St. George's College Old Boys' Association, ON, Canada

Newsletter, Issue # 53, November 2008

   

 

 

 

 

 

St. George's College
Old Boys'
Association

ON, Canada

 

Part 3 of 4

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Picnic

 

Family Picnic with Alpha & Immaculate August 17th Milne Park

Alex & Carole Vernon & baby Lucy, Aaron Sani &
 Lou Ann Shillingford

Buski Charley charming ICHS girls Yvonne Lew,
 Sheila & Pat Balfour

Nolia & Everard Hoo and visitors from California,
 Bev Chin & Hope Cohen (Fung sisters)

     Our Regional VP West Richard Saunders did us proud. That giant of a kid with the heart of gold was everywhere keeping the children happy with games and prizes and surprises for every child at the picnic.
      He organized the adult championship races as well between ICHS, Alpha and StGC and even had to use great tact and diplomacy to quell potential riots when drug tests were ordered for the winning StGC team.
      "Steroids" they all shouted.
Yvonne Lew saw to it that all had their name tags and the Alpha & ICHS girls took care of the food tables - a smorgasbord of "yardie" food available to all.
       Thanks to those who brought sufficient to share and there were many.
       There were several memorable moments for me : The ice cream rush and Paul Chen hogging the ice cream that Ray & Donette  brought for the "littler" kids; ICHS wiping out again in their race-they did at last year's picnic too and to add to this their humorous protest of the StGC win; President Elect Milton Hart  in the sac race bounding down the track like a bouncing  jellybean with no one near him- it's that army training thing !; Deacon Patrick Chang's visage as he gets his proverbial six love in dominoes- and it happens every year!; Observing  the generational gaps in the picnickers; The kids playing and getting to know each other and in fact sharing the best of their Jamaican culture here in Canada- That's what this has always been about from our first picnic way back in 1985; and now seeing some of our kids from then here with kids of their own.
        The pictures tell far better the emotions and story I am trying to convey.

Robbie Vernon

Paul Chen enraptured with his ice cream

ICHS winning over Alpha

Sports Director Victor Morgan leading winning StGC Team

Victor Morgan, Milton Hart & son Matthew & Richard Saunders

Ray Chang & Donette Chin Loy

Richard Saunders handling ICHS steroid protest against StGC

On your Marks-Kids Egg & Spoon race


Principal's Message


Margaret Campbell

The 2008-2009 school year is well underway and we look forward to a blessed academic year.  We have a new Vice Principal for the lower school, Mr. Dave Soares.  (You will recall that Miss Virgo retired in August 2008.)  We also have a new Senior Guidance Counsellor Mrs. Maureen Wong.  Both have enthusiastically joined the St. George's College family and are doing a wonderful job.  Our Head Boy for the year is Jason Curate and Deputies Michael Cooper and Nicholas Wehby.

         Our CSEC and CAPE CXC performance for 2008 gave us reason for celebration as our passes improved significantly with overall averages of over 80% in both examinations and improvements in almost all subject areas.   You will also have noted that our Manning Cup Team this year has been playing very well.  They have advanced to the second round of the competition, so far undefeated.   Hats off to Coach Neville Bell, and Lennox Robinson who has also been very supportive in this area.

High school choir performing at assembly

        Our choir, dancers, speech and drumming groups are also off to a flying start.  We were proud of their performances at an assembly on October 17, 2008 in honour of two of our recent Hall of Fame awardees Dr. Anthony Chen and Mr. Robert Vernon.  We were blessed by their visit with us, and thank them for their inspiring talks to the assembly. Congratulations to them both!
        School discipline is noticeably improved.  We also accepted some wonderful young men and women into our sixth form programme this year, whose strength of character gives us hope for the future of our country.
        Emmet Park is getting a much needed face lift thanks to the generous intervention of Mr. Carl Chang.  So far, the windows that were blown out by hurricane Dean have been replaced and a garbage enclosure has been constructed behind the pavilion.  We look forward to similar repairs to the historic O'Hare building which is also desperately in need of repair.
        The College has many needs and so we look forward to your continued support.  Please keep the school community in your prayers as we continue to shape the young people in our charge into men and women for others.  May God bless you all.

