St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 43...June, 2005
Each year at our annual Family Dinner, the St.G.C Old Boy's (Ontario) Chapter scholarship is given to a son or daughter of an old boy here in Ontario.
The winner is selected from a panel of old boys who are not part of the executive.
Our distinguished Georgian paanel for 2005 was comprised of: Dr. Louis Lee, Dr. Huntley Munroe and Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong.
The scholarship is not necessarily granted to the person with the highest grades. Community involvement and potential contribution to society are also factors.
Many of our past award winners have gone on to be successes in the community.
This year's winner will I am sure join the group of contributors to the Canadian Diaspora.
There was a big round of applause for Patrick Garel Jnr. as the award was announced and what a fitting candidate.
Markville Secondary School's Graduating class of 2002.
Patrick is a leader by example. He served for many years on the Markville Secondary School Student Activity council and was President during this time as well as chair of several committees, including founder and chair of the Black History Month Committee.
This absorbed his passions as he felt that the history of Canadian's of African descent was not included in Canadian history courses and he believed it was necessary to form a committee to inform the student body of the contributions of African- Canadians and celebrate their achievements.
Patrick attends Waterloo University and is on the Co-op programme in Environmental- Civil Engineering.
As he says in his application " there is a lot of discussion about environmental issues, but very little action taken to resolve these issues. I would like to take an active role in resolving environmental issues. I aspire to start an environmental engineering consulting company. At the end of my career I want to be able to feel that I made a difference, through not only my words but also my actions."
Patrick we are sure you will.
The year is coming to a quick close with exams beginning on June 21st. The fifth and sixth formers are completing their external examinations in CXC and CAPE and the fifth formers will be graduating on Sunday, July 3 at a ceremony to be held at the auditorium at St. George's College. The guest speaker will be the Most Rev. Lawrence Burke S.J. Archbishop of Kingston.
Improvements continue to be made to upgrade the campus with the restoration of Winchester Park to be completed by the middle of August in time for the new Manning Cup season to begin early September. (The Manning Cup team under the coaching of Neville Bell and the U16 have already started training.) A beautification project has also started with the purchase and planting of flowers and tidying of the grounds. A major objective for the summer and for next academic year is to raise funds for the full restoration of the O'Hare building which is in dire need of repair.
Other projects underway include the construction of a parking lot at the front of the school to enable parents to pick up students outside of the campus grounds and also construction of water supply to the sanitary facilities from the well to conserve on the excessive rates of water consumption.
The staff and some parents recently received a seminar in Special Education instruction conducted by Mary Cameron Ph.D, Professor of Special Education, Findlay University, Ohio. This is in preparation for the establishment of a Special Education Resource program to begin in September. This is a JA $ 1.2 million project for the first year and funds have been requested of all chapters of the Old Boys' Association and the Home School Association.
The school is signing on to establish a wireless intranet for the campus for September. In addition to access to the WWW, teachers, students and parents will also be able to log on to a local St.G.C. site, which will give information on school work, curriculum, and individual profiles of students' marks and performance. It is hoped that next year we will be producing electronic timetables for students and teachers and report cards using a new school management software.
A five year plan is in its final stages of development and will be brought to the Board of Management on June 29 for ratification. It is a "Balanced Score Card" which outlines base line date, one and five year targets and initiatives to adopt to achieve these objectives. A consulting firm, Growth Facilitators, involved large numbers of stakeholders in the process of strategic planning.
We look forward to major initiatives for next school year with an emphasis on creating the necessary discipline to ensure optimal conditions for learning in every classroom. We will continue to depend on your generosity, loyalties and good will to help us re-create a culture of excellence for our alma mater.
Fred Kennedy, Principal
The AGM kicked off with the usual welcome to all of the members who showed up in spite of inclement weather. Patrick Chang who is deacon of St. Aidan, the venue for the meeting, led us in prayers. This was not an election year but the mood was upbeat reflective of the very spirited address by President Robbie Vernon. The year was filled with positives. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary at Mass and family Dinner led by no other than our very own Georgian, the Most Reverend Archbishop Larry Burke who had just been appointed Archbishop of Kingston. Robbie spoke of the rapid response to our School's call for help immediately following Hurricane Ivan's disaster. The handshake with our "Brother Association" down South was reason for reflection where unity is strength. The President proudly spoke of the great esteem this Association enjoys within our Community. He was happy to welcome Richard Saunders as a Director at Large. Richard has already shown loyalty and dedication to our Association and he is a "Youth" to Robbie, Buskie, Neil, Fergy, et al. The future looks good.
