The Knox Past Students Association Toronto chapter has come in for lofty praise from the school principal.
“It’s hard to challenge that Toronto is the flagship,” said Alexander Bourne at the local association’s 22nd annual gala fundraiser last Saturday night. “We get support from all the chapters, but Toronto’s signature event is at the forefront.”
Knox College also has alumni organizations in Jamaica, New York and Florida.
Since its formation in 1993, past students in the Greater Toronto Area have provided about Can$80,000 to help purchase musical instruments, refurbish the administration block bathrooms and tennis courts and upgrade the junior school playground. They have also donated books, computers and other school supplies, contributed to a Knox scholarship fund, provided bursaries to students in Toronto enrolled in tertiary education institutions and sponsored 10 students to attend the Emerging Global leaders program at York University and the local program in Jamaica.
This year, the Toronto chapter is seeking to raise $5,000 for the Knox Benevolent Fund, another $1,000 for a Toronto high school graduate to enter a Canadian college or university in September and funds for the school’s sixth form building.
The sixth form program was resuscitated seven years ago.
“It’s optional in Jamaica to do Grades 12 and 13,” said Bourne, who is a Knox graduate. “Some students opt to do it so we restarted the program. The construction of the sixth form block is very costly and we are looking at about US$300,000 to complete the project in perhaps the next three years.”
Bourne said it was important for him to attend the gala. Arts teacher, Sheryl Simms, accompanied him on the trip.
“I made the effort to be here only to say thanks,” he said. “We really appreciate what the alumni here have been doing over the years.”
Sixth form student, Oneika Young, was honoured at the event.
A prefect with interests in writing, music and drama, she intends to pursue mass communications studies at the University of the West Indies Mona campus.
“The recognition means a lot and it will certainly inspire me to reach for the stars,” said Young, who was a member of the school’s music band that performed at the Toronto chapter 2013 gala.
Bourne said Young, who plays the clarinet and saxophone, is a leader in the Knox College community.
“Oneika is just a wonderful and delightful young woman,” he said. “She’s very bright, well-mannered and a student we are proud of. She’s much respected on the school campus and a role model for young people.”
The co-ed institution, whose alumni include former world sprint champion, Donovan Bailey, has an enrollment of close to 1,350 students.