 Margaret Campbell

Editor’s Note: Breaking news on Nov 29th StGC won the Manning Cup 



Jamaica President Report

 

        As the third year of my Presidency draws to a close, and since our Constitution only allows for three consecutive one-year terms, my custodianship of this great Association is coming to an end shortly.  However, I am not a "lame duck" President, as there is still a lot to accomplish in the few remaining months of my tenure.
         This year was particularly a very successful one despite all the challenges we faced.  We restarted our regular luncheon meetings, albeit on a quarterly basis instead of monthly, after an absence of almost five years.  The Luncheons were reasonably well attended, with an average of over 70 lunchtime guests.  I believe our success was due to our selections of special guest speakers.  We dedicated the last three luncheons to our beauty queens, and as such we had Ms. Lisa Hanna, Ms. World 1993, Yendi Phillips, Ms. Jamaica (World) 2007 and Ms. April Jackson, Ms. Jamaica (Universe) 2008 as our speakers.  We are still experimenting with the concepts of this quarterly luncheon and as part of that experiment, our next luncheon will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2009. We are moving to a Saturday event in the hope that we will be able to attract younger old boys who cannot make it during the weekdays.
         Our golf tournament was a smashing success both in the number of players who turned out for the event and in the funds raised.  This being our "off year", the golf tournament was our only major fundraiser for the entire year, as the Monsignor Gladstone Wilson Award Banquet gave way to the School's Hall of Fame Banquet.  I must take time out to extend my personal thank you to Michael Chuck and his team for the work they have done in making this event one of the premier golfing event on the local golfing circuit.  The hope for the future is that this event will attract old boys from the two overseas chapters on a regular basis to vacation at that time of the year and play a round of golf with us here in Jamaica.
          We won the Roper Cup, the Pancho Rankin Trophy and shared the George Thompson Trophy at this year's renewal of the Roper Cup.  This in no doubt contributed to the success to date of the Manning Cup Team in this year's competition.  Despite not making it to the Walker Cup Knock Out Tournament, our beloved school team has remained undefeated so far.
         Not to be outdone is our track team and they did us proud at the Penn Relays held earlier this year in Philadelphia, when they came third in the 4 x 100 metre Championship of America race.
        We continue to support the sports programme at our alma mater with our time, talent, and treasures, and up to the time of writing, we have donated well over $750,000.00 to the sports programme, broken down as follows:

       Track & Field - $150,000.00, Penn Relay Contribution,
       Table Tennis  - $58,000.00, purchase new Table Tennis Board,
       Cricket - $210,000.00, sponsorship of Cricket Summer Camp,
       Soccer - $300,000.00.

       However, our alma mater requires much more than our capacity to provide.  The O'Hare building is in need of critical repairs just to make it safe for the students. Tropical Storm Gustav rendered the final blow to the windows at Emmet Park in late August and our much vaunted science laboratories are just a shell.  Our alma mater, if it is to maintain an acceptable standard, needs the help of every old boy who has passed through the institution.  Carl Chang has been a live wire and single handedly, he is responsible for the starting of the repairs to the windows at Emmet Park; but while this is commendable, much more is required.  We need to grow our Endowment to the level where it can at least meet some of the operating expenses, while carrying out much needed capital expenditure works.  The assistance of all old boys is needed, local and overseas: we are all in this  together.
         I have started the process of reaching out by attending both events sponsored by the overseas chapters.  I hope my successor will continue this process and even take it a step forward.

AMDG

Courtney O. Currie

Upcoming Calendar Events:
           Friday, December 5, 2008 -  President's Christmas Party, 51 Norbrook Drive
           Saturday, January 24, 2009 - Quarterly Luncheon, Venue TBA



Jamaica News
Roper Cup Renew 2008

L-R: Courtney Currie, President, StGC OBA Jamaica, Ronnie Chin (2008 Honouree), Yendi Phillips ( Miss Jamaica World 2007),Tony Younge (2007 Honouree)& Ken DaCosta, President KC OBA.

