Jamaican School Boys Devotion to Their Alma matersPublished Mar 14, 2013
Jamaica, West Indies has been fortunate to be the home of some of the most prestigious all male High Schools in the world. Schools such as Calabar, Jamaica College, Kingston College, Wolmer’s Boys’ School and Saint George’s College. Schools in Jamaica enrich their curriculum by making sports a vital part of the learning experience.
Activities such as badminton, basketball, football, rugby, swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, track and field, volleyball and cricket are generally part of the daily schedule within these schools.
Jamaican school boys are often proud of the athletic achievements of their schools and usually use their victories to taunt their friends and acquaintances in social situations.
Calabar High School is known for its motto, “The utmost and the highest” and their green and black school colors have been the proud producers of such athletic greats like, Nehemiah Perry-Cricketer, Maurice Smith-Decathlete, World Championship Silver Medalist .
Calabar has created several Rhodes Scholars and have won “The Champs” trophy 21 times since 1930.This school has not only produced remarkable athletes but they have been the winners of the School Challenge Quiz and have participated in the finals for six years in the past decade.
Notable graduates from Calabar High School are Dr. Franklyn Prendergast, Director of the Mayo Clinic, Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, Roger Mais, Writer, Paul Geddes, Founder of Red Stripe Beer, Reverend Hugh Sherlock, Author of Jamaica’s National Anthem and The Honorable P.J. Patterson , Former Prime Minister of Jamaica.
Jamaica College which is identified by the colors blue and white, revere their motto “May the college flourish, work is burning in the fields”, which may be translated as “strike while the iron is hot or still burning.” Their excellence can be seen in their academic and sportsmanship. Jamaica College won the Mortimer Geddes trophy in 2011 and have also been lauded for winning javelin competitions as well as decathalons.
The institution has produced 15 Rhodes Scholars and are one of the few shools that offer Flight Training as well as a Robotics Program. In 2012, they placed third in the Robotics Competition and were the only representatives living outside of the United States to accomplish this feat.
In football, they have won the Manning Cup, The Walker Cup and the Oliver Shield. The athletes at Jamaica College have also placed 3rd in Field Hockey, living up to their “True Blue” reputation. On the island, they are perceived as the most successful school in athletics. The school boasts graduates such as Dennis Scott, Playwright, Poet , Dancer and Actor of the Cosby Show, Monty Alexander, Jazz Pianist, Carlton Alexander, former Chairman of Grace Kennedy & Company, and former Prime Ministers, Norman Washington Manley, Michael Manley and Bruce Golding.
Saint George’s College which is a Roman Catholic Institution and the rival of Kingston College, otherwise known as “KC”, is also the “Brother” school to Convent of Mercy Alpha (a.k.a. Alpha Academy Girls’ School). Their motto “For the greater glory of God” is taken seriously in all their endeavors, allowing them to have created six Rhodes Scholars and a stellar list of exceptional graduates.
The school colors blue and white are proudly displayed in their uniforms and are part of the celebrations on Sports Day. Although they have competed in sports such as basketball, badminton, cricket, football, lawn tennis, table tennis, rugby swimming, track & field and water polo, they have not acquired a plethora of medals or awards for sportmanship.
Notable graduates of St. Geroge’s College are: Professor Emeritus Anthony Chen, Member of Nobel Prize in 2007, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley, Bruce Golding, and Andy Williams, 1998 World Cup Reggae Boy.
Kingston College students and graduates wear their school color purple and white regally and valiantly. Their motto , “The brave may fall but never yield”, speaks of their endeavors in sports and academics.
This school participates in sports such as basketball, rugby, football, swimming, tennis, track & field, volleyball and cricket, however, despite their efforts the accolades they have received are quite sparse.
Wolmer’s Boys’ School which was once referred to as the University of Cricket, boasts the most wins for the Sunlight Cup. They are the largest producers of Cricketers for the Jamaican and West Indies Cricket Teams.
Their colors maroon and gold complements their school crest which describes the sun of learning bursting through the cloud of ignorance. The crest symbolizes their commitment to excellence in education. Wolmer’s has been responsible for many political careers such as, The Most Honorable Edward Seaga, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Most Sir Florizel Glasspole, Governor General of Jamaica, The Honorable Keeble Munn, Minister of Agriculture & Minister of National Security, Owner of Blue Mountain Coffee. Other graduates include, Harry Belafonte, Singer, Diana King, Recording Artist, Michael Frater, Olympian Track Athlete, Gold Medalist, Beijing Games 2008 and Maxim Rochester, Managing Partner of Price Waterhouse Coopers.
Wolmer’s may not have gained notoriety in the athletic arena however they have managed to secure a reputable record in academia by producing 21 Rhodes Scholars over the years.
The pride and sportsmanship that past and present Jamaican Schoolboys feel, toward their alma maters extend beyond their school days. Even when they have graduated and moved on to other Institutions, they still support and root for their old High Schools.
In any social situation each school boy from either school would be seen dressed in their school colors from head to toe or have the colors dangling from their rear view mirrors. The die-hard supporters may even go as far as decorating their homes or making their vehicles pay homage to their schools.
If the boys/men ran into each other in a Sports Bar, the conversation would probably go something like this:
KC would say to Georges: “Uno too soft, cause uno spend too much time romancing the Alpha girls.”
While, George’s would respond:” Rememba say, Kingston College no got no knowledge ‘cause uno eat cornmeal porridge. It slow uno down! Anyway, we produce the melody makers!”
Calabar: “We are the best, we are the greatest and we have the medals to prove it!”
JC: “ We are better than all of you combined, we have you all beat in medals, academics, flying and robotics! No one can top that! We are clever, funny and on the cutting edge of science!”
Wolmer’s would respond: “We don’t know what all the fuss is about, who produces the most Politicians and World Leaders? We are the Boss, a we run tings!”
The funny thing is, that each one would be willing to bet the family farm on their alma mater winning and taking all regardless of their school's prior track record.
After the competition and “trash talking” has been set aside, all four would probably reminisce about how lucky and blessed they have been to be part of an exceptional education system.
Research data provided by wikipedia.org