie Vernon, playing a leading role in bringing this event to fruition.
It was great to see both chapters working collaboratively on this project (getting the Toronto team to Miami). Names such as Dennis Barnett, Dennis Chung, (the two Dennis Chungs) , Earl Hylton and Tony Holbrooke (just to name a few) will undoubtedly be mentioned when the topic of this inaugural game is discussed.
The Georgians from Toronto (10 players who would be joined by 2 who were already in Florida), accompanied by Robbie and Heather Vernon, landed at the Miami airport on Thursday, October 7 and was greeted shortly after by Dennis Barnett, president of the Miami George's chapter and Earl Hylton. This gesture showed how committed the two chapters are to the business of good relations.
A welcome dinner, later that night, was hosted by Dennis Chung, and from all indications, everyone (including many Florida-based Georgians who heard that we were in town and attended the social gathering) had a fantastic time.
2 p.m., Saturday October 9, 2004 came and the two teams took to the Miami field to do battle; a contest that drew long lost friends together after many years. Old friendships were seemingly put aside when the referee's whistle indicated the start of the game and the Torontonians came out swinging. After having the Floridians on the "ropes" for the first 15 minutes of the first half, the Torontonians felt unlucky in only having one goal to show for their dominance.
The Toronto-based Georgians would live to regret not capitalizing on their early chances as Florida's mid-fielders Dennis Barnett and Nick Ziadie seemingly rediscovered their football wizardry. Indeed the game took on a more balanced look as time went on. Florida equalized on some very good forward and mid-field work and the game was tied 1-1 going into the half-time break.
Miami's two goals in the second half made it look as if a victory was out of Toronto's reach but Ryan Lam's clinical goal via a cross from Chad Chin briefly silenced the crowd; a partisan gathering that did much to support the local boys. Toronto would keep pressing for the equalizer but was denied by a stalwart Miami defense and some acrobatic maneuvers by Florida's goal keeper Arthur Chin Fatt. The final score was Miami 3, Toronto 2.
At the end of the game, there was much fellowship between the Toronto and Miami team as well as amongst spectators and organizers. The occasion drew many Floridian Georgians out of the woodwork - great seeing guys like Victor Morris, Bill Raymond, Wilfred Lai, K.C's Payton Fuller and numerous others. For me there was real joy in linking up after so many years with my St.G.C. contemporaries Chipper Morgan, Richard Strachan, Basil Billings and Nick Ziadie.
Much was accomplished on this trip and perhaps my most comforting thought is that this friendly rivalry will continue to do much to strengthen the bond between both chapters.
Here for you, to hear from you
Member Relations Committee formed
The purpose of the Member Relations Committee is to increase dialogue between Old Boys and the Association Executive, and among Old Boys. Members of the committee are:
Charles Young, Membership Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael (Buski) Charley, Communications Director, email@example.com
Patrick Haddad, Regional VP Central, firstname.lastname@example.org, (North York, Markham, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, King City, Aurora, Stouffville, Newmarket, and towns in these areas)
Tyrone Hollbrooke, Regional VP East, email@example.com, (former City of Toronto, East York, Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa, and towns in these areas)
John Flynn, Regional VP West, firstname.lastname@example.org, (Etobicoke, Mississauga, Oakville, Woodbridge, Bramalea, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, and towns in these areas)
Whom to call?
If you've been wanting to tell us something (or tell us off), call or email your Regional VP. Check above for the area you live in. Their emails are listed and their phone numbers are at the front of the newsletter.
About the AGM coming up on April 3, the Summer Ball, the Annual Picnic, the scholarship, the whatever. About an idea you have, an observation, a wish, even a complaint. We serve many interests and we're all different, so there's no guarantee that what you say is what we'll do. But, if you don't say nuttin', there is nothing to be said.
We'll be in touch
You will be getting the periodic email from your Regional VP as well. To make sure you do, please update your contact info. See the Dear Members insert with this newsletter, or go to our fabulous new website at www.stgctoronto.com. There you can click on "Address Updates" to update all your contact info via email.
Charles Young, Membership Director
It is difficult to find words to express how honoured I feel to be the principal of our Alma Mater. It is exciting, invigorating and extremely rewarding. It is an opportunity to give back in the truest sense.
I have also come to realize how deep the loyalty is for our school. The camaraderie that I experience with other Old Boys on a daily basis forms a huge part of the success of this job. I have rekindled the flames of old friendships and discovered so many new ones. The generosity that you show to the college is unparalleled.
St. George's College is going through a major transitional period, not only because of the appointment of a new principal and chairman but also because of the changes in the functions of these roles. The presidency has been phased out with the principal assuming the job of CEO of the college. St. George's has, until recently, been a school in crisis. I am confident that this is a turning point in its history. It is a challenge to move a school forward and I know it can be done.