      Renewal of the Roper Cup Soccer (Football) Tournament took place on Saturday, September 6, 2008 at Emmet Park.  The day’s event actually started at Winchester Park with the Under 13 and Under 16 boys of both schools (StGC and Kingston College) contesting for the George Thompson Trophy.  These two games were added to the Roper Cup Schedule in 2002 as a means of creating an awareness about the Roper Cup with the younger students.  George Thompson, who passed away earlier this year, was  the renowned coach of Kingston College who, from 1964 until his retirement, guided successive Kingston College Manning Cup Teams to numerous successes in the Manning Cup Competition, the most notable being the 1965 Team.  This trophy was shared as Kingston College won the Under 13 two goals to nil, and St. George's College Under 16 boys defeated their Kingston College counterparts by the same margin.
         Then it was on to Emmet Park for the first leg of the Roper Cup which was played for by the Under 35 old boys.  The game saw four magnificent goals being scored by both teams with the result ending in a drawn game.  The St. George's College Manning Cup Team played an excellent game coming from behind to defeat Kingston College two goals to one and in doing so, we retained the Roper Cup, 4 goals to three on aggregate.
         Miss Yendi Phillips, Miss Jamaica World 2008, got the Pancho Rankin Trophy game underway when she kicked off the ball.  After one hour, only one goal separated both teams with St. George's College Old Boys ahead.  This win ensured that both the Roper Cup and the Pancho Rankin Trophy for 2008 stays on the "Cathedral side" of North Street.
         The Over 35 game for the Pancho Rankin Trophy was won 1 goal to nil by St. George's College Old Boys.  This therefore meant that our Old Boys for the first in a long time won both the Roper Cup and the Pancho Rankin Trophy.
          Since 2002, the organizers have honoured an outstanding old boy who in their opinion contributed to the continued friendship between both schools.  The honour is given in alternate years to a St. George's College old boy, and likewise to a Kingston College old boy.  Due to the fact that the tournament was not played last year, the organizers decided to honour two old boys instead of the usual one. Ronnie Chin of Kingston College and Anthony Younge of St. George's College were the honourees for this year renewal.

Ms. Virgo Retires

Ms Valerie Virgo with Archbishop Donald Reece at her retirement party

Ms Valerie Virgo, the Vice Principal of the Lower School retired from St. George's College after serving the school for twenty-eight years.  Back in 1980, Ms Virgo started her career at St. George's College as the School Librarian, when the library was located in the O'Hare Building.  During her long tenure, in addition to her role as Vice Principal, she taught history. Ms Virgo was honoured at a special dinner held by the Catholic Teachers at St. George's College at the Waterfall on May 21, 2008. She has played her part well in the development of St. George's College and the advancement of a Catholic Christian Education.  The school community, the St. George's College Old Boys Association and the society at large are much better off for the role she played.  It was my pleasure at her retirement to pay tribute to her in my capacity as President of the Old Boys' Association. I wish her Godspeed and good luck on her retirement.

Courtney Currie


 

$1,500 Scholarship for your child/grandchild

          Continuing in the Blue & White tradition of supporting educational achievement, the St George's Old Boys Association (Ontario) is offering an annual scholarship of $1,500 (formerly $1,000) to the child or grandchild of a paid-up member. Recipient selection is made by the Scholarship Committee, currently comprising Drs. Louis Lee, Herbert Ho Ping Kong and Derrick Haddad.

         Recipients the past three years were:

         2008 Rodney Lyn attending the University of Ottawa pursuing a Masters Degree in Chemical Biology- son of Harvey & Irene Lyn.

         2007 Courtney Chong attending University of Toronto majoring in Pharmaceutical Chemistry - granddaughter of Fen & Anita Chang

         2006  Aaron Haddad attending Queens University majoring in English Language and International Studies - son of Dr. Derrick & Lisbeth Haddad

         If you have children or grandchildren applying to college or university, or currently in any year of undergraduate or post-graduate studies, encourage them to apply. There is no fee, the application is simple, and the scholarship is unconditional.

