St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 48...February, 2007
Annual December Executive
This sure beats another executive meeting.
Not all were able to make it, but the December get together for the executives, supporters and spouses proved a tremendous success.
It was really good to have with us past Principal, Fred Kennedy, who maintains a keen interest in the school, and also two welcome guests, Rohan Tulloch and Michael Davidson, Jesuit-in-training students at Regis College, University of Toronto. Michael was the Dean of Discipline at St. George’s College.
They all had good fun and at the same time exchanged ideas with the executives and their spouses.
Thanks to Ray and Donnette again for this wonderful opportunity for the executive to meet in a non business atmosphere, and with their better halves joining in.
What a splendid meal! and the friendship and camaraderie of the group can only spell success for us as we shoulder on for our alma maters. With Donnette on the ICHS executive this year, the event had the added benefit of the company of some of the executive of our sister school alumnae and their spouses.
The photos tell the story.
It is hard to believe that six months have passed since my appointment as Principal of St. George's College. This short term milestone is shared by our Chairman of the Board, Father Peter McIsaac S.J, also new this school year and our new Dean of Discipline, Mr. Talbert Weir.
Life at St. George's College is quite exciting. Our clubs and societies are active and growing and offer our 1,500 students a variety of choices to encourage social development. We have participated well in a number of sporting events: football, basketball, swimming, water polo and rugby, and have students training for upcoming events in track and field, cricket, tennis and table tennis. Our creative arts groups are doing well and our cadets are set to win this year’s inspection in February, as they did last year. In August 2006, the College placed tenth in CSEC Mathematics and eleventh in English Language. With our continued commitment to excellence, we are aiming to improve on these statistics in 2007.
Life at the College is not without its challenges. Schools are a microcosm of the society and as such, the challenges of Jamaican society impose themselves on campus life and we struggle with changing morals and values which affect discipline and behaviour. The College however represents a significant opportunity for transforming Jamaica through the mentorship of our 1,500 young lives, and we have taken up the challenge.
St. George's College also has the potential to be the best campus in Jamaica and with the support of all the stakeholders in addressing necessary improvements in the physical plant, we can realize this goal. The St. Ignatius fountain has been repaired and the beauty of the Winchester Park field continues to inspire the entire community. We anticipate that Emmett Park, currently leased for ICC Cricket World Cup, will be similarly transformed later in the year.
I would like to thank the Old Boys Associations, the local chapter as well as those in Ontario, Florida and old boys across the globe, who continue to be very supportive of their Alma Mater. Your commitment to St. George's is phenomenal. Please let us know when you are in Jamaica (email@example.com), as we extend an open invitation for you to visit the college and interact with the students about "your days" at St. George's College.
It is a great honour to serve St. George's College as Principal. It is especially significant given that my grandfather attended this noble institution as well as my father, who was also headmaster on two separate occasions, my two brothers, my husband and son and several other relatives. I have been given a sacred trust and with the grace of God, I strive to protect that trust and to see that St. George's continues to excel in molding academically qualified, well-rounded, confident men and women of discipline and conscience, Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God.
The Annual General Meeting of the Old Boys' Association was held on January 30, 2007 at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church Hall, where the turn out was 43 old boys, fifteen better than the previous year. Principal Margaret Campbell gave an update on the school. The incumbent executive of Courtney O. Currie, President, Wayne Wray, Vice President, Ian Phillpotts, Secretary, Benito Palomino, Assistant Secretary, Anthony "Count" Franklin, Treasurer and Wayne Rhoden, Assistant Treasurer were all returned for another year.
The following members were elected to the Board of Directors;
Bruce deSousa - Immediate Past President, Jason Dear, Radcliff Daley, David Weller, Donovan Chen See, Leighton McCatty, Marlon Berrick, Joseph Hernandez, Michael Chuck, Charles Williams. Orlando Morgan was co-opted to the Board.
It has been ten months since I have been President of this august Association, and, as is customary, I have to report on my stewardship to you, the members.
Truth be told, ten months is a relatively short time, and it looks even shorter given the workload and the challenges faced during the first couple of months.
