September 2019 Volume 15


Leighton Hollar
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In 1969 I was fortunate to receive two scholarships, one to Excelsior and the other to Kingston College. It never occurred to me then to ask how my scholarship was being paid for. They were given by the individual schools and not Government sponsored. The idea that money came from outside the school to offer scholarships and assist with its day to day administration never crossed my mind.

I chose to attend K.C. as I was familiar with that neighborhood, having spent four years at Holy Trinity and because I thought that without the distraction of girls I might finally achieve the potential which my parents and teachers were convinced I possessed.

I spent two years at K.C. starting in August of 1969 and going from 4J to 5C before graduating in May of 1971. My first class room at K.C. was given the letter “J” as we were affectionately referred to as “Four Just-come” by Head Master Douglas Forrest. This was the first time that a small group of High Schools had offered Scholarships to a selected number of Junior High School Students who were passed the age for either the Common or Campion Entrance Examination. The program was so successful that it was completely taken over and expanded, by the Government to include all students deemed qualified to sit the exam by their home room teacher. My brother who was already dressing in one of my K.C. ties on his way home from Holy Trinity was a recipient of the new Government Scholarship. So in 1970 K.C. opened a new class room, 3J.

Sometime in 1996 while visiting Jamaica I brought my first book of poems ‘The Coming Of Three Spirits’ and introduced it to acting Head Master Mr. ‘Johno’ Johnson. He was impressed with my writing and purchased two books, one for each Campus Library and dispatched me to deliver them to the Book Store. It was there that I met the Aunt of Winston Stewart, the then President of KCOBA USA, Inc. She gave me her Nephew’s phone number and made me promised to connect with him and the Old Boys’ Association when I returned to New York. If not for that faithful meeting I probably would still be unaware of KCOBA’s existence. Thank you Mr. ‘Johno’ and thanks to Winston’s Aunt.

As a Board Member of Kingston College Old Boys’ Association USA Inc., I have been forced by what I have learned from this organization to wonder just how or who provided the scholarship that enabled me to wear the royal colors of Purple and White. But even if my scholarship was not paid for directly by a K.C. Old Boy, I am sure that there have always been K.C. Old Boys giving freely of their time and money to ensure a Kingston Collage that is ninety four years strong. To day we need more K.C. Old Boys willing to guarantee another ninety four years of academic excellence. This testimonial of why I serve and have continue to serve for more than twenty years is a call to all K.C. Alumni and Alumni in general, who have not yet realize just how much of their Alma mater’s needs comes from Alumni and their associations and just how much our schools still require these outside assistance to be competitive instruments of modern education.

I know that there are many who would love to be a part of their alumni association but they just don’t have the time. I don’t have the time either, so how do I manage? It’s very simple, those of us who participate in KCOBA USA Inc., make the time. But beyond that just being a dues paying member is a great help because dues is the administrative life’s blood of the organization as 100% of all donations collected by KCOBA USA Inc., goes directly to fund Kingston College and benefit its students. So if you cannot attend the various functions, purchase some tickets anyway. Give them to your relatives, friends, colleagues and or your customers. Your school benefits and you promote yourself or business.

We all can participate and contribute. We need only to come to the realization that we have a very good reason for doing so. For years we have pondered and discussed ways of getting the younger Old Boys to participate more fully in the Association as Board Members this remain an ongoing quest we hope to realize in the near future.

I hope this poem of my reflection helps all who takes the time to read and reflect.

"...committed to supporting & promoting Fortis Forever"


With an eye to the future, we strive

to realize what once was only dreamed --

that only through education

can our children be redeemed.

With an eye to the future

students are given their start.

In determination and sacrifice

we play a sacred part --

for a poor and impoverished nation

needs more than acclamation.

In this vision of tomorrow

let past students carry the ball

for we who are the parents

demand the best for all.

In our country lush and green

we cultivate dexterous minds and grateful ties.

To not make this contribution

is to contribute to our nation’s demise.

With an eye to the future

we create the future clime

ensuring peace and prosperity

and a homeland, much more sublime.

©--Leighton Hollar

First printed: KCOBA USA Inc. 17th, Annual Reunion & Awards Banquet Souvenir Journal, May 6th, 2000.

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