        The deadline for application is March 1, 2009. The recipient will be announced at the annual Family Dinner venue & date TBA. One-page application forms are available for download at www.stgctoronto.com or from any member of the executive (Part 1).

 


Hall Of Fame Banquet

Dr. Anthony Chen receiving Award from Dr. Ralph Thompson

Robbie Vernon receiving plaque from Dr. Fred Kennedy

          It was a perfect summer night as we walked into the Hilton Kingston Hotel. My wife and I arrived at 6.30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. function and to our surprise, only one other attendee was present. It dawned on me then, what my cousin said earlier that evening, "you must be on Canadian time, you going too early".  I was greeted by Donovan Chen See, one of the organizing committee members.
          Next on the scene came the rest of the organizing committee, Chairman Pokar Chandiram, Bruce DeSousa and Philip Samms.  The venue, like two years before, was elegantly laid out with that added blue and white decor to give it that Georgian ambiance. As the guests arrived, I ended up greeting quite a few of them, so much so that I almost felt like the host. Apart from the organizers, the clergy, the Most Rev. Archbishop Ronald Reece and former Archbishops Lawrence Burke, Edgerton Clarke were the next group to arrive. Then came our renowned "soldier boy" Colonel Reggie Chin with Arthur Lowe, Eric Fong Yee and their spouses in tow. Shortly after, the Canadian contingent started arriving; Carl & Paula Chang, Tony McDowell, Robbie, Heather, Joe, Alex Vernon and an entourage of local Vernons arrived..  Carl Chang armed with his camera could be seen with Eric Fong Yee, Arthur Lowe reminiscing and having fun.  Little did the crowd know that this "tri-namic" trio is the foundation of the next major project at StGC, which is presently in the works.  I speak of the much needed "Restoration of the O'Hare Building".

Ryan Peralto & Reggie Chin

Tony McDowell & Clovis Metcalf

Dr. Anthony Chen giving vote of thanks

Archbishop Donald Reece &
 fmr. Archbishop Larry Burke

Lyn May Lowe & Fr Michael Proterra

Tommy Lyew & Eric Fong Yee

Dr.A Chen 3rd left & wife Rheta to his right &
son Norman to his left surrounded by rest of family

David Weller, Danny & Josephine Ho Lung

Robbie Vernon left & wife Heather with sons Alex & Joe front & surrounded by rest of  family

Sen.Dwight Nelson, Carl Chang & Basil Lue

       The committee members were diligently and quietly working away to make sure all was in order, their dedication to our school and diligent efforts paid off as the banquet was another great success. By 7.30 p.m. the reception hall was jammed. Boisterous laughter and bursts of "it's been ages" could be heard every so often. Stories reminiscent to "Remember when we used to.." abounded in the air. Many old friendships and acquaintances were rekindled. Time seemed to have just whizzed right by as before we knew it, we were being ushered into the main dining hall.
           Our Masters of Ceremony, Anthony Pearson and Wayne Wray took to the podiums and simultaneously gave us a warm welcome. It was quite refreshing to see two MCs in action at the same time and from the acknowledgment of the crowd, they were a big hit. The clergy was acknowledged. Fr. Michael Lewis, Fr. Francis Ryan (previous inductee), Fr. Ted Dziak,  Fr. DeShaies, Fr. Jim Webb and Fr. Louis Grenier, from what I remember were in attendance.
            There was also a special surprise treat for all as Fr. Grenier; special guest at the Vernon table, celebrated his 90th birthday that night with a monstrosity of a cake and was joined by Heather Vernon to cut his cake.
            Fr. Peter McIsaac S.J. said grace and we feasted on a gourmet meal. With our stomachs now full, Margaret Campbell, our present principal, was introduced. She gave us a warm welcome and some insight into our school happenings and acknowledged the presence of, to name only a few, her parents Mr. and Mrs. Van Hitchener, former principals Dr. Fred Kennedy,  Mr. Lloyd Fearon, and present students. I do believe this is the first event that had so many (more than five) former principals of StGC at one gathering. It was also great to see students at the event. Their tickets were donated thanks to Pokar Chandiram and Carl Chang (T.O.). This should be noted not only for their generosity but for the hopes and inspiration that the attending students will take back to their peers and school.

