Another good year has passed for the KCOBA, although a number of Fortis brethren have fallen and we use this opportunity to yet again extend our heartfelt condolences to their families.
At this time, we also want to congratulate Kingston College old boys who were successful in the recently concluded General Elections and are now Members of Parliament namely Delroy Chuck, Damion Crawford, Anthony Hylton and Hugh Buchanan.
As an organization, we have achieved a number of our targets although we had hoped to achieve more. The Fortis Spirit remains very high and the love and passion for the school continues to be enviable. KCOBA is considered a model for all other alumini in Jamaica. Some have even gone as far as compare us with the Masonic Lodge which could be considered a compliment as the Masonic Lodge is the longest existing fraternal and brotherhood organization in the world with its fundamental objective being the commitment to do well and serve the community. It is important to note that the Lodge originated during the era of King Solomon. This speaks volumes for the strength of the KC Fraternity given that KC was only founded in 1925. This fraternal tradition evolved from the foundation and guiding principles established by the founding fathers led by Bishop Gibson and Douglas Forrest and have been enriched by each passing generation.
This past year, we have seen the KCOBA spend over Ten Million Dollars (JA$10m) on infrastructure with significant input from Miami and New York chapters along with contributions from Toronto and Atlanta chapters. Outlined below are some of the projects that were targeted:
- Renovating Chemistry Laboratory
- Refurbishing Pavilion
- Assisted Fencing and refurbishing of Sport Field
- Started Renovation of Cricket Nursery
- Gave numerous busrary and scholarships to present students
- Continued to make financial contribution to feeding programme
- Continued to coach and manage all sporting teams without financial compensation.
- Provide equipment and nutritional support to teams
- Providing medical support for the teams
As part of the process to ensure that the present generation understands and appreciates the history, tradition and legends of KC, a series of lectures was started by the KCOBA.
- The Bishop Gibson Lecture was given during Founder's Week 2010 by the Rev. Don Taylor and was well received.
- The Douglas Forrest Lecture was excellently presented by Mr. Peter Maxwell, former head boy.
- To continue in February 2012 will be the Howard Aires Lecture to be given by Teddy McCook.
- During Founder's Week 2012, there will be a Lecture by Professor Basil Wilson on "KC and Leadership in Jamaica."
However, for these programmes to continue in 2012 and beyond, we will need the input of all old boys. This past year, a number of fundraisers were organized but did not receive the level of support anticipated; consequently there was a shortfall in income projected. These included:
- Magazine sales
- Founder's Week Celebrations
- Purple Masters
- Roper Cup Activities
- Annual Reunion Dinner
These fundraisers will again be attempted this year with the added activity of a Coin Drive known as "Small Change." Given the fact that Jamaica is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the focus of the magazine will be highlighting KC's success over the past 50 years since 1962.
Over the years, a number of old boys have made significant contributions to projects. But the prevailing economic conditions coupled with many of them making their transition from this life and some becoming inactive for reasons beyond their control, sadly, these happenings have left a serious gap in our fundraising efforts and fundraising has become somewhat more challenging. Consequently, the onus is now on us to redouble our effort to ensure that the school continues to be an institution of excellence for generations to come.
There are a number of projects planned for the coming year:
- The long overdue expansion of the Douglas Forrest Building. The scope of work and costing has been done. This is to increase space especially for the sixth formers as many have been turned away to seek spaces at other schools despite their qualifying success in CSEC.
- Purchase of a school bus. The present school bus is in a state of disrepair and spends more time in the repair garage than on the road. This significantly impedes the transporting of the boys to their various activities. It is no longer cost effective to repair the bus due to the escalating repair costs and the school's increasingly high expenditure for alternative transport. Costing has been obtained which is approximately $8m and the School Board has already committed $1m.
- The KCOBA intends to work in collaboration with the school for the expansion at the back of the pavilion to incorporate a changing room for the ancillary staff.
- Reconfiguration of the main entrance to the school at the North Street campus which is grossly inadequate, unattractive and poses a danger to the boys in their movements in and out of the gate especially when there is vehicular traffic. We also need an entrance that befits the caliber of such an institution. The architectural design has been done and the estimated cost is $2.2m.
Fortis brethren, in 1934 when KC transferred from East Street to Clovelly Park, North Street, it housed the most modern school buildings in Jamaica. Unfortunately, KC has long lost that status. However, we can regain it, but this will only happen if the love, passion and commitment shared by each old boy for the school translates into meaningful contribution and dedicated support.
Let us pledge our support by first paying our minimum contribution that is our dues of $1,000.00 through our BNS Account Number 180718 (Cross Roads). Contact the Treasurer - Sixto Coy at 876-322-5038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or Lloyd Bennett at 358-0442 or email email@example.com.
Remember that you are all members of the KCOBA once you have attended KC. So it would be an encouraging start to have all old boys commit themselves in this regard.
Please email confirmation of your deposit as well as your contact information so it can be added to the database already started by Wilfred McKenley who is establishing a database of all old boys who have graduated since 1925.
Let us focus on moving forward in unity so we can achieve more.
Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest