On December 9, 1973 thirty-three Kingston College Old Boys met at Seneca College in Toronto and established the Kingston College Old Boys Association (Tor). That association was the result of the seemingly telepathic communications among the old boys who were known to reside in Canada. Indeed, it was a history-making meeting because the KCOBA (Tor) was the second such association to be formed in Canada. However, it became the first to maintain its activity without any period of dormancy. In 1998 over 35 associations have followed the KCOBA (Tor) footsteps, and are actively providing valuable assistance to their alma mater in Jamaica.
The idea to form the association is attributed to Messrs Dr Fredrick “Buddy” McIntosh and Winston “Aggery” Johnson, although others have been reputed to be toying with the idea but apparently without any action. This was in November of 1973. Buddy, a former student of Aggery, out of profound homage had invited Aggery to dinner at his home. It is well known that when food and the ubiquitous Jamaican bottled “waters” are combined, remarkable things are bound to happen. On this occasion, the after-dinner reminiscence resulted in the recollection of a number of names of old boys living in the Toronto Area. By the time the waters were consumed, 12 names were tallied and the idea to form a Toronto chapter was born.
Messrs, Eddie Patterson and Gerald “Gerry” Lindo and others, were later contacted and after some discussions, the number of interested persons grew, thus transforming the idea into a viable plan with 25 old boys from the Toronto area. The recruitment area was later expanded to adjoining cities, across Canada, and North America.
(The N.Y. Chapter was later re-established in 1982 by the Herculean efforts of the president, the late “Foggy” Burrowes and comprised principally old boys from New York and adjoining areas).
At about the end of November, Buddy McIntosh was on his way to visit Alvin Curling at his house. On the same day, Gerry Lindo and Eddie Patterson had set out to Buddy’s home to meet and have further discussions about the formation of the association. They were directed to Alvin Curling’s house where they came upon Buddy about to enter. Gerry immediately brought up the formation of the association, right on the steps. Once inside, the trio and Alvin Curling discussed the plans, in great details. The inaugural meeting to establish the KCOBA (TOR) CHAPTER was also scheduled. Date: December 9, Venue: Seneca College, student hall, Finch Avenue, Toronto.
This venue was secured by the efforts of Alvin Curling. A Jamaican, Alvin Curling was the registrar for Student Services and later entered provincial politics as a liberal candidate. He is the incumbent MPP for North Scarborough, for the third consecutive term. His support to the association in the formative years was recognised in 1987 when he was proclaimed an “Honorary Old Boy”
On the night of Saturday, December 8 of 1973, some member may recall that a heavy snowstorm descended upon Toronto and surrounding areas. Indeed, there was more than 25 cm of snow all around, and driving had become a monumental task, if not impossibility. The significance of this adverse weather activity was that there was a fear that sufficient old boys to form a quorum would not attend the meeting. (There was a prior commitment from about 50 old boys to attend the meeting). A quorum as defined from an extract of the proposed by-law was:
“…. shall be 30% of “paid up” members”; this translated into 15 members.
But not even acts of God were sufficient to daunt the will of those old boys. It must have been the broad interpretation of that KC motto, foremost in the minds, which prevailed and a quorum was easily attained.
On that historic Sunday morning of December 9, 1973 with the presence of thirty-three old boys who literally, weathered the storm, with Buddy McIntosh as conveyor, the association was established, on the approval of a resolution moved by Aggery Johnson. Those present at that meeting were:
Clive Belnavis, Keith Bryan, Hugh “Patch” Branford, Colin Campbell, Michael Chin, Deryck Collins, Dr Neville Davidson, Victor Fowler, Barrington “Barry” huie, Winston “Aggery” Johnson, Gerald Johnson, Dale Keizs, Eric Lindsay, Gerald “Gerry” Lindo, Hugh “Jack” Manhertz, Dr Frederick “Buddy” McIntosh, Hugh Marshall, Dr John Meikle, Oliver Meikle, George Meikle, Hugh Morrison, Oswald Murray, Al Nation, Dennis Nation, Eddie Patterson, Ossie Smith, Norman Stewart, Berwin Stewart, Herbert Swaby, Audley Taylor, Dr Cliff Taylor, Howie Taylor, Peter Taylor.
The first executive consisting of nine members was elected, for a term of one year. The members of the executive were:
Dr Frederick McIntosh – president, Aggery Johnson – vice-president, Eddie Patterson – treasurer, Hugh Marshall – Secretary, Oliver Meikle – assistant-secretary, Clive Belnavis – social director, Gerry Lindo – Sports director, Dr Cliff Taylor – ex-officio member, Howie Taylor – Public relations director.
In his acceptance address to the meeting the president expressed a hope that through the association a greater link would be established and maintained between all KC old boys in the Toronto area. An atmosphere of commitment prevailed, and also a sincere discussion ensued about the many areas of contribution that the association could make to Kingston College and Jamaica in education, sports and other fields.
On December 13, just four days later, the executive convened their first meeting to shape the future and short term plans of the association. A set of by-laws was now required which would govern the operation of the association. Attorney Eric Lindsay (now Judge Lindsay Q.C) drafted the proposed by-laws in consultation with a committee comprising: The president, vice-president and secretary. The original set of by-laws shaped to a larger extent, a social grouping rather that a vibrant source of assistance to Kingston College. The following is an extract from the 1973 by-laws:
Article 4 Objectives:
1. The perpetuation of collegiate ties
2. The provision of a platform for intercourse with Kingston College Old Boys around the world.
3. The bringing together of its members for social, athletic and intellectual activity.
4. To provide wherever possible such assistance to the school as may be necessary from time to time.
5. To be a resource to the school
6. To promote the name of Kingston College in Canada
7. To act as liaison between the college and or parent body and this city and between the college and or the parent body and this country, where
8. To instill relevant political awareness in its members.
That was then; the objectives have since moved in the direction of molding the association to be regarded as a committed source of assistance to Kingston College, with the social aspect intact and used as a means of collectively generating funds through various activities.
And so it came to pass that in the year of our lord, nineteen hundred four scores less seven, that the KCOBA (TOR) was established and behold it laboured in the land of Canada gathering the seeds of Kingston College.
And it was in the 25th year of the KCOBA (TOR), two hundred three scores less ten, seeds strong that the chief old boy, Norman, the son of Wallace summons Norman, the son of Lee, the chief scribe, to cause to assemble all the elders, to gather the knowledge of the sojourn and influence of the KCOBA (TOR) for recording for future generations.