The year February 27th, 2002 to March
26, 2003 marked significant changes in the outlook of
the Kingston College Old Boys Association.
Many of these changes were reflected
in the “President’s Corner” section
of our newsletter. However the more significant among
them were the public relations push and the attempt
of membership enlargement and the need for financial
At the same time there was and is the
need for a paradigm shift in how we engage the other
formal bodies of the Kingston College family network.
It was realized that if the other areas are not carrying
out their respective functions then the lag created
would hinder us from performing as well as we should.
Historically our modus was to shore up the weak areas
in the school, the teaching staff was in charge of the
students in the classroom and old boys would give support
to extra-curricular activities and to assist in funding
Now, what we find is a greater need
to finance projects, to help with capital development
and maintenance of property. With this changing situation
therefore, we are neutralised if, for example, the Board
and/or Administration do not create the plans, the blueprint
for our operation. To go ahead and identify tasks which
do not fit in the mental plan of the school would be
tantamount to acting ultra vires. We see where this
type of non-harmonisation led in part to the resignation
of our 1st. Vice President.
The way forward is still hinged on how
we evolve co-operation and commonality of purpose with
The membership drive was the main area
of emphasis following the passing of the resolution
to increase membership dues from $100 to $1000. At the
end of the first year since the resolution was passed
we have only 42 paid-up members. This in itself tells
a story albeit other avenues have been explored to reach
out to old boys in the wider society. The significant
point though is that for the period under review we
would have collected $42,000 more for dues than any
other year from dues. If the membership base can be
improved then funding would be in place to cover administrative
expenses and to finance minor projects. A head start
if ever there was one.
One of the weaknesses of our Administration
is that many claim not to know what to do. To this end
the newsletter was expanded to report on more activities.
However not all can be expressed but suffice it to say
our role in the Douglas Forrest building, the last paving
of the Tennis Court and Basketball Court, the retaining
work for the broken roadway, and the reclaiming of the
middle changing room, all readily come to mind.
I had established a merchandising unit
to heighten the fund raising capability of the Association
and this is gathering momentum and will bear fruit in
the very near future.
As living in Jamaica becomes more difficult
less and less Old Boys on and off the Executive can
find the time to serve. We therefore must cherish those
who are active and reduce the negative criticism which
turns off the few.
Our second annual Summit was held over 3 days at the
FDR Resorts. It was a success with Jamaica, Atlanta,
Miami and New York being represented. A comprehensive
report from the Summit Chairman in on the net. However
each Chapter was mandated to give special attention
to specific areas.
The Public Relations Committee is the most active Committee
of the Association, meeting regularly on Mondays at
the school, in the Old Boys room. Under the able leadership
of Ronnie Chin, it has a reliable cadre of members in
Courtney Josephs, Lloyd Bennett, Richard Bowen and Fitzroy
Smith. The quality of the newsletters has improved along
with the contents offered now covering 6 pages. The
added features in the President’s Corner, a Passion
for Excellence, an updated sports section and acknowledgements.
A part of the Committee’s function
is to give visibility to the Association’s efforts.
It has pioneered the health fair and photo opportunities
can be seen in our newsletter with contributions to
the development trust, meetings with the governor- general,
prime minister and the lord bishop featuring. The Health
Fair was put on in conjunction with Victoria Mutual
The business of merchandising was placed under the public
relations committee because of the vibrancy of that
“group.” Richard Bowen was asked to move
process one step further by being appointed Marketing
Officer with responsibility for engaging Corporate Jamaica
through sponsorship, special programmes, and new initiatives.
A licence plate holder was launched
to twin with the bumper stickers. Subsequently we have
identified and ordered cups, pennants, bandanas, beer
openers, key rings and an official K.C.O.B.A. shirts
as memorabilia and for the Association. This will be
followed by large items such as umbrellas, spring jackets,
towels etc. We view it as very exciting and believe
that it is the vehicle which will improve our financial
status and complementing our fund raisers.
Victoria Mutual has come on board with a programme working
in tandem with our membership’s registration drive.
It has developed a data base of Old Boys who attend
our functions and has invited them to become members
of the Association. A number of Ads calling old boys
to join up with return address sections in these Ads
have been appearing in the Gleaner.
On becoming paid-up members you receive
a bumper sticker and licence plate holder, plus a gift
account is opened for you at VMBS from which it is hoped
part of the principal or interest can be made payable
to the Association.
A booth was set up at the Gibson Relays
this year and will be followed up at the championships
next week, where KC old boys can register. This move
drew applause and envy as the association was on display
at Gibson promoting K.C. VMBS has opened a gift account
in the KCOB name with $20,000 and has contributed to
the Health Fair, and $12,500 to the Football Programme
A new product aiming to earn funds for
the Association, was launched recently and will appear
in the press. This product is the Fortis Insurance Scheme
to be handled by I.C.W.I.. owned by Old Boy Dennis Lalor,
who with his son Paul Lalor, not an official Old Boy,
have etched a plan to move K.C. from a state of mendicancy.