As you are all well aware, Dr. Fred Kennedy, our Principal at the time resigned due to pressing family commitments and went back to Canada. The School Board was given the task of selecting a new Principal. The Board's decision broke with traditions we have had at St. George's College for 156 years, and that was having a male Principal.
That decision, while welcomed by the Old Boys Association, did not go down well with some stakeholders and the resultant Press coverage did not help the situation either.
That, my fellow Georgians was my baptism of fire, as the detractors tried their best to get the Old Boys Association on their side. The Association took only one side and that was to side with the Board's decision.
So, it was in this baptism of fire that we welcomed our new Principal, Mrs. Margaret Campbell, who has deep George's roots, in that her grandfather, father, brothers, nephews, son and husband are all Georgians. We welcome you Madame Principal.
As I have mentioned before, ten months is a relatively short time and I knew it was going to be challenging to repeat the performance of last year given the fact that this was not the year for our major fundraiser, the Monsignor Gladstone Wilson Award Banquet.
I will quickly review the list of activities that we undertook in the last ten months.
The Annual Communion Breakfast was very successful as the old boys' fraternity supported this venture. The Chief celebrant at the breakfast was our own Archbishop Lawrence Burke, SJ,
We had a successful 10th staging of our annual golf tournament. First Global came on board fully and the only disappointment for us as Georgians was the fact that a Calabar old boy won the overall tournament. Congratulations are in order to Michael Chuck and his team.
We had a successful staging of the Roper Cup at Emmet Park. We regained the Roper Cup, but was unsuccessful in the Pancho Rankin and George Thompson trophies played for between the over 35 and the under 13 present boys. At the last renewal of the Roper Cup we had the distinct pleasure of honouring KC old boy Stratton Palmer. It was a very successful day and I must extend my thanks to my team members.
Dr. Fred Kennedy Farewell
We had a farewell party for Dr. Fred Kennedy. Whereas we did not realize the expected financial returns, it was an evening well spent and I know that Dr. Kennedy was highly appreciative of the gesture. It was a bitter sweet moment for most of us, as Dr. Kennedy by his inspirational leadership reversed the downward trend and actually started the turn around that we can be all proud of today. In 2006, we had one of the largest graduation classes in ten years.
Donation to the School
Despite, the constraints we faced in our finances last year, we were still able to assist the school financially. While our financial support to the school was below that of the previous year in real terms, we had a marginal improvement, as 67% of our net surplus was donated compared to 66% for the previous year. This shows our ongoing commitment to the school.
The Treasurer will go in more details, but despite the fact that we never had our major fundraiser, we made a small profit. This profit level, while small will provide the incoming executive with the necessary working capital to get their programmes underway.
We had a few disappointments during the year under review with the major one being the class of 1981 not having their 25th reunion function despite the fact that the Board agreed to them having the function during the summer instead of the usual time in April. They however had to pay penance which they did, by donating 25 microscopes to the school science programme.
The Secretariat is still not functioning. In fact, due to the staff reorganization that took place with the departure of the last Chairman of the School Board, we actually lost our secretarial support.
Our communication portal, the Newsletter continues to be elusive. The Board took the decision that we would use the Catholic Opinion as an outlet, but to date we have not been successful.
Our website is still not operational. However, the Board has taken the necessary steps to have our website fully operational and have the site up and running in the near future.
Not all the committees of the Board were functional and this hampered the delivery of service.
The disappointments encountered during the year were challenges that could be overcome. While some were structural in nature, others were more operational and it is the operational ones that should be tackled by the new executive.
Irrespective of the short period within which we operated, we had a balanced year. The Executive worked hard, above and beyond the call of duty. I do not believe my work is over, and with this in mind I offer myself for re-election to the position of President.
In closing, I would like to sincerely thank the team with whom I have had the pleasure of working during the last ten months. My Vice President, Wayne Wray, my Secretary, Ian Phillpots, Assistant Secretary, Benito Palomino, Treasurer, Anthony "Count" Franklin, Assistant Treasurer, Wayne Rhoden and all the other members of the Executive.
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