In life, he was proud and full of drive.
That’s how family, friends and colleagues will remember cricket administrator and real estate agent Norman “Jacko” Jackson who succumbed to cancer last week. He was 52.
The second to last of eight children, Jackson grew up in Westmoreland, Jamaica and attended the University of Technology (UTECH) prior to taking up a teaching assignment at Excelsior High School where his students included former Jamaica and West Indies fast bowler and Ambassador-at-Large, Courtney Walsh. They maintained a healthy friendship over the years.
“Jacko was also our cricket coach for about two years in the early 1980s,” Walsh told Share from Jamaica. “He was like a father figure to me in school and he was a very proud man.”
Jackson also taught part-time at Merl Grove High School and did some work with Jamaica’s Boys Brigade before migrating to Canada in 1983.
His love of sport, especially cricket, led him to Malton Cricket Club where he enjoyed a long and successful relationship, serving as a player and in several senior administrative positions. He filled the roles of president, vice-president and secretary and played a key role in bringing international cricket to the club’s Wildwood Park ground.
International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy tournament matches were played there in 2001 and the ground also hosted ICC Under-19 World Cup qualifiers last year.
Jackson also helped the club acquire turf pitches for the ground.
“Norman served the club very well,” said founding member Tommy Morgan. “He took a leadership role from the time he joined us and much of what we have accomplished as an organization is due largely to Norman. He was very committed to us.”
Club president Dean Swaby said Jackson was an integral part of Malton.
“That’s why he will be missed,” said Swaby. “We will find a way to honour him so that those coming to the club in the future will know of the contributions he made here.”
Jackson also served as an Ontario Cricket Association first vice-president and held several positions with the Toronto & District Cricket Association. His last post with the TDCA was special events coordinator and umpires liaison.
In spite of his illness, Jackson was uplifted and delighted when his nephew, Simeon Jackson Jr., was last January named Canada’s Male Soccer Player of the Year. Jackson coached the young man, who is a striker with Gillingham in the English League Division One in the defunct Clarkson House League.
Simeon Jackson Jr., who attended his uncle’s funeral yesterday, lived with Norman Jackson and his family after his father, Simeon Jackson Sr., returned to Jamaica.
“I am very grateful for what my brother did for my son,” said Simeon Jackson Sr. “He filled the role as a father and legal guardian admirably. He was also a wonderful brother.”
Jackson is the second longstanding Malton Cricket Club member to have passed away in the last month.
Kittitian-born Leroy Jeffers, who along with Morgan founded the club, died here on March 4. The two met at Canada Packers and established a cricket club that took part in the 1973 TDCA fourth division competition.
Disappointed with the meat packing and processing company’s lack of moral and financial support, Jeffers – a former police officer in St. Kitts and Ontario Correctional Officer – and Morgan formed Malton the following year.