September 2021 Volume 17

Form 1 Clark 1976

Seymour Douglas
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If you have spent time on the shores of Fortis-land, you know it shapes you profoundly and persistently. None so more than that First form (Grade 7). This is a look back at the group which made up my first form. It is not the story of a single individual, it is more the story of a group who, by random sorting, ended up in the same class.

One of the things you quickly learn when you join the Fortis world is that you are gonna be teased, even when it is annoying, you learn to treat it as love and mostly benign. You also learn that you will get a nickname and that nickname will change depending on your evolution or the random machinations of the teaching staff but even nicknames convey that you are a member of the tribe, you are seen, acknowledged, and loved.

This form first came together as a group during the week of September 6th, 1976. 1 Clark as it was known was located at the far southwestern end of the Melbourne campus, almost directly above Vice-Principal Carlton Bruce’s office, yes, he of the famous “Cane Juice” and next to 1 Smith but above 1 Burgess and the small nurse and other offices that shared that building.

Like all incoming first forms, the group was seated alphabetically with Evroy Anderson upfront and Cheddi Wilson in the far southeast corner. The Form teacher was Mr. Hay who was also responsible for English language and Literature, other teachers included Ms. Boyden-History, Mr. G. Morgan -Mathematics, Mrs. Gordon-Rowe -Spanish, Mrs. S. Hosang -Religious Studies, Mrs. S. Serrant -General Science to name a few.

Here is what the group looked like then (see accompanying photo): At the very top we have, Anthony Mignon (from the Mignon military clan, now a motorcycling enthusiast who still rides in New Jersey), Robert Bishop (like his name presaged, a wonderful shepherd of the church in Florida), Rohan Hardial (now of Canada, and still of the most pleasant personality) and David Johnson (in Hong Kong and of the legal fraternity).

The row second from the top: Rohan McDermott (long time service member in the US military, Garth Dallas (A member of the Dallas brothers, two or three who also attended KC, of the legal fraternity in the Merseyside area of the UK), Garfield Hunter ( Migrated early and a long time member of the US government service), Paul Grant (Sadly deceased early, leptospirosis was the culprit, he had just graduated when he passed.),Colin Roberts (Banger we called him, steadfast support of Duhaney Park football side and still in Jamaica and Dave Lee (sales guru and known for training many leading salespeople in Jamaica).

The third row from the top: Michael Bryce (Media and entertainment in Jamaica), Earl Ellis (great resident of Lithonia, GA and motorcycling and tattoo enthusiast), Ian Vaz (formerly of the Ocho Rios and Florida transportation fraternity), Hugh Gibson ( knew every car just by the shape of the headlight and hood grill, currently in the automotive business in Jamaica), Adrian Francis(forever thoughtful and interested in international politics, known to be in Jamaica, self and Ryan Chang (now deceased, always remembered for his kindness and love of fun).

The fourth row from the top: Derwin Munroe ( he vehemently denies it but is believed to be one of three members of that entering year to show up in short trousers, currently on the political science faculty at the University of Michigan), Orville Edwards (my desk mate and kind enough to switch side to accommodate my left-handedness, now a beloved teacher of Technical drawing in Jamaica), Eric Miller (acquired the nick Jah-Jah, member of the legal service in Jamaica), Evroy Anderson(now known as Bandy but had a few nicknames over the years and known for his stewardship of his sons through the school, now resident in the USA), Monjaji Banjoko (the only African in this entering year, nobody from this class could forget the name, the full name was Monjaja Adidiwa Banjoko, didn’t stay with us long but was still in touch with class members when he resided in England and now Kenya. ), Philip Suckie (small in stature and well known for defending himself, always ready with a joke, last known to be in Florida), Cheddi E Wilson, (yes, he would introduce himself as Cheddi E Wilson, a cast and family the Ed “Bim” Lewis Theatre Company and now of government service in the USA), Clive Clarke, 0f the Tax Services in Jamaica and always ready for a debate especially of religious matters) and Maurice Sewell, known as ‘Bones’ because he was slim, goalkeeping aspiration, retired military, and resident of Georgia USA.

The very front row: Paul Mclean, resident in Canada and known agent provocateur in any argument, Michael Rust, known as Rusty, amazing journey and evolution as ‘face-man' of his graduating year, now in the complex insurance business in New York, Christopher Sinclair, now nicknamed ‘Dragon” for his martial arts prowess but his first nickname in that class was “Bucka” for his fearsome forehead and his willingness to use it, now a highly regarded martial arts teacher in the NY, NJ area, Maurice Haynes, sporting enthusiast, and Fortis exemplar, Jamaica and the USA, Hugh Thompson, quickly named “Butty” and never lost the nickname, telecommunications expert in the USA government service, Donovan Reid, financial services in the USA and Europe, Lloyd Wilks, hailing from the East, Pan Africanist as they come and long-serving member of the Jamaica diplomatic corp and Cornel Spence, who became a top-scoring member of the 1981 Manning cup champion team.

And so, this was the beginning of my Fortis fellowship.

, Class of ‘81.

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