St. George's College
Good & True ...issue# 52...June, 2008
Not many of us know that there once was an Old Boys Chapter in Panama. Yes, Panama, of all places. Back in the 1950s, a chapter was created there to keep alive the spirit of unity and comradeship, characteristic to Old Boys everywhere. The stated aim of the chapter there was, "To advance any cause of the Alma Mater in any way possible." The officers then were Colville McGrath, President, Aston Parchment, VP, Courtney Fyffe, Secretary, Bernard Steer, Treasurer. Wonder how many Old Boys are still living in Panama today? If there is even a tiny spark left in the life of that chapter, we should fan it for sure, shouldn't we?
There was also a chapter in New York that began in 1953, and up to 1956 was still going strong. Then it suddenly fizzled out. Once again in the late 1980s, the chapter was resurrected by the likes of Wesley Taylor and some other stalwarts for another 3-4 years or so. Then it died again, with the wilted flowers still lying on its grave today. Come on Big Apple guys. Start up that engine once more. The school needs you.
A historic article revealed that back in the early ’50s, collecting donations to build Emmet Park was not an easy project for the Old Boys' Chapter in Jamaica. Heavily involved with this undertaking was the Hon. Douglas Judah, President of the Association at the time, Gussy DeLeon, Allan Wynter, Leonard Chang, R.E Taylor, Solomon Zaidie, Pancho Rankine, N.A.Taylor, Winston Meeks, Joe Kelly and a few others. These notable gentlemen set a budget of 7,000 British Pounds for the construction of the building. The initial building was comprised of just the upstairs hall and the Tuck Shop area, only after the boys encountered stubborn financial problems while gathering funds for the project. The Boys were finally able to have their first meeting in the building on May 22, 1951. Then in early 1952 the verandah and bleachers were erected, with the entire building handed over as a gift to the Society of Jesuits in Jamaica on April 7th, 1952. Billiard tables, large dressing rooms, and an office were later added, along with the sports field. That bunch of determined guys fought fund raising problem after fund raising problem, but was eventually successful. Many are no longer with us on this earth, but the strength of the Association today is based on the legacy they left for us to match. God bless them all.
Sincere condolences from the writer go out to Peter Rickards whose mother died recently, Derrick Potopsingh whose father too passed away, and Alex Ho Shue whose brother, Edward, also recently passed on. "For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity." William Penn.
OK, who is going to attend the 12th Annual StGC Summer Ball on August 1st this year?? Every year I get complaints from people who cry to me about how unfair it is to be seated at the very ends of the giant ballroom filled with 1200 plus guests. And every year, I keep reminding them that this happens when people book their tables at the last minute. So, I say again loudly, book early and you will get tables in the middle of the room. This year will be another great event again, featuring one of Toronto's finest Blues and Ballard vocalists, Jay Douglas and his Allstar Band. Many of you heard him last year. Again, book your table early and rent a suitable tile to dance on when Jay sings.
Closing out the night will be one of Jamaica's great dance units, The Fifty/50 Band. Many have not heard them. I have, and can say you won't be disappointed. Another complaint I get from several Old Boys is that the cost of the evening's event today is too expensive for them. I reply by telling them that the event only occurs once per year, and all the money goes down to the school. To those who complain, I now know that, based on your complaint, this great Annual Benefit event, from which money goes to supply badly needed renovations to school buildings, sporting equipment for the students, and used to top up other items in the meager school's budget, is definitely not a priority for you. So be it. The money we send down to the school, makes StGC the envy of other schools that don't have half of what StGC has on its premises. Hopefully one day those who complain will eventually recognize the importance of the event, and return to support it. I will be waiting with open arms to greet you all then.
Law of Mechanical Repair: Why is it that when your hands become coated with grease, your nose will immediately begin to itch, or you will have to pee.
Once again I hope that Fr. Roy Campbell S.J will be accepted into the Hall of Fame. How this great man slipped through the cracks over the years, I don't know.
The Law of Using the Telephone: Ever notice when you dial the wrong number, you never get a busy signal? Here is a great quote in 1964 from Nigel Young Kong, 2nd 6th Science, on his thoughts on what an ideal Old Boy would be: "The name of an ideal Old Boy need not be a household word. More important than popular success is his personal life. If he is happily married, and provides for his family, and despite not having an important job, is satisfied, leads a normal life, and is God-fearing, then I consider him ideal. He is ideal in this sense, that if all Old Boys follow his pattern Jamaican society will be lifted.". I think that those were certainly great words from Nigel, don't you?
Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know will
increase dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
I know many of you have experienced this. I have you chuckling now, haven't I?
A few members have left the Ontario Chapter's Executive this year at the Ontario Chapter's AGM, like Fred Russell, Michael "Buski" Charley, Charles Young, and Patrick Lee. They stepped down for a variety of personal reasons. A great bunch of thanks go out to them for their services. Of serious note though, will be the absence of (Buski), who I must say, in my view, was the hardest working member of the executive during his tenure on the board. He will be thoroughly missed, as over the years, this great guy spent literally thousands and thousands of hours on his computer, completing a variety of projects for the Association. If you ask Buski though, he will tell you he really hasn't left, that he is simply waiting behind the bushes, ready to spring out and assist wherever he can. I leave you with this:
An old prospector walks his tired old mule into a western town one day -- He'd been out in the desert for about six months without a drop of whiskey. He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his old mule to the hitch rail As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The young gun slinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, 'Hey old man, have you ever danced?' The old man, looked up at the gunslinger and said, 'No, I never did dance. I just never wanted to.' A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, 'Well, you old fool, you're gonna' dance now,' and started shooting at the old man's feet. The old prospector was hopping around and everybody was laughing. When the gunslinger fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon. The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both hammers back making a double clicking sound. The gunslinger heard the sound and everything got quiet. The crowd watched as the gunslinger slowly turned around looking down both barrels of the shotgun. The old man asked, 'Did you ever kiss a mule ?' The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, 'No. But I've always wanted to.'
The lessons from this story are:
1. Don't waste ammunition foolishly.
2. Don't mess with old guys, especially ones that are thirsty.
In looking back to 1964, the school had an enrollment of 955 students at day school, and the Extension School totalled 1,484 students. Goodness! Today, the day school houses about the same number of students that the Extension school housed back in '64. But those were the good old days, weren't they?
Back then, the school pumped out academic brilliance after academic brilliance. If you are not aware, for 6 consecutive years, up to 1963, StGC won the highly prized, top academic award, namely the Jamaica Scholarship. Back in '63, it was reported that 25 graduates gained scholarships and bursaries for universities abroad and at home, and also that in '64, 20 Georgians completed their Doctorate studies at various universities. Very few schools at that time could boast these achievements. Reports also said that many old boys returned to the school as teachers, so much so that the lay faculty outnumbered the Jesuit teachers by 24-21 back then. During that era, Georgians played major outstanding roles professionally in commerce, agriculture, in the Civil Service, even in the ranks of the priesthood. Are those days gone forever?? They don't have to be at all.
The Old Boys Chapter in Jamaica, too, were busy in the community during '63/'64. They created an Old Boys Blood Bank Day, and Old Boys Xmas Poor Dole for the Needy, an Old Boys Day of Recollection for World Peace, They established an Old Boys Credit Union, an Annual School Spirit Rally, an Old Boys Drive to assist Rural Area Development, an Old Boys Civic Pride Day, and an OB Trophy for the Student with the Best School Spirit.
They sent a huge team of 33 cricketers and footballers to British Honduras from September 5-19 in 1962. Many of you old timers will remember when this group left the island for this trip and couldn't stop talking about the fabulous time they had. Some of you have been known to express how sorry you were at not being able to join them too. While in Honduras, the boys played four football games, won one and lost three. They played three cricket matches, won one, drew one and lost one. Although the teams were not that successful, it is said that the teams were very popular wherever they traveled throughout Honduras, and went a far way in cementing a good relationship between the two countries. The President of the chapter, Joe Kelly, took a letter of introduction and best wishes to the First Minister of British Honduras Mr. George Price from Prime Minister Bustamante.
Boy, those were the good old days, weren't they?
Those associated with the Chapter back then were: Joe Kelly, President, Leonard I. Chang, 1st Vice President, Winston Meeks, 2nd Vice President, Trevor Graham, Secretary, Ronnie Nasralla, Asst. Secretary, William C. Bennett, Asst. Treasurer, Keith Noad, Benvenuto Barovier, Anthony Chong, Carlton Dunlop, Joel Alexander, Maurice Tenn, and Ryan Peralto.
Less We Forget!
Editor's note: Catch Pat Ferguson, 2nd left, back row and Flip back to Part 1, photo of his 75th birthday for a look back over the years. Uncle P is still vibrant and energetic and just as giving of time and energy for others, especially fellow Georgians.
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