The plan is to have paid-up members
presented with a membership card which entitles them
to be a part of the Fortis Plan. From each premium paid
5% will automatically go to the Association and if fully
supported could earn the association millions each year.
Old boys therefore can without taking
money out of their pocket will be supporting the school.
A grand scheme, I think, which deserves your every support.
The plan will be expanded to include associate membership,
for wives, families etc to widen the net, and increase
This area needs rebuilding, but we have certain established
calendar events. These include the Dinner, Purple Masters
and Remember the Days. There is also the idea of a walk-a-thon
which has taken an inordinately long time to find fulfillment
but is set to take place on May 3.
A function to include and honour our
women folk is in the planning stage along with a school
leaving fete for 5th & 6th formers both of which
are ideas which need flesh.
The dinner was a successful evening netting nearly $260,000
for the Association. The organization is improving and
with a better ticket sales strategy the turn out would
be more rewarding.
The guest speaker was the Managing Director
of National Commercial Bank, Mr Aubyn Hill and two old
boys of repute, Adrian Strachan, the Auditor General
and Retired judge, Mr. Justice Boyd Carey were honoured.
The organisation of the dinner has reached its zenith
under chairman, Ken DaCosta.
REMEBER THE DAYS :
This fete which was expected to grow this year had to
compete with the world cup which greatly affected the
attendance. By 11:00 p.m. patrons were gathered around
the T.V. set provided to watch the world cup games.
Notwithstanding, we received $35,000 as our take from
the event. Life Member, Ruddy Wallace must be recognised
for his unfailing effort.
PURPLE MASTERS :
Purple Masters was hastily planned this year because
of uncertainty surrounding the venue. A last ditch effort
was made to negotiate the continued existence of this
fund raiser. A decision was reached that despite the
uncertainties and the time constraint, the fete should
be kept for continuity’s sake. The hurried organisation
produced a sparkling evening which was enjoyed by all.
At last report the profit stood at $27,000.
LICENCE PLATE HOLDERS:
1000 Licence Plate Holders were ordered and are being
sold at $600 per pair. Sales have gone well and this
should add to the visability of K.C.. and the financial
position of the Association.
The School Affairs Committee Chairman, Cedric Lazarus
became the 2nd Vice President of the Association and
in his usual quiet efficient manner kept an eye on the
school. School affairs cover a large area and Cedric’s
continued presence along with others gave us the feedback
necessary to react to the needs of the school.
The monitoring programme has been microsized
to deal with some special cases, about 30 students who
require one and one monitoring. I have a success case.
The form monitoring still lacks the full complement
as job demands and time robs us of the personnel needed.
We have observed a serious deterioration of the facility
for the teaching of science and the condition of the
physical area, the equipment, the inventory and the
boys being channeled away from that area. We had written
to Old Boys, Dr. Arnoldo Ventura and Professor Gerald
Lalor to assist in procuring the necessaries through
their international connections.
The Association has identified needy
students and have paid school fees and exam fees. Also
individual old boys have been asked to purchase books,
clothing, footwear, eye-glasses etc.
A special programme has been put in
placer to identify the student athlete and to work with
them through the system. The 4th. Formers need special
attention and the Grade Co-ordinator is alert to the
idea. Profiles have been drawn up and information sheets
provided to assist the teachers. However, a lack of
co-operation from some teachers is hampering the progress
of the project.
The canteen continues to be a profit centre with our
intake being approximately
$250,000 annually. At present it is in need of some
repair as termites have invaded. There has been an on-going
disquiet which needs closer attention with a review
of the concession necessary and a proper legal contract
The Association feels a sense of satisfaction in its
role of reviving the cadet corps. Barry Miller along
with Oscar Derby of the Association have formed a team
of emotion and reason compelling the association to
continue its donation. A donation of $35,000 close to
Inspection assisted us in winning the Ruel Vaz Trophy
for the first time in 28 years. We hope the recent donation
of $50,000 will see to its retention.
Nonetheless we have moved in three years
from a shameful act to a championship and now to a platoon
unit with a respectable drum corps. The cadets take
pride of place and Barry Miller is a K.C. Old Boy of
note. We have also assisted the unit in offsetting costs
to send some cadets to Trinidad and Barbados.
The Strategic Committee led by Oscar Derby has met and
has continued its annual rapprochement work with the
pillars of the school, namely the Board, the Church,
the Administration and the P.T.A.
The Board has been tardy and despite
several requests and promises to attend our meeting
and the summit, the chairman for one good reason or
another has not fulfilled his promises. However our
views and concerns are carried by our Board Rep. Ruddy
Wallace to Board meetings. Still outstanding is a Development
The Church, through the Lord Bishop
of Jamaica, the Rt. Revd. Albert Reid has met with us
and lines of understanding are being developed. The
level of representation of Old Boys on the board is
still a major concern. We have made it clear that our
only mission is to serve the school in a consultative
capacity as facilitators, giving recommendations to
With regard to the Administration the
Summit felt we should move to address our position with
the teachers, given the history from Cohen’s time
it was felt that a new face would help to remove perceptions,
hence Professor Rainford Wilks, a man steeped in academia
could gain their attention best. His report has been
circulate electronically. I have noted the comments
made and wish that the Old Boy transgressors be named
so we can restrain them. Also I am fearful that the
particular (if it was really so) was transferred to
the general. However there were worthy recommendations
which we should follow up; after all K.C. will be greater
with all our combined efforts.