Goodwill is what will turn St. George's College around. It sounds simplistic but it is the human element which always makes the difference: the relationships that we can build with all stakeholders: parents, students, teachers, ancillary, clerical, community. Leadership is all about inspiring people to follow a clear vision and set of values, giving them the resources to make these dreams come true, and acting always with a sense of integrity, openness and justice so that we may build trust within the organization. Goodwill is infectious. The students feel it, the staff feel it, and sooner or later, all start working with a renewed sense of zeal and purpose.
The College is steeped in tradition and, as you know, we have graduated men who have become prominent members of our society. We can hang on to this tradition and pass these values on to future generations of boys but we can not go back or recreate the past. We can take from it what was good and apply it to the present. Our current day social realities in Jamaica pose unique challenges. We need to understand much more the environment of the home and the conditions under which some boys live before we will be able to make headway.
The raw material is all here. We have al the makings of what it takes to make a great school. I tell the boys on every occasion I get: 'You are among the privileged of Jamaica. There are thousands of boys in Jamaica who would love to be wearing the George's crest.'
What do we have?
250 boys each year who enter St. George's College, half from preparatory schools, with above average scores (85%+) in GSAT.
A very qualified staff, many of whom are graduate trained, some with Master's degrees in their subject areas.
An Old Boys' network, locally and abroad, with fierce loyalty and extreme generosity, anxious to help in any number of ways: professional advice, resources, money, volunteering of time and expertise. We are in every walk of life and many in very prestigious positions.
A state-of-the-art campus. I don't know of any school compound in Jamaica to compare: Auditorium, Sports pavilion, The O'Hare heritage building, Library, Industrial Arts, newly renovated basketball and tennis courts.
The potential for creating a substantial endowment fund, with very influential persons liaising with the Board and with the Old Boys' associations here, in Florida and Ontario.
An excellent relationship with the immediate community, the support of the Kingston Central schools, the Member of Parliament, and with the broader corporate network in Jamaica.
A Home School Association for whom I have the deepest respect and appreciation. They help out in homerooms, they help out in study groups, they raise money for the school, they help out as managers of our sports teams, they support our welfare program, they help with scholarships. You name it.
So all the makings are here for reestablishing the glory of St. George' College. There can be no excuses and we should accept none.
We have already made some progress in six months. The payoff in terms of CXC results will take some time but the foundations are being built.
What have we accomplished in six months?
• Establishment of a Safe Schools Program with a local Resource Officer
• Co-curricular program with over 30 clubs including music, performing arts, school challenge, chess
• Revitalizing the house system with the appointment of 5 new House Moderators
• Managerial training for Heads of Department and Form Supervisors
• Expansion of student retreats to include 4th formers and leadership training for student leaders
• Revitalization of Student Council with 39 members representing all homerooms and a Council President to sit on the Board of Management.
• A successful Manning Cup Football team which made it to the semi-finals under the expert coaching of Neville Bell. They won the award for The Most Disciplined Team and a trophy for winning their zone.
• We took the Roper Cup away from KC in August.
• Our polo swim team won the school championships and were chosen to represent Jamaica at the Youth Pan American games in Mexico in January. We have also funded them to go to Fort Lauderdale, February 18
• Six of our basketball players were chosen by the National Basketball Association of Jamaica to represent the country in Toronto, Ontario. These boys were hosted with the utmost hospitality by our Old Boys in Toronto in the weeks prior to Christmas.
• Remedial programs have been established for CXC students to address the problem of underachievement. Teachers are volunteering their time after school and on Saturdays.
• We've signed on to two Ministry initiatives: an e-learning and a technical rationalization project which will bring improved computer technology to our school and added opportunities for students to study Industrial Arts.
• New disciplinary procedures have been put in place under the direction of Michael Davidson. We have had no reports of criminal behaviour for the first six months of school and our student suspension rates have dropped dramatically.
• Awards have been granted for Teacher of the Term and Students of the Term.
• The Blue and White school newspaper has been restarted. The Lance is also in the planning.
• To deal with security problems, all buildings have been re-keyed and alarm systems installed in the library and Hannas buildings.
• NCB has sponsored a Mathematics initiative to revamp curriculum, Forms 1-5 and to train teachers
• Teacher supervision schedules have been implemented for lunch and after school
What needs to be done?
In order to address the problems we are encountering, we have begun to set out priorities:
Augmenting the Endowment Fund. We are in need of an additional
I want to close by thanking all those who are supporting our efforts to re-build the school. We are about the business of re-culturing: re-establishing a set of norms and behaviours which all stakeholders buy into, where everyone, from the street cleaner up, begins to be accountable, to exceed all expectations and to work for excellence and for the greater glory of God.
Editor's note: Fred Kennedy attended St. George's from 1961-1968 and completed his first degree at the University of the West Indies in 1973. He later taught at York Castle High School and Trench Town Comprehensive. In 1984 he obtained his Masters in Education and the following year was awarded the Doctor of Education from the University of Toronto. He has taught at several high schools in Toronto and served as Vice Principal at two.
A die-hard Georgian, Fred is a long time member of our Ontario Chapter.
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