           Next came the induction ceremony

           There were five inductees for 2008. Joseph Kelly dec'd.- attended 1930-33 -(Industry and Service to the College)) was introduced by Archbishop Burke.  Karl Largie dec'd- Class of 1948  -(Sports) was introduced by Ryan PeraltoVery Rev. Roy Campbell dec'd-attended 1932-33 (Religion) was introduced by the Hon. Sen. Dwight Nelson (also Minister of State) who added his flair and charisma to the presentation, as well as a short tape of one of Rev. Roy's speeches. Robert K.M. Vernon - class of 1959 (Service to the College) was introduced by me. And last but not least, Professor Anthony Chen -class of 1956 (Scientific Research) was introduced by Dr. Ralph Thompson  a former inductee (2006).
           Special presentations of Knight of St. George medallions were made to Hon. Dwight Nelson by me and to Margaret Campbell by Robbie Vernon to honor them as Knights of St. George. Another prominent Georgian David Weller made a presentation to the Largie family. Fred Kennedy also read a letter of congratulations to Robbie Vernon from one of our founding members and past president in Toronto, Neil Dalhouse.
            After the inductions, Professor  Anthony Chen gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the inductees followed by closing remarks by Earl Jarrett.
            Our entertainers, Wayne Armond, Carl Brady, and Keith Lyn having previously warmed us up with the dinner music, now came to the forefront.  Their musical talents did not go unnoticed as the "party revelers" like Carl Chang (Western Sports), John Mais, Billy Vernon, and a host of others lapped up especially the Keith Lyn ballads. It was a memorable night and Robbie being from our chapter made us truly proud.

Daniel Ho Lung



Robbie Vernon, Hall Of Famer

addressing  school assembly

          They threw his name into the ring for the 2008 induction into the StGC Hall of Fame, and when the dust settled; his was the shiniest. Why? because of his strong religious beliefs, invaluable community spirit, and his genuine willingness to help mankind in whichever way possible. A number of qualities made the Hall of Fame Selection Team choose him this year.
            For those of you who are not aware, Robbie is a founding member in 1984 of our successful Ontario Chapter based here in Toronto, and was a great President of the Association in 2006 and 2007. Under his tenure, he successfully increased the Association's membership, as well as very noticeable monetary increases for the school. With his wife Heather at his side, Robbie represented the Association at many government events, and attended almost every dance, luncheon, picnic etc, held by other Ontario Alumni Associations. They both also attended other functions outside Canada, always as representatives of the Ontario Chapter. He has also spent many a midnight hour writing articles for the StGC newsletter, and countless more hours as its editor since '85.
            A member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society, he has been bringing friendship, council, music, song, and gospel messages, to inmates at Mimico prison as a volunteer with the Christian visiting Prison Chaplaincy programme since 1993.
            Robbie was heavily involved with soccer for children in Toronto. He was presented with an Honourary Life member Award by The Board of the Etobicoke Youth Soccer Club, (over 3,000 Children registered in House leagues yearly between ages 5-18) the largest recreational soccer club in Metro Toronto. He was recognized for his outstanding dedication and service to youth soccer in Ontario, with over a very active 20 year span of service, many on the Board of Directors as Discipline Chair.
            He wasn't always the person he is today, as back in school, his chums would tell you he was a bit of a rebel at times, but that's another story for another day. Heather, with the strong up-bringing she received as a child, (not to say that Rob didn't get any from his family) I am sure, was very instrumental in changing him into the better person he is today. Always by his side at functions, her presence added to his stately poise as a distinguished StGC representative. A plus in their lives, they raised two fantastic boys, Alex and Joe, both lawyers.
            Personally, I can tell you that he not only would give you the proverbial shirt off his back, but the food off his plate as well. Robbie Vernon is simply someone whose friendship you can't afford not to have. There are many called, but few chosen. This time, Robbie was selected, and we in Ontario are truly proud of him.

Neil Dalhouse




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