When Coach Thompson died in 2008 he was eulogized as a responsible, fun-loving student who grew into a humble, generous man, who cared about his family, students and players, not only on the on the field of play or exclusively at Kingston College. He gave of his time and resource selflessly, without expecting or receiving much in return.
In 2009, the KCOBA Atlanta chapter established the George Thompson Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honor at the urging of Atlanta director Whylie Chambers. That year one student at KC received an award. This year, the fund has increased the amount of funds allocated for awards for the 2014/15 academic year – 30 KC students will now receive awards and two Old Boys attending UWI Mona will receive scholarships.
Here is what KC’s Vice Principal, Marguerita Hall, had to say about the scholarship fund:
Gifton Wright was one of the first recipients of the scholarship. The scholarship enabled him to prepare for the Scripps National Spelling Competition in Washington, DC. This not only put KC on the map but Jamaica as well.
The students at universities offset some of their expenses and were able to concentrate on their studies. While I am not sure of the results of the others, Yuchen Moodie has done well and is forever grateful.
Last year several athletes qualified to be promoted to 6th Form but were financially challenged and the scholarship provided a subsidy for them.
This year, in this challenging economic climate, it was a joy to hear that the number of scholarships had increased to 30. It is to be noted that much consideration is always taken before a student is awarded one of these scholarships. His academic performance has to be above average, he must participate in an extra-curricular activity and need must be established through the Guidance & Counseling Department. The Sports Master is often consulted as we try as much as possible to assist the needy student-athlete who does work that is of acceptable school standard.
According to Yuchen Moodie, a UWI student and 2013 recipient of an old boy award, “the George Thompson Memorial scholarship fund has shown me that no matter the obstacles or barriers one faces in life, through hard work one can accomplish his career choice. One of my career goals in life is to be a historian, and this scholarship fund has created an avenue in accomplishing this career goal. Many thanks to my Kingston College family who made attending University of the West Indies Mona as a registered student possible.”
Bishop Taylor spoke glowingly of his Senior Prefect, who earned the respect of his peers while at school, by his quiet and consistent example. He recalled George’s making sure all the boys under his charge ate lunch, even if he had to put up the funds. This was but a prelude to his later years when George Thompson was in charge of the school’s canteen, guaranteeing that his football team was fed, while often having to use his own resources to keep the canteen afloat.
The scholarship fund has two components: the student scholarships and the Old Boys’ Scholarships.
Since its inception, the George Thompson Memorial Scholarship Fund has provided awards to over 75 students at KC and 17 Old Boys attending university.
George Thompson would be very happy to see that the fund established in his honor continues his legacy of service and care for students at Kingston College.