KNOX 6Oth ANNIVERSARY REUNION IN JAMAICA, IN 2007
SUNDAY 17th, 2007:
Spaldings United Church was full to capacity for the 60 th Anniversary service conducted by the Rev. Gary Harriot, General Secretary of the Jamaica Council of Churches and past student of Knox. Highlights of the service included greetings from the KPSA by President Sandra Simmonds, the self-introduction of past students, stating the year they graduated, the praise and worship in song led by Errol Lee, the recognition of past and present staff (including the Jones' and Mrs Swaby), the presentation of gifts to all fathers (it being Fathers' Day) and an inspirational sermon by the Rev. Harriot. There were approximately 60 past students in attendance and all were invited up to the school for lunch which turned out to be quite delicious. Many mini-reunions took place as the day turned into evening. I ended up at the Logan 's residence in Clarendon Park , on the way back to Kingston , reminiscing on the Knox of the 60's along with fellow Jones hostellers Silbourne “Fishy” Clarke, Edgar Munn and John Logan.
TUESDAY JUNE 19th:
The South Coast Safari Tour got off to a late start as some Past Students had not updated themselves and showed up for a 10.00 a.m. departure while others went to the wrong hotel. Never-the-less it was an unforgettable day with the first stop at the Appleton Estate where we learnt how to make and identify rums. Some persons sampled enough products to last a lifetime and returned to the bus feeling no pain. Then it was on to the Black River Safari and a close up look at the flora and fauna of the Black River morass featuring various species of birds endemic to the area and of course the pampered and over-fed crocodiles. Several of them came sidling up to our boat to be petted by the tour guide/captain who called out to them by name. Our final stop was at Little Ochie, a beautiful beach spot where “Chicken” collected shells. We tried to make it to Lover's Leap but couldn't get there before sunset and had to return to Mandeville instead.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 20th:
The Awards Luncheon at the Jamaica Pegasus was fully subscribed. The décor was fantastic, the food was great, the guest speaker, Dr Herbert Thompson, President of Northern Caribbean University delivered a highly motivational speech in which he praised the founders of Knox and reminded past students that we are the ambassadors for our alma mater. He congratulated the Awardees noting that few schools can boast of producing the Postmaster-General, the Director of Tourism, the Deputy Commonwealth Secretary General and the President of a North American University all at the same time. Michael Gentles, the Postmaster-General, replied on behalf of the Awardees, crediting Knox for providing him with the educational and moral foundation on which his career has been built.
THURSDAY JUNE 21st:
The Lewis Davidson centre at Knox was the venue for what turned out to be a symposium on the history, philosophy and development of Knox by Dr. Duncan Davidson, son of our founder. Supported by an excellent power-point presentation showing photographs and memorabilia of the school from its humble beginnings to the mid-sixties, Duncan fielded questions from past and present students, anxious to get an insight into how Lewis Davidson and David Bent managed to build the school with such limited resources. Due to the constraints of space and time (internal exams were in progress) Duncan was forced to make his presentation no less than three times with the same oohs, aahs and gasps of disbelief as the children saw pictures of their school as it was half a century ago.
FRIDAY JUNE 22nd:
Sports Day at Knox. Some people went to the Cobbla campus but were redirected to the High School where the four house colours were prominently displayed on past students of all eras. Despite the best efforts of the President of the International Federation of Netball Associations, Mrs Molly DaCosta Rhone who doubled as player and referee, the present students easily prevailed over the past students (men and women). On the track it was mostly egg and spoon and sack races. Murray House scored the most points followed by Grants and Webster. Then it was time for football, Past vs Present. The old boys held their own for the first 15 minutes then it was downhill all the way. Final score Past Students 0, Present Students 3. As the bell rang for supper, almost 100 past students adjourned to the Junior School auditorium, formerly the K.E.S printery where refreshments were served. The DJ who turned out to be the school's music teacher, must be commended for his selections which turned the lyme into a House party winding down close to 10.00 p.m.
