St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 42...Mar., 2005
Our Fall Bash on November13th was another success. Held on a smaller scale than the big summer ball fundraiser, this turned out like a big house party for our Georgians.
The decorating committee did a splendid job in short time as we had late access to the hall and Pat Garel, Tyrone Holbrooke, Danny HoLung, John Flynn had a crack decorating team consisting mostly of spouses who provided the know-how to create a beautiful festive setting.
First guests to arrive were Keith & Margrit Garel, later joined by much of the Garel clan.
Special guest was our 2003 scholarship winner, Brian Mitchell, who along with 17 others signed up at the membership desk with Charles Young.
With lively music and prizes and surprises galore, the crowd was kept happy and entertained. Again a great job by our M.C. Neil Dalhouse ably assisted by Charles Young who made a humourous pitch for membership and membership dues.
Kudos to our Social Director Patrick Garel with strong support from our new directors Charles Young, Patrick Haddad, John Flynn and Tyrone Holbrooke. They were all busy handing out the over 20 special prizes given away for the evening.
As usual, the door was manned by Treasurer Ray Chang & Michael Buski Charley.
Great fun for all and some profits for the good of the school .
Six members of StGC basketball team went on a tour to Toronto, Canada with Jamaica's National basketball team in December 2004. What an experience it was! For many, it was their first time travelling and they were in for a treat. As they arrived at Pearson International Airport they were humbled by the difference in comparison to Norman Manley airport. Dis look sweet was the expression on their faces!
As they departed from the airport, after a brief stint outside, one player commented, “Canada nuh cold like dem say.” Little did he know he would be in for a bitter surprise!
The next day was a cold -15 degree with the wind chill factor a bitter -30 degree. From the inside it looked sunny and seemed like a nice day for a walk. The boys rounded up their jackets and decided to do just that. They were back within five minutes, shivering and complaining, "it cold bredda, mi ears pon fira, mi toe gone." Yes, welcome to Canada!
Their first game was at Martin Grove Collegiate. As they entered the gym they observed the beautiful indoor court, glass backboard, hardwood floor- the whole nine yards. One player noted, “yu can dive fi a ball pon dis and nuh get bruise like stadium.” It was a very competitive game for both teams, however they lost a close but hard fought game. After the game they were greeted by the president of the StGC Old Boys Association (Toronto Chapter) Robbie Vernon who came out to support the team. He invited Coach Brown and some of his players to his home after the first game and issued an invitation for the entire group to meet with all the executives and StGC old boys at a special dinner to be held at Ray Chang's home.
Word had spread and the old boys were out in support at the games and assisting in transportation as well.
Upon arrival Ray greeted the players at the front door. As they ventured into the basement to meet with the alumni, the boys proceeded with caution, as they were startled to see a room dominated by a bunch of Chinese dudes. Some old enough to be their…. (You get the picture) "Are we in the right house? Where are the Yardies? I thought this was the alumni dinner?" Then they saw Robbie who gave them a warm welcome and presented each player with a personalized name badge. "Di bwoy dem taal eeh," uttered some of the vertically challenged old boys. Then the conversation and mingling started as the boys introduced themselves. To the young Georgians’ astonishment, they realized that they were among some true die-hard, Georgians who revealed a lot more about StGC history and Jamaica than the boys could ever imagine. There was some positive dialogue and insights shared with the boys and you could see the gratitude on the face of the young Georgians as they realized the foundation that was laid for them and still being worked on by some dedicated, committed old boys. What a sweet night!
The next day Toronto was pounded with snow. For some it was a joy to see snow, to others it was too cold to enjoy it. The games continued throughout the week against other high schools and club teams. As the team adjusted to their surroundings, they enjoyed some success winning 50% of their games.
Then came Michael Kennedy (President of Overseas Basketball for Jamaica). To most of the boys, Christmas came early as Michael offered to take the team to a Toronto Raptors Basketball game at the Air Canada Centre. What an experience for the boys! They were delighted, excited, and appreciative of Michael's gesture. At the end of the day the boys had an overwhelming experience that they could share with their schoolmates, family and friends on their return home.
They had the bitter experience of winter in Toronto and the sweet experience of all that Toronto has to offer from a basketball player’s perspective. The hope is that they realize that the highest reward for the hard work they put in is not just to get a trip to Toronto but what they can learn from this experience. A lot of hard work and sacrifice was put forth by several kind hearted folks to ensure that their experience was a memorable one.
"Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it"
Editor's note: Richard Saunders is one of the newest members of our Chapter and represents part of the growing arm of youthful old boys, who we hope will carry on the StGC legacy in Ontario.
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