St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 46...June, 2006
The Class of 1976 recently held their 30th Anniversary Reunion in Ft. Lauderdale to coincide with the Florida Chapter of the Old Boys Association's 3rd Annual Dinner/Dance on April 29th.
Drawn from across the U.S., Canada and Jamaica, the 76ers began with a casual meeting in the lobby of the AmeriSuites Hotel in Ft Lauderdale at 9.00 a.m. on Friday, April 28th, renewing acquaintances. The meeting then moved on to a nearby restaurant for lunch and a more formal setting during which, each member reported on their lives since graduation to present. After a quick break, they reconvened at the home of one of the 76ers, Eddie Young, who at very short notice, offered to host the group at his home nearby. Thanks again, Eddie, you along with your wife Juliette and brother Bobby, really did a splendid job. The gathering went on until late into the night and grew in numbers as more of the guys arrived from overseas and work.
On the 29th, the 20 76ers joined the Florida Chapter of the Old Boys Association at their 3rd Annual Dinner/Dance and what a night it was. Thanks to President Dennis Barnett who facilitated our ad hoc request for tickets and ensured that we were all seated at nearby tables.
Many were renewing acquaintances with Fr. Hosie for the first time in 30 years too. Sorry that Gladstone Woolcock, who now lives in Florida, could not make it. Other 76ers, Marlon Carter, Dennis Chong, Hillary Wright, Richard Lindo, Clyde Mckenzie, and Vishnu Persaud … we missed your presence too.
As a result of the gathering, several other 76ers were located and a bigger event is being planned for the 35th. More importantly, the 76ers are more in touch with one another now and a drive is now on to contribute to the financial well-being of the school, to which we owe so much.
What about you and your group? Organize your graduation year and support our alma mater what a tremendous difference we can make as a group!
New Consul General
Past Immaculate Alumnae, Anne-Marie Bonner is our new Consul General in Toronto.
Feted at a gathering hosted by the ICHS Alumnae Association and joined by members of the Alpha Alumnae and StGC Old Boys Associations, 'Annie', as she was dubbed by our hostess, Donette Chin-Loy was given a warm welcome and introduction to our Associations.
Ms Bonner, who assumed office on April 1st, was a director and senior director in the Policy Support Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister from 1992 1998 where she co-ordinated and advised on social policy. She also managed and co-ordinated the San Jose Accord and Airport Privatization projects.
From 1989 to 1993, Ms Bonner worked with the National Investment Bank of Jamaica as an analyst and special projects co-ordinator, during which time she developed the privatization policy.
Ms Bonner holds MSc (Economics) and BSc (Economics and Management) degrees from the University of the West Indies.
The school year is quickly coming to a close. The fifth and sixth formers are in the middle of their CXC and CAPE external examinations and the younger students are busily preparing for their own internal exams. We have met with successes this year in all areas of school life, academics, sports, co-curriculars, capital development, improved security and greater stakehold er involvement.
This year marks the first of our Five Year Plan, the Balanced Score Card. We are in the process of evaluating our progress thus far and will have a full report by the beginning of September after the exam results are published. Our predictions are that we will again see significant increases in student achievement in the CXC and CAPE examinations. Our graduation class of 2006 is one of the largest in years. In 2004, only 35% of fifth form students qualified for graduation and in 2005, just over 50%. This year, on July 02, 2006, 85% of our boys in fifth form will be graduating, a total of 153 students. The honour roll standing has also shown significant increases. We are meeting our targets of 10% of all students in the College achieving more than 80% average in their final grades.
This has increased from 1.5% in previous years.
We have experienced a year also with far fewer incidents of indiscipline. Many of our boys who were placed on behavioural probation have improved and have been recommended to advance to the next grade. The numbers of and seriousness of suspensions has dramatically decreased. There have been no incidents of violent crime or incidents involving weapons at the College in the last two years. Mr. Michael Davidson S.J., Dean of Discipline, has established for the school an excellent code of conduct for all students to follow.
Many of our sports teams met with successes this year. The swim team brought in several medals and the Polo team, the U16 Colts football, the U16 basketball all competed in the finals. We have outstanding athletes in all sports including badminton, table tennis (one player who has competed at the National level), lawn tennis, swimmers who are part of the Jamaica National team, track and field, cricket, rugby. The Old Boys Association of Jamaica has now taken a keen interest in building up the Sports program. A Sports Council has been formed to be an advisory to the Principal and Sports Master to put in place and monitor a plan for 2006/07. We need not only funds but the moral support and presence of Old Boys in each of the sports.
Our co-curricular program has thrived. Student involvement has increased in a wide variety of clubs and societies. We have hired specially trained personnel to coach students in drama, dance, band and choir. Each of these groups has won several gold medals at Festival 2006 and some students and groups may be qualifying for the Nationals.
