Veron "Captain Mike" Martin was born in the district of New Roads in the parish of Westmoreland and attended the Wesley Primary school in Central Kingston but later moved back to New Roads where he sat the common entrance exam. In 1965, he was awarded a free place to Kingston College and returned to Kingston to live with his aunt in order to attend the college.
Why did the Mike choose KC? The lyrics of a popular song at the time alluded to KC beating St. Georges in a football match and this emboldened him in making the choice.
At KC, Mike enjoyed playing cricket and earned the nickname "Rocka Lilly" and was affectionately called "Rocka" for his ability to rock the cricket pins with his bowling prowess. His many household duties prevented him from turning out for the school team, however. But he was still able to play Colts football for one year. Some of his friends while at school include: Kenneth Gordon, Garey Richards, Sedley Morris, Richard Gayle, Mark Callender and Barry Miller. His favorite teacher was Ms. Thompson who taught him French. Like so many lower school students, he crossed paths with Mr. Crick and received a caning for possession of a pencil that was not his. He still has fond memories of Mr. McDonald, who taught math; Mr. Rhone, the playwright and Maude Fuller who was famous as "Liza" on the "Lou and Ranny" show.
Mike left KC at the end of fourth form and enrolled at Kingston Tech where he studied Electrical Engineering. After graduating, he worked at the Fisher Elevator Company which paid for his first overseas trip to New York for advanced training. He embarked on his entrepreneurial journey when he and several coworkers quit and started the company called, Jamaica Elevator & Electrical Services Ltd., which eventually became the largest of its kind in the country. It is still in existence to this day.
In 1985, Mike migrated to New York, but after only a few months, unhappy with the cold weather, he moved to Miami where he continued his entrepreneurial ways by opening a used car dealership, Mi-Jam Enterprises, Inc. and exporting various products to Jamaica. Mi-Jam Enterprises is still in operation today.
Mike moved his family to Atlanta in 2002. He cites the 9/11 attacks and the resulting economic slowdown, especially in the used car business as the underlying reason for the move. It was now time to focus on what he really loved: cooking. Today, Captain Mike's Jerk Chicken is legendary and many beat a path to his restaurant in Stone Mountain.
Mike is married to Norma-Jean whom he met while she was a teacher at Alpha Primary in 1983. Norma-Jean is president of A Fashion Affair , an event production company. Their union has produced two children. Mike is father of four other children and the proud grandfather of two.
The Atlanta chapter is most fortunate to have Mike's support: his involvement and dedication to KCOBA are exemplary.
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