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KC marks 95 years today


Jamaica’s largest all-boy institution, Kingston College, celebrates 95 years of existence today.

The school, which has campuses at North Street (main) and Upper Elletson Road in Kingston, first opened its doors to 49 students on April 16, 1925 at its first location — the corner of North and East streets, which now houses The Gleaner Company.

The school was born out of a persistent lobby to get it started by Bishop Percival Gibson, the institution’s first headmaster, who went on to become Lord Bishop of Jamaica, and was succeeded by Douglas Forrest.

It was started as a grant-aided (Government-funded) institution for underprivileged boys who found it difficult to get into other established schools at the time. Bishop Gibson suggested in his argument to the Anglican Church, which was headed at the time by Bishop G F C de Carteret, that there was a mass of talent that could be trained to build Jamaica and provide opportunities for those who would have otherwise found it difficult to exist.
Known for its purple and white colours, an offshoot of the Episcopal Church, the school has held on to the Latin motto ‘Fortis Cadere Cedere Non Potest’, which in English means ‘The Brave May Fall But Never Yield’.

KC has produced five Rhodes Scholars — John Ramson (1934), L L Murad (1937), Evan Morris (1949), Delroy Chuck (1973), and Stephen Vasciannie (1978) — as well as some of the most outstanding men in all disciplines who are to be found in most countries of the world. Among them are noted attorneys-at-law Edward Zacca, Boyd Carey, K Churchill Neita, Ken Pantry, Ransford Braham, Ian Wilkinson, Clive Mullings, Wayne Golding, George Soutar; architects Errol Alberga, Kirk Douglas, Douglas Steibel; engineers Winston Haye, William “Bill” Saunders, Winston Stewart, Dr Patrick Dallas, Clinton Watson, Donald Johnson, Peter Thompson, Kimani Kurton, Dwayne Rowe; medical practitioners Professor L Lawson Douglas, Professor John Hall, Prof Rainford Wilks, Prof Carlos Escoffery, Dr Hugh Vaughan, Dr Warren Blake, Dr Donovan Calder, Dr Ray Fraser, Dr Charlton Collie, Dr Wayne Fraser, Dr Ivor Nugent, Dr Kenneth Vaughan, Dr Rohan Wilks; broadcasters Allan Magnus and Barry Gordon; journalists Vernon Davidson, Karl Angell, and Arthur Hall; physicists Professor Gerald Lalor and Carl Blackwood; businessmen Dr Marshall Hall, Dennis Lalor, Howard Lau, Audley Hewett; politicians Errol “Jigs” Ennis, G Anthony Hylton, Damion Crawford; painters and sculptors Barrington Watson, Basil Watson, and Raymond Watson.

Some of the notable sportsmen who attended the school were cricketers Easton McMorris, O’Neil Gordon “Collie” Smith, Michael Holding, J K Holt, Andrew Richardson, Marlon Tucker, Robert Samuels; athletes Omar McLeod, Akeem Bloomfield, Lennox “Billy” Miller, Rupert Hoilette, Hancel Parchment, Kirk Douglas; footballers Neville Oxford, Trevor “Jumpy” Harris, Frank “Bowla” Morant, Douglas Bell, Howard Bell, Allan “Skill” Cole, and Derick “Shastri” Denniser.

The school, the most successful in Television Jamaica’s Schools’ Challenge Quiz with 11 titles, saw a record 90 per cent of the boys who sat subjects in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams last academic year achieving passes in five or more subjects. Additionally, there were 93.5 per cent passes in mathematics and 93 per cent in English language.

In sports, KC has won 32 Boys’ Athletics Championship titles, the most by any school; 23 senior and 16 junior table tennis championships, also the most by any school; in addition to 23 Sunlight (cricket) championships, nine in the all-island Spaulding Cup, and six in the urban area knockout called the Tappin Cup. There have been 15 Manning Cup football titles, nine all-island Olivier Shield crowns, and nine Walker Cup knockout titles. The school has 49 basketball titles overall in senior and junior leagues, and senior and junior knockout competitions; 22 tennis championships overall; six hockey titles; four Simpson Shield swimming crowns; and lately has been successful in lacrosse and rugby.

Principal Dave Myrie said he was proud of KC’s achievements and remains positive that the school will achieve far more in the future.

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