K.C. Old Boys celebrate, honour prominent alumni

By RON FANFAIR

He’s one of the few people that get paid to drink. Trevor Hall has been sampling alcoholic beverages for the past 35 years as a senior rum blender at Diageo, which is the world’s leading premium drinks conglomerate with an outstanding collection of international brands across spirits, wine and beer.

The Montreal resident also enjoys giving back to his alma mater, Kingston College.

With the help of his company, he acquired nearly $250,000 worth of equipment, including test tube holders, distillation flasks, syringes, eye goggles, forceps, cotton balls, filter paper and a hot plate that was shipped last summer to the Jamaican school for use in the science laboratory.

Last Saturday, the Kingston College Old Boys Association (Toronto chapter) recognized Hall with the President’s award at its 37th annual awards banquet in Scarborough.

“The most cherished memory I have of my association with K.C. is the friendships I forged,” said Hall who came to Canada in 1966. “Classmates Oliver “Ruddy” Meike and Dale Keizs (they are KCOBA founding members) are two of my best friends and I even taught Dale chemistry while going through school.”

Hall spent a year at Jamaica College before transferring to K.C. after being awarded a scholarship by the late Percival Gibson, the school’s first headmaster from 1925 to 1956 and the first Black Jamaican bishop.

He graduated from Concordia University with an Animal Physiology and Plant Biology degree and worked at Mallinckrodt Chemicals as a quality assurance technician and at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons as a research technologist before joining Diageo.

A certified weight training and fitness instructor, Hall is the current chair of the West Island YMCA fundraising committee.

Keith Glegg, who graduated from K.C. in 1942 and entered McGill University a few months later at age 16 making him the youngest in the class, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award. The Ottawa resident was unable to attend the event because of ill health.

The 84-year-old Glegg pioneered the development of the Doppler Aircraft Navigation System (DANS) embraced by the Canadian and American military air forces and later on by commercial aviation. He spent two decades with the Montreal-based Canadian Marconi Company (now CMC Electronics) as chief engineer in the avionics division where he was responsible for producing the DANS as a marketable product by successfully reducing its weight and size while maintaining its functionality.

Glegg served as vice-president of the National Research Council of Canada for 15 years before retiring at age 62. He’s a recipient of the J.D. McCurdy award presented by the Canadian Aeronautical Institute for his pioneering work.

“K.C. old boys of a completely different and much younger generation feel that it is better late than never to recognize and honour not only a fellow past student who attended the same school, sat in the same classrooms and played on the same school grounds as they did, but also a fellow Jamaican whose contribution to aviation science and engineering worldwide has been virtually unknown in his own native Jamaica,” said 1947 K.C. graduate and former Canadian Marconi employee, Neville Gray.

A leg-spin/googly bowler, Glegg was a member of the school’s 1942 Sunlight Cup cricket championship team.

Other distinguished K.C. alumni include Ontario court judge Eric Lindsay, former West Indies cricketer-turned-TV analyst Michael Holding, mathematician/theoretical biologist Dr. Lloyd Demetrius (who is best known for the discovery of the evolutionary entropy concept which is a statistical parameter that characterizes Darwinian fitness in models of the evolution of life history), former Jamaican Consul General in Toronto Stewart Stephenson, Jamaican lawyer Churchill Neita and late Olympian Dr. Lennox Miller.

The KCOBA presented the inaugural Maurice MacDonald memorial scholarship to Brescia University College student Kamaria Francis. The women’s institution is affiliated to the University of Western Ontario. A former KCOBA executive member, MacDonald passed away in Toronto in 2009 after a lengthy illness.

Over the years, the local chapter has raised thousands of dollars for various K.C. projects, including the refurbishing of the library and the breakfast and scholarship programs. With the financial assistance of the Carpenters Union of Ontario, the chapter shipped approximately $20,000 worth of tools last year to the college which was established in 1925.

 

 

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