August 2011 Volume 8

A Tribute to Ivan “Wally” Johnson

Stephen Vasciannie
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Dear Colleagues,

"It is with profound regret that the entire Kingston College Community has learnt of the passing of Ivan "Wally" Johnson, Kingston College Old Boy Extraordinaire, longstanding teacher, and former Acting Principal.

"Wally" Johnson was a veritable institution at Kingston College.  For half a century, he has been associated with the school, and for at least 40 of those years, he contributed, in various leadership capacities, to the growth and development of thousands of Kingston College students. 

Many of us will remember Mr. Johnson because he served as their Principal, leading the College through times of economic stress and working for the upliftment of boys from all parts of Jamaican society.  In his capacity as Acting Principal, Mr. Johnson was always kind, compassionate, and determined to ensure that academic excellence was combined with the indomitable "purple-hearted" will to win, and social sensitivity.  As Acting Principal, he served with dedication and integrity, and with a strong team around him, was able to maintain standards at Kingston College with a smile, quick wit, and sound judgement.

For many others, from an earlier time, Mr. Johnson was the energetic and indefatigable sports master, moving quickly from one sport to another, while working to maintain the famous Kingston College effort to prevail in all inter-secondary school sporting activities.  Those who knew Wally Johnson in this capacity witnessed the master strategist with his special ability to judge character and true talent in short order.

And for even others, over extended periods of the history of Kingston College, the experience was that of "Wally" Johnson the artist, English Literature specialist, debating coach or quiz advisor.  He was, in particular, gifted with an artistic hand, and motivated younger artists from the ranks of his beloved alma mater. 

The greater part of "Wally" Johnson's life was centred at Kingston College, and he served within the finest traditions of the venerated heroes of the School.  On behalf of the Board, members of staff, and students of the School, I offer my sincere condolences to Mr. Johnson's family members and loved ones.  May his soul rest in peace."

Sincerely,

Stephen Vasciannie 

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