SATURDAY JUNE 23rd:
11.00 a.m. Business Meeting. Committee Chairman Errol Lee presided over this 2-hour session to review the week and plan for the future. Decisions taken include the establishment of a secretariat to coordinate the activities of alumni; the recruitment and employment of a track and field coach by the KPSA; and a renewed effort to reintroduce 6 th form (class 12) at Knox. It was also suggested that the New York Chapter consider hosting a reunion in two years time, similar to the South Florida gathering of 2004.
The reunion Banquet and Ball was held at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville at 7:30 p.m.. Dressed to the nines, past students, teachers and guests made an impressive sight on a warm Saturday evening. Awardees Ambassador Ransford Smith and Basil Smith, Director of Tourism, who had not been able to attend the Awards Luncheon, were seated at the prominent table with Honouree, Mrs Elvris Buckle, retired Principal of Knox Community College. MC Dunbar McFarlane waxed eloquently (even reciting poetry that he learnt in class 8) and issued an appeal for alumni to contribute to the school's development fund. Dr Barbara Jones made the presentation to Basil Smith who noted in his reply that he went to Knox at age 6 and left at 16 to do A levels at another school in Kingston where the Masters addressed the students as “Boy”. He remembered going back to Knox on a visit a year after leaving and being greeted by Mr Jones as “Mr Smith”, and contemplating the vast difference in how teachers at Knox communicated with students. Ambassador Smith received his plaque from President Sandra Simmonds. He noted that he had received many honours in his career but to be honoured by his peers topped them all. Mrs Buckle, the evening's honouree, thanked the past students for their recognition and noted that she was still associated with the Community College through the International University of the Caribbean which was an amalgamation of all tertiary institutions operated by the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands . Special presentations were made to Johnny Bent, Jeannie Slosberg, Blossom Saunders & Sonia Ferguson for keeping the Knox spirit alive overseas; to Errol Lee, Sandra Simmonds, Rosie Chen, Robert Pairman, Noel Tomlinson and Sheila Arscott-Smith, for making Knox 60 Reunion happen, and to Duncan Davidson for sharing his father's vision with us. Music for dancing was provided by Errol Lee & the Bare Essentials with special guest drummer past student Phonso Williams leader of the Gumption Band. With sweat being the common denominator the party ended at 2.00 a.m. bringing another reunion to a happy ending.
Submitted by Errol Lee.
July 31st, 2007
SUMMERY OF KNOX 60th ANNIVERSARY REUNION SCHEDULE:
Sunday June 17.......Spaldings United Church.......10.00 a.m
Monday June 18.......no activities on this day.
**Tuesday June 19......South Coast Tour. Bus leaves Astra hotel Mandeville **8:00 a.m. Tour includes Black River safari and visits to Lovers Leap, YS Falls and Little Ochie. Returns to Astra 6.00 p.m. (**time change).
*Wednesday June 20....Jamaica Pegasus, Kingston. Awards Luncheon 12.30 p.m. Guest Speaker the President of Northern Caribbean University, Dr. Herbert Thompson.
Thursday June 21st.....Open Day at Knox. See how the Alma Mater is performing in 2007. Be part of a forum on the way forward. See a power-point presentation by Duncan Davidson, son of our founder Lewis Davidson and one of the original seven students on Pops' Vision for Knox and total education.
Open Day begins at 11:00 a.m. and will be held at the Lewis Davidson Center. There will be a break for lunch at 1:00 p.m. and the afternoon session will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Friday June 22nd....Sports Day.....Cobbla Campus (Knox Community College) 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Wear your House colours! Plans are being made for a fete which will be held after the Sports Day event. Please stay tuned to this site for updates on the fete.
Saturday June 23rd......11.00 a.m. Reunion Meeting, Lewis Davidson center, Knox. Theme "The Role of Past Students in the Future of Knox" Panelists to include Chairman of the Knox High School Board of Governors, Past Student Dorothy Carter. 7.00 p.m....Reunion Banquet and Ball...Golf View Hotel, Mandeville. Honoree Mrs. Elvris Buckle, retired past Principal Knox Community College.
Sunday June 24th .... End of reunion / departure date for those living abroad