August 2011 Volume 8

A Collection of Tributes to Ivan “Wally” Johnson

Staff reporter KC Times
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Loyal Fortis Old Boy
Beacon of Hope
Effective teacher
Guardian of the fort

Wally fought for Kingston College in so many ways that students past, present and future should be grateful. He was a warrior in the sense that he defended our alma mater through difficult economic times to ensure scholastic, athletic and extracurricular activities of the students were never compromised.

He studied Art in England before returning to teach at his alma mater. The artist remained in Wally and Art was just one of the subjects he taught. The artistic mind complemented the pragmatic leader. Subtle nuances in approach coaxed full effort from each student or team as he led without fanfare. Simply an artist artfully leading.

The Fortis Family was his family and every student who entered KC became part of the family. Loyalty to the Family meant teaching, caring and looking out for the welfare of the boys.

In over fifty years numerous changes took place at the helm and Wally was always there to bridge the gaps and provide coherent continuity.

Wally’s steadfast commitment to Kingston College provided a Beacon of Hope through the darkest and most difficult times. He remained the Rock and Guardian of the Fort with just one goal it always seemed and that was to keep Fortis values and goals intact.
His dedication may be equalled by others but unlikely ever to be surpassed.

Forever you will remain in our hearts. To your family we offer our condolences and thank them for sharing you with us.

Fare thee well our brother.
Barry Huie

As we celebrate the life of Fortis Wally I would like to use the worthy portion of Mark Anthony's last quotation in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in reference to Fortis Wally:

 "His life was gentle; and the elements so mixed in him that Nature might stand up and say to the entire world, this was a man" 

Fortis Wally left us on Friday August 12, 2011. I am committed to wearing Purple from the 19th to the 25th as a way of saying "Thank you Wally, you made an indelible mark on life. We all have a start day, an ending day and an in the middle day. It is what we use that to accomplish that matters most.

Kingston College, Jamaica and indeed the world is a better place, because Wally lived.

Forever Fortis
Clive W. Savage


Words alone cannot express the loss of this GREAT FORTISAN. Remembering the great human qualities of this man should make us all proud to have been associated with him.

I remember “Sir Johnno” as the real BIG MAN; the link between "up deh and we down yah so." The artist - the man with the lyrics for all occasions.
The teacher, the sportsman.
The commentator on Sports Day
The journalist, "RAS CLOVELLIA" in our school’s magazine
The historian; KC 's "CHARLIE CHAPLIN"
The motivator; the debater, the KC family man
The VP and Principal

Well done “Sir Johnno!!”
As you said there are no regrets!!

I'll remember the many meetings at KC's cricket matches from the days of you smoking to keep the tension down to those at Lee's Food Fair after school talking about Champs’ predictions.
Sir Johnno if the three score and ten years given to man was a plan, then your 70 was the "MODEL" built from that plan.

My brother, I knew you had the love for cricket, hence your score and occupation at the wicket was a great contribution to the KC team..
WELL PLAYED mi bredda "WALLY," R.I.P. and I hope your soul finds eternal PEACE!

Findlay Clarke aka Field Marshall

Too much to mention but I appreciate the genuine care he had for the Kingston College past present and future students.
I remember all the words of encouragement he gave me when there were major words of discouragement for our coaching and management staff after we lost champs on our 75th anniversary. His was able to paint a picture which gave me the single focus to work even harder with our coaching, and management team and especially with the student-athletes for the victory which came on our 76th anniversary.
Giant of a man who is gone but will never be forgotten.
Lennox Graham

The Man taught Discipline...and I've taken it with me on my journey
RIP Mr. Principal.
Chris Chin-Young

I’ve got quite a few memorable moments.
The one that stands out was the 1973 sunlight cup match against Ardenne, the year we won. I opened the batting on a wet wicket, we batted first. KC was 26 for 6, and Audley Patterson (Fleet or Fern) joined me at the wicket. During the water break, Mr Johnno walked over to me, took a last puff on his cigarette, and asked me, what are my plans to win the match. I said I know I have to bat through the innings. He looked at me and smiled, and said, not only that, but you need to think about how you are going to have to explain to the whole school how we lost to Ardenne.
Then he walked away. Needless to say, I made a hundred, and we did not lose another wicket. Mikey Holding and Everett Whittinham bowled out Ardenne for less than thirty. After the game he simply walked towards me with that mischievous glint in his eye, and winked.
Fortis forever Mr. Johnno, RIP.
Teddy Martin

During my visit with this Icon I said to him "Sir you'll always be a Giant in my eyes and even though you're laying on your back you'll always stand tall" and he smiled and nodded his head.
We both knew he wouldn't have made it out of that hospital bed. I never visited after that even though I checked on him every day. 

Death came to 'Wally' Johnson as death will come to all of mankind but for Sir Johnno it's not an ending, it's a new beginning. A beginning for all who came in contact with this Giant to shout out the accolades that he surely deserves. A beginning for all to pay homage to this Great man.
When a man sacrifice his own personal desires to bring forth a greater Good, that Man never dies he never disappears. That sacrifice is what it means to be a great Man and a Great Fortisan.

Get some rest Sir Johnno. You deserve it and may you find peace and solace in that while you were The Mighty Fortisan above said of you, "This is My Son in Whom I'm Well Pleased."
Fortis Never Die!!!
Conrad Senior

Newspaper Articles

KC's Ivan 'Wally' Johnson ends an innings - Jamaica Observer
Kingston College's Ivan 'Wally' Johnson Dies - Jamaica Gleaner

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