Our staff morale is high. A greater sense of collegiality has developed over the last couple years with a unified sense of purpose in building back the excellence of St. George's College. We have involved all middle managers, Heads of Department and Supervisors in management training, courtesy of Grace Kennedy, and will be hosting a whole day staff development for all employees on "Customer Care Excellence." In addition, three of our teachers had the opportunity to attend a teachers' conference in April in Chicago.
Our campus ministry program has shown outstanding success and expansion under the direction of Mr. Rohan Tulloch S.J. Every student in the school (First-Sixth Form) is involved in ministry. Programs entail days of recollection, retreats, religious services at the Cathedral, counseling, community service hours. The religious element on the campus is strong with the presence of five Jesuits and those who assist them in ministering.
The College has seen a major facelift with the re-development of Winchester Park which is now touted as one of the top class football fields in Kingston. With the assistance of Old Boys we will also be acquiring a couple of spectator stands which will help us market the field for premier league games. We have also established wireless internet service to the campus and are in the process of completing a Software Management System project through which all school files will be stored and managed electronically.
Several roofs have been repaired and replaced and, through school/parental initiatives, we have been able to install fans in the second form building and provide 20 concrete round tables and benches for student eating areas on the campus. The next project underway is the replacement of the sound system and lights in the auditorium. This is a million dollar project, funds being acquired from the Home School and Old Boys Associations.
With a great sense of renewal and confidence, the stakeholders have in place the will and the resources to meet all the targets of the Five Year Plan. With continued successes, by 2010, 100% of our students should be graduating and qualifying for tertiary education, we will be bringing in football, cricket, basketball and other sports trophies. The former glory of our great school will be fully restored.
As most or all of our stakeholders are already aware, I am putting an end to my two year tenure as Principal of St. George's College and returning to my family to live and work in Toronto, Ontario. On Monday last, the Board of Management approved a candidate to be recommended to the Ministry of Education for appointment. This transition will take place in the month of July after the Teachers' Commission makes its decision at the end of June. I have every trust that the new Principal will win the confidence of all of our stakeholders and be in a position to fulfill the mandates of the Five Year Plan.
I wish to take this medium to express my deepest gratitude to all those parents, students, teachers, staff, old boys, community and business groups who have supported our efforts over the last couple years to build for St. George's College a culture of excellence. It has been an amazing experience serving my alma mater, albeit for such a short time, and even though I will not be in the post of Principal, I will continue to give my support in the years to come.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
Fred Kennedy, Principal
Our President Daniel HoLung led a strong contingent of Ontario Georgians including President Elect/1st V.P Chris Chin, Immediate Past President Robbie Vernon and several other graduates from 1976 (see story part 3) to this Gala event.
President Dennis Barnett and the Florida boys can be well proud of the 4th annual fundraising ball on Saturday April 29th. What a success, with over 800 Georgians and friends from all quarters enjoying fellow Georgian Byron Lee and The Dragonaires in their 50th anniversary music special. Byron was honoured at this function for his special contributions to music.
Special guests were Fr. James Hosie S.J.; Fr. Richard Ho Lung, Senator Dwight Nelson, who gave an excellent talk, Dr. Fred Kennedy, Principal, C.P. Ricardo Allicock, Jamaica Consul General Miami, and Mr Angel Aloma, Food for the Poor.
M.C. was John Chavannes, Past President of our Ontario chapter. Other out of towners spotted in the crowd were Diplomat Anthony Hill, UCLA Professor Robert Hill, Douglas Stephen Hill, Walter (Blabba) Campbell, Donovan Chen See, Ronnie Nasralla, John Chavannes, John Wong Sam.
This event also saw the launch of the Endowment Fund Drive in Florida
Florida now joins Toronto in this ambitious plan to raise funds for the Endowment Fund.
The Florida initiative is spearheaded by Laddie Kong, and the April 29th Ball saw the launch of this drive with an impassioned plea by Richard Wongsam for Georgians to come out in support of the school. Their goal is to raise US$1million for the Fund.
The Florida chapter recognizes as Knights of St.George, donors who committed a minimum of US$2000 to the fund and were allowed up to 4 years to donate this sum.
Several knights were seen around the hall proudly wearing their medallions.
Fr. Jim Hosie, on the Sunday after was later inducted as an honourary Knight at the home of President Dennis Barnett.
The Ontario Endowment Fund Drive headed by Ray Chang has passed the C$400,000, mark. The Canadian goal is to raise 3 million Canadian dollars for the fund.There are many in Jamaica and worldwide enjoying success in life, who have a lot to be grateful for from the unique Jesuit learning experience at St.George's College. For this to continue, the Endowment Fund was established to generate funds to finance the operating deficit at the school, which runs at JA $10,000000 (appx. C$200,000) annually.
For information on the Endowment Fund contact in Canada, Ray Chang at Email: email@example.com and in the USA, Laddie Kong at Mobile: 786-897-3931
Donors resident in the United States, Canada and Jamaica will be issued tax-deductible receipts.
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