Ray Chang, our perpetual Treasurer assured us that our Chapter is Financially sound. Our annual contribution to the school of C$10,000 went towards a school bus, which is used for sports teams and outreach programs. He used the AGM to introduce the Endowment Fund DRIVE that he is steering to achieve financial independence for the school. We are asked to pledge as much as possible to achieve this very ideal objective.
Neil Dalhouse, our Liaison Director spoke of the rediscovering of our Spiritual practices at StGC, practices that were lost to a great extent. On the Sports scene, the Annual Sports Day was now incorporating table tennis, badminton, chess, lawn tennis and basketball. Bellarmine won, followed by Regis, Xavier, Loyola and Campion.
Charles Young, our Membership Director has been unrelenting in his determination to recruit new members. In response to paid up members, he reported that a record 322 members actually stepped up to the plate to help ensure our financial well-being. Beware the Ides of Charles if you have not already paid. He asks that you contact him if you know of anyone wishing to join.
Milton Hart, the fittest of our Executive is our Sports Director who leads a victorious soccer team under the Georgian banner. Predictably, he reported that we won the St. Mike's League and the inter-League Championship in 2004. He described the wonderful times spent in Fort Lauderdale in competition with the soccer team under the youthful Dennis Barnett. Milton insists that losing by a squeaker in 2004 was necessary to show appreciation for his hosts…the first time but no more nice guy in 2005. Dennis et al, BEWARE!!!
Refreshments of Patties and "A drinks" were served to everyone's delight and I am sure Deacon Chang would agree.
THERE ARE millions of men and women who have received the benefit of a Jesuit education over the years, whether on the secondary, tertiary, or graduate level. I am one of them. I can honestly say it has changed my life at its very foundation.
Like most Jamaican kids, I just liked to play. As a poor country kid from Richmond, St. Mary we had no electricity, we just had one pipe, one bedroom for my parents Willie and Janet Ho Lung, my sister Loretta and myself. At night time, we played with the neighbourhood kids - hide and go seek, chevy chase, dodgings, and hop scotch. We climbed our tamarind tree and hairy mango tree. On Saturdays, we'd go down the river and catch janga.
Loretta and I attended a little primary school. We walked barefooted and sometimes hitched a ride. My parents could hardly afford food for lunch, whether for themselves or us kids. But they warmed us with love and tried to do their best in our little shop, which sold a penny worth of sugar, mint balls, paradise plums, a half-pint of kerosene oil, salt fish, a half-pound of cornmeal or flour.
My dad, Willy, brought the family to Kingston. He was determined to have us well educated. Two more children came along, Michael and Theresa. In the beginning we lived in Rockfort, then on Old Hope Road. Again he developed a little grocery store at 42 Old Hope Road.
We walked to school at Alvernia. The school fees were cheap and Sister Elizabeth and Sister Regina were very kind nuns. They knew how to keep us happy at school. Sister Elizabeth played the piano and she often sang with us. She taught us games, and introduced us to devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She forced us to speak English like the rest of the kids and was serious about Math.
We assimilated a lot from the rest of the kids who were so much brighter than us. Always, I felt her love, care and protection. Thus we were introduced to Christ - the compassionate - who loved the poor and performed miracles in healing people. After a few years we were baptised, confirmed and received Communion in ceremonies that were deeply touching and precious, with candles, flowers, special white clothes and well-organised breakfasts and parties.
After prep school, I went on to take my entrance exam for St. George's. I did it on my own initiative and didn't tell Sister Elizabeth. I failed by a number of points both English and Math. Sister Elizabeth nevertheless recommended to Father Charles MacMullan that I be allowed into St. George's especially in view that I had no preparation.
Already, I saw myself as dunce. Father Charles MacMullan, an American Jesuit from New England, was an incredible father to me. Though he was the headmaster, he knew the names of every kid from first to sixth form, all 500 of us. He placed me in the brightest class - 1A - strange thing to do. He said, "Let's see how you do." Class 1A was frightening to me. Again, I met Father Leo Quinlan who taught. He too was a wonderful and kind man.
I had learned English at Alvernia, now I had to learn Latin. Then there were the other strange subjects: Arithmetic, Algebra, History, Geography, English Literature, and General Science, none of which I had before. In addition, I was still a playful boy. But the priests took us seriously, serious yet patient, positive and yet disciplinarians. They were really fathers to us, so kind yet demanding. By sheer assimilation and some hard work, I got through the five years of high school.
At the point of choice, which happened as we moved from third to fourth form, I opted for the Arts although I was chosen for the Sciences and Mathematics. It was my natural bent. Moreover, I was a little too lazy and playful to take on a Science stream.
The school fees were really small. The priests helped me to get second-hand books. I bummed rides to school and often walked home after school, often not having had any lunch. I was a thin skinny kid who hadn't enough strength to play games. But the priests often looked out for me and were always ready to encourage me in my lessons.
I was a quiet kid who had a few very dear friends like Peter Lue and Leighton Hugh. Without much embarrassment, they found ways of helping me with lunches at Mrs. Morais' tuck shop. I was deeply moved by their kindness. They knew I was poor and needed food.
From the Jesuits and the boys, I learned about kindness and a genuine Christian spirit. Not only had I received a wonderful, deep and serious programme of studies from the Jesuits but I had also learned about love. The Scripture lessons, and even a little philosophy, that I learned were extraordinarily touching to me. Those subjects seemed to enter my heart at great depths.
I decided to join the Jesuits when I was only 15 years old. I was really not that accomplished as a student; however, with the kindness of the Jesuits at St. George's College I was accepted for studies to the priesthood. I was marginal but the Jesuits took the risk and so in 1959 I entered the Society of Jesus.
That was the beginning of 15 years of the most extraordinary programme of studies anyone could have. The classics, including Greek, Latin, French, and a programme of classic English Literature, three years of philosophy, three years of theology, and two additional years of humanities, including psychology, led me to extraordinary deep reading and studies. All these studies brought about an intellectual discipline and love for knowledge that have never left me.
LOVE AND SERVITUDE
Today I can only give thanks for the extraordinary privilege of living with and being taught by an amazing set of men: teachers, classmates and friends who moulded my future. At the heart of it I learned to think and to pray, to have reason and faith meet, to love and to serve.
It is the goodness, the generosity and the wisdom of the Jesuits that have led me to founding the Missionaries of the Poor. Not only the intellectual institutes - the universities, high schools, juniorates, philosophates and theologates - were of the highest calibre. But the Jesuits created in me the highest ideals: to serve "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam," for the greater glory of God.
In my soul, St. Ignatius and his magnificent meditations on the two standards, the discernment of spirits, the three levels of humility, and the contemplation for obtaining the love of God will never be forgotten. They are now key meditations in the Forty Days Retreat I give to our Missionaries of the Poor annually.
The asceticism, the fellowship, the critical and analytic approach to life, the love of justice and kindness have become a part of me because of my association with these great men.
The Jesuits are brave and generous-hearted men who have fostered millions of people over the 470 years of their existence in education and other ministries. They are mysterious, powerful, generous servants of the Lord and the Catholic Church. Deep within myself there is still St. Ignatius in me. Twenty-three years as a Jesuit has not been lost. It has formed me for the difficult work of founding the Missionaries of the Poor, which has been my life for the last 23 years.
There are many of us in Jamaica, as well as all over the world, who want to give thanks to the Society of Jesus. Many of us can only silently say so but with great love and tenderness and appreciation for the life of these great men who have given up their life in total love and self-sacrifice in service of God and neighbour.
Editors note: The above is an article Fr. Ho Lung wrote for the Jamaica Daily Gleaner on April 4,2004.
We should all reflect on how we too have benefited from this same source and how we can give back to ensure that St.George's College can continue to educate Jamaicans that produce for the country and humanity at large. Think and then contribute to the Endowment Fund.
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