January 2024 Volume 20

KCOBA (Toronto) Chapter celebrates 50 years of continuous support to Kingston College

Lance Seymour
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KCOBA (Toronto) Chapter concluded a yearlong celebration of 50 years of continuous support to Kingston College by honouring the 33 founders at the Annual Reunion and Awards banquet, held November 4, 2023 at the Markham Convention Centre in Toronto. Those in attendance included, KCOB Kurt Davis, the recently appointed Consul General to Toronto and his wife, Dr. Suzzane Robinson Davis; Principal Dave Myrie, who delivered the keynote address, and his wife, Helen Myrie; as well as out of town Old Boys, Dale Keisz , Toronto Chapter Life Director residing in Florida; Jeff Hoyes and Winston Stewart, both from Tampa; Kitson Blissett (New York) and his wife, Dr. Sylvene Blissett.
Going back in time, 50 years ago on December 9, 1973 the 33 founding members met at Seneca College in Toronto and established the Kingston College Old Boys Association (Toronto) Chapter. Since that momentous day, starting with the inaugural president, Dr. Frederick “Buddy” McIntosh and continuing with the current and 16th president Richard Housen, the chapter has the enviable record as the only KCOBA entity to attain 50 years of unbroken support to our beloved alma mater.
The highlight of the formal section of the proceedings was the presentation of the recognition award plaques by president Housen, to the following 10 founding members who were in attendance:

  • Colin Campbell
  • Deryck Collins
  • Dale Keiz
  • Hugh Marshall
  • Oliver Meikle
  • Hugh Morrison
  • Dennis Nation
  • Eddie Patterson
  • Howie Taylor           
  • Peter Taylor

The gentlemen were afforded a standing ovation lasting approximately 5 minutes.
The following 13 founding members were unable to attend and will have their awards presented to them in person by the president and other board members subsequently:

  • Dr. Frederick “Buddy” McIntosh
  • Michael Chin
  • Dr. Neville Davidson
  • Victor Fowler
  • Gerald Johnson
  • Eric Lindsay
  • Hugh “Jack” Manhertz
  • Dr. John Meikle
  • George Meikle
  • Ossie Smith
  • Norman Stewart
  • Berwin Stewart
  • Audley Taylor

  The following 10 founding members were awarded posthumously:

  • Clive Belnavis
  • Keith Bryan
  • Hugh “Patch” Branford
  • Barrington “Barry”  Huie
  • Winston “Aggery” Johnson
  • Gerald “Gerry” Lindo
  • Oswald Murray
  • Al Nation
  • Herbert Swaby
  • Dr. Cliff Taylor

May their souls rest in peace.
As a registered Canadian non-profit organization, incorporated in May 1995, in addition to the support provided to Kingston College, the Toronto chapter also supports the local community. One such initiative is the awarding of a bursary in honour of the late former vice-president Maurice MacDonald, to a deserving young person attending a post-secondary institution.  This year Justine Wilmot, currently pursuing a diploma in Social Service at Durham College in Ontario, was the selected recipient and was presented with the award at the event by the daughters of Maurice MacDonald, Sharma and Sabrina.
Kurt Davis brought greetings in his capacity as the Consul General, which was followed by the keynote address by the principal Dave Myrie. Both were well received.
Throughout the evening, Master of Ceremonies Dwight “Barrelman” Ross, kept the attendees engaged by handing out prizes, donated by a number of local companies and organizations, to individuals who “won” various impromptu competitions. The criteria included best dressed KCOB, largest family in attendance, family with the most generations to attend Kingston College, to name a few.
After the closing remarks by the secretary Norman Wallace, the formalities were brought to an end and the after party commenced with DJs Rough Cut and and Fitz keeping the crowd on the dance floor into the wee hours.
The prior evening, Friday November 3, a meet and greet was held with KCOBA (Toronto) Chapter members, the principal and the out of town guests at the Glenerin  Inn and Spa. President Housen, used the occasion to present a cheque of CAD $4,500 to Principal Myrie on behalf of the Toronto Chapter.
Since the founding of the chapter by those 33 visionary KC Old Boys, Kingston College has received support in cash and kind including but not limited to the following:

  • Kingston College Development Trust Fund (KCDTF)
  • Students' Bursary
  • Breakfast and Lunch programme
  • Cadet Corps
  • Industrial Arts
  • Chemistry Lab
  • Computer Lab
  • Physics Lab
  • Prize Giving
  • KC Writers' Club
  • Douglas Forrest Building project
  • Teachers' Appreciation Luncheon
  • Teachers' Development initiatives
  • Library
  • Dental Program
  • Choir
  • Track and Field program

The Toronto Chapter has also been instrumental in the founding of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Association (AJAA) in 1988. The AJAA serves as an umbrella organization for the Jamaican Alumni Associations in Toronto. From the initial 13 members in 1988, the membership now exceeds 40 schools.  The annual soccerfest, which is a competition administered by the AJAA for member associations was started  largely due to the efforts of a few prominent members of the Toronto Chapter and has evolved into an entertainment event for the wider Jamaican community.
There is every reason to believe that this tradition of unbroken service to Kingston College and the wider community will continue for many years to come. Toronto remains an attractive destination for those Jamaicans seeking greater opportunities for themselves and their families. There is no doubt that numbered among these immigrants will be KC Old Boys willing and able to continue to give back to their alma mater and serve the wider community.
Fortis forever.

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