The Committee met only twice and for an area where Old
Boys have contributed tremendously this area must be
more represented. In fact I believe that each Old Boy
should be a paid-up member of the Association and should
forge a relationship with the school through the Association.
This would give us sanctioning rights and better control
whilst preserving the name of K.C.O.B.A.
With regards to the matter of lack of
visibility of Old Boys, the Coaches, Mentors, Schools
Challenge Leaders, Cadet Trainers, Choir Master, Key
Club Leader indicate our presence. If you put a value
to this aspect of our contribution then you could not
help but see us. In my case I have been coaching free
at K.C. since 1978 unbroken some 25 years. Let’s
say that at present value coaches charge $36,000 per
month for 7 months of the year. Help me with the calculation.
Champs has been the biggest sporting spectacle on the
high school calendar and so it is central to every K.C.
boy. The fact that we have won for the past two years
has put K.C. at the forefront once again, what with
the three successive Jamaica Centenary scholarships
in the same time frame. We are about to reclaim our
No. 1 status and plans must be put in place to continue
this run. It will require constant new thinking and
added personnel. Once again we congratulate the coaching
staff and ask that strong areas are strengthened and
weak areas shored up.
We lost five key players, three to injuries, one to
weak performance in 6th form, and one who had 6 CXC
subjects but was asked to repeat 5th form. Incidentally
90% of our footballers who did CXC got 4 or more subjects.
We started shakily but ended up winning
our zone beating Jonathon Grant and Trench Town, and
were losing finalist in the Walker Cup going down 1
- 0 to Charlie Smith in a final played at the Arnett
We defended our title but this year the Association
had to furnish the team with gears. We need to take
care of the minor sports.
For the first time in 20 years we did not make the semi
final round in the “Sunlight” competition
but won the under 16 colts competition which augurs
well for the future. So far this year we are presently
in the sunlight and we are playing to reach the final
of the colts.
Mr. Roy McLean a special K.C. person
is acknowledged for his dedication and excellence and
every effort must be made to see to our financial obligations.
The matter must be cleared up now.
The sport has grown over the last two years. We have
continued to give financial support regarding the rental
of a pool, purchasing gears and providing lunches at
Terry Hamilton, Mother of Wonder-Boy,
Brad Hamilton, through the PTA has worked handsomely
in this area. We were third the last time around to
the dismay of many.
Coach Meikle has started a programme to revive our fortunes
in Basketball. At the Summit I spoke to the representative
from Atlanta soliciting support. He got in touch with
the coach and they were in receipt of two backboards,
balls and footwear.
The school seems to have lost interest in this area
despite the efforts of Ronnie Chin. Churchill Neita
is working to get a coach and to work and to work out
remunerations. We had the successful renewal of the
Douglas Forrest Tennis Classic by Ronnie Chin and his
This area is a disgrace, I have been to matches where
you can’t make out which team is K.C. the kaleidoscope
confuses. With the number of boys in the school and
our age old philosophy of a sound mind in a healthy
body plus the fact that universities are asking for
extra curricular activities, sports like volleyball
and badminton must be added. After we have rounded physical
education graduates on staff.
The Trust continues its growth reaching near $11 million.
The umbilical cord with the Association is cut and I
hope that the child is not wandering afar off not recognising
its parents. I still feel that the interest should be
carefully used to assist some areas in the school where
funding is scarce so we don’t have to be begging
the same people every year for help. The leadership
of Pat McIntosh, Bernard Channer, Ruddy Wallace among
others have been examples of detailed reporting and
We lost the services of the luminous Churchill Neita,
1st Vice President through resignation. Although resigning
his post Churchill’s commitment to K.C. is unflagging
and not because of his initials, K.C. Neita, he is still
KC’s Neita. He continues his work in the development
of the project for a canteen facility at Melbourne having
collected over ½ million. He is also committed
to assisting with the re-establishment of a library
at north street and his personal welfare programme conducted
through his office. Churchill, the door is still open
and we look forward to the resumption of your association.
We have lost some stalwarts in the last year and I am
asking us to use their life’s examples to propel
us to further service.
We are at the cross roads where people
are questioning our relevance and therefore need to
tighten our aspirations to quantify our support to the
school. Projects must be found and completed and it
seems we have to blow our trumpet. It is clear that
our interaction with the teaching staff is priority
and we should use the occasion of a new headmaster to
hasten the process.
The weakness of our association is the
lack of commitment of many old boys to the association;
those who are not paid-up members, those who do not
come to our fund raising activities or support any programmes.
Gentlemen, the Association is all of us, we are only
willing servants who await others to join and replace
us. Over the past year we have set the stage with our
membership programme and our public relations merchandising
scheme. If these areas are supported we will see the
full value of Kingston College old boys association,
your vehicle for continuity.
Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest.