October 2023 Volume 19

The Scarlett Family Dynasty at Kingston College

Dr. Cedric Lazarus
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If you were a student at Kingston College in the late 1960s or the following decades of the 1970s and 80s, chances are high that you would have come across one of the Scarlett brothers.

These remarkable siblings hold the esteemed distinction of being the largest group of brothers from a single household to grace the revered halls of this esteemed institution, totaling an impressive seven.

During the 1960s, the Scarletts resided in close proximity to both KC campuses, with Mrs. Scarlett, a strong advocate for education, selecting KC as the premier choice for her sons' secondary schooling. Mrs. Scarlett a successful businesswoman, and her husband, Mr. Gladstone Scarlett, a firefighter, were blessed with a total of eleven children, including two daughters. Two of their sons attended Holy Trinity High School.

In those early years, the Scarlett family made their home at the intersection of South Camp Road and Melbourne Road, adjacent to Sabina Park, which now serves as the Eastern Gate to this iconic venue. Despite the convenient proximity to St. Georges College, Mrs. Scarlett's familiarity with KC's renowned mathematics teacher, Mr. John Burrows, and her subsequent close relationship with Mr. Carlton Bruce, the Vice Principal, made the decision to send her boys to KC an obvious choice, surpassing the alternative of St. Georges College.

Her first son, Dr. Silburn Clarke, attended Kingston College (KC) from 1966 to 1972. He was followed by Ian Scarlett (1971-1978), George Scarlett (1975-1980), James Scarlett (1979-1982), Andrew Scarlett (1978-1984), Lennox Scarlett (1979-1984), and Robert Scarlett (1981-1988) - a true KC dynasty. That is not all, as five of the Scarlett siblings have sons who attended KC, or are still attending. Ian's son, Jason; George's sons, Dr. George Jr., Knox, and Andre, with another three lining up to attend as early as 2024 or 2025. James (now deceased) had four sons who attended KC: Jahmai, Kymani, Ajani, and Keon (a David Hunt Scholar, who is currently in Grade 13).

Not to be outdone by her many brothers, one of the female siblings, Suzanne (an attorney-at-law), made sure that her son, Matthew, also attended KC, which he did from 2003-2010. Until recently, four of Mrs. Scarlett's grandchildren were at KC at the same time. Amazingly Mrs. Scarlett had seven sons and nine grandsons who attended KC. Daughter Jasmin, popularly known as Terry, and who lives in New York, is actively involved with the KCOBA New York Chapter and supports KC at every opportunity.

The Scarlett boys were known for their numerous extracurricular activities. Silburn was a cadet and played hockey; Ian rose to the rank of Sergeant Major in the Cadet Corps, captained the hockey team in his senior years, and found time to play chess; George Sr. was in the Interact and KC-St. Hugh's drama club, and served as KC's Regional representative in the student council; James was a member of the Inter-Secondary School Christian Fellowship; Andrew played basketball, was a cadet, and was captain of the School Challenge Quiz team in 1984. He also coached the team for a few years after leaving school; Lennox played hockey and was part of the track and field program; and Robert played basketball.

Among the second generation of Scarletts, George Jr., now a medical doctor in Kingston, stood out as a remarkable individual. He was Deputy Head Boy, played on the lawn tennis team, and captained the School Challenge quiz team during the 1999-2000 academic year - following in the footsteps of his uncle, Andrew.

The late Mrs. Scarlett, who passed away in 2021 at the age of eighty-nine, must have been filled with immense pride for her children. Not only was she the revered matriarch of the Scarlett clan, but she was also known for her warmth, generosity, and kindness. Her home, particularly during their time at Camperdown Road in East Kingston, became a welcoming haven for countless KC boys who visited over the years. It was a place where friendships were forged, and memories were made.

While coaching the quiz team, family members fondly recall how Andrew would extend invitations to team members for weekend training sessions at their family home. These gatherings not only fostered camaraderie but also served as a testament to the strong bond shared by the Scarletts. The Scarletts epitomize the vision of Bishop Gibson for KC which was to provide Jamaicans from humble backgrounds with the opportunities to unlock their potential and make significant contributions to both Jamaica and the world. The Scarletts embody this vision, showcasing how individuals, regardless of their origins, can rise and achieve greatness. Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest.

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