St. George's College
Part 3 of 4
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
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
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
Paul Chen enraptured
with his ice cream
ICHS winning over
Sports Director Victor Morgan
leading winning StGC Team
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
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
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
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.
Editor’s Note: Breaking news on Nov
won the Manning Cup
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
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
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
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.
Courtney O. Currie
Upcoming Calendar Events:
December 5, 2008 - President's Christmas Party, 51 Norbrook Drive
Saturday, January 24, 2009 - Quarterly Luncheon, Venue TBA
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
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.
$1,500 Scholarship for your
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
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).
Dr. Anthony Chen receiving Award from Dr.
Robbie Vernon receiving plaque from Dr.
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
Ryan Peralto & Reggie Chin
Tony McDowell & Clovis
Dr. Anthony Chen giving vote
Archbishop Donald Reece &
fmr. Archbishop Larry Burke
Lyn May Lowe & Fr Michael
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 Peralto. Very 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).
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.
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.
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.