The Cornwall College Trust Ltd

Jeff McLeod

Chairman’s Report
May 30th 2009.

Greetings fellow Trustees;

In the last eighteen months the CC Trust Ltd. has almost returned to a state of dormancy which characterized the first ten years of its existence. During that period many excellent ideas have died slowly on the vine due to lack of participation of both Trustees and member chapters alike. Some have tried to affix blame on leadership and on ignorance of the various chapters of the aims and objectives of the trust. Rather than point the finger and inflame the passions and bruise the egos of many well meaning old boys; I will instead attempt to reiterate the noble purposes for which this concept and idea was conceived and developed; with a view toward encouraging a larger number of old boys to embrace the idea of involvement and volunteering more seriously.

Simply put, the CC Trust was conceived to bring the considerable mental and financial resources of a magnificent group of well educated men to bear on the problems that confront our alma mater and threaten it very existence. The idea was if we Cornwallians were more involved in the planning, administration and running of our alma mater it could make a significant difference and provide the impetus for change and the restoration of our alma mater.

To that end the Trust has attempted the following; bring all old boys chapters under one umbrella, ensuring their individuality yet foster the spirit of cooperation and avoid duplication of effort; establish an endowment fund of US$500,000 to finance long term extracurricular and infra structural programs; select and support a principal and an administration who will restore the luster to Cornwall College; develop ideas for the betterment of our school; raise funds to help finance the operations of our school.

Attendant to these objectives the following issues have arisen and have received some degree of attention. The principal’s subsidy; the trust is committed to paying the difference in Mr. Mc Intyre’s salary to ensure continuity in the administration of the school in these difficult times. That stipend has been equally divided between the seven active old boy’s association chapters. Thus far we have been able to meet our obligations in this regard and I would hope that we will continue to meet this obligation.

We have endorsed the idea of Cornwall College becoming a Trust School similar to KC, St. George’s and Munro; however, the idea I am told, fell prey to political pressure, and despite ministry approval was nixed by the political hatchet. What is more disturbing is that the idea was nixed without much study or understanding by the politically powerful. I believe this is still an idea that must be revisited by the Trust. As the guardians of the legacy of Cornwall College we owe it to future generations of Cornwallians to avail ourselves of the kind of involvement and opportunity to shape the destiny of our school that a Trust School would allow. This issue in my view must be revisited.

Along with the principal we have endorsed the idea of returning boarding to Cornwall, such a system has in the past provided the impetus for great academic and athletic achievement and properly managed may again become the engine of stability that is so very much needed today.

We must embrace the concept of continuous giving and long term planning through the vehicle of the endowment fund. This concept seems foreign to many however, if studied and well managed it may well be the engine of our future survival. By now we are all aware of the fact that government funding is wholly insufficient to successfully operate the school and of the need for privately generated funds to supplement this shortfall.

We must also address the issue of how we can utilize the lands dedicated to Cornwall College in a manner beneficial to the long term economic stability of the school. This brings me to the Cosmo Whyte plan. This matter is an agenda item at this meeting and it deserves your undivided attention. The plan is a development plan for the unused lands adjacent to the school and involves construction of housing and other development for rent to teachers and maybe even the general public. Clayton Morgan will lead discussions in this regard at the meeting. The concept envisioned by one of the pre-eminent architects of his time, the late CosmoWhyte, embraces the idea that said development could create an educational community that would attract the brightest teachers and create long term revenue from rental and other income generating uses.

On the issue of income generation the Trust has to be the spearhead and utilize the clout and influence of the trustees to plan and construct a much needed auditorium which could be a multi purpose revenue bearing structure that properly managed would alleviate the financial crunch the school continually faces and provide valuable use for the school.

Additionally, we want to re-organize the mentoring program started by Cosmo Whyte; we can all agree the benefits of such a program are much needed now more than ever. Along with this program we must endeavor to have an annual presence at the school in the form of a home coming and or career day. The old must meet the young and pass on the legacy.

Last but not least we must continue the restoration of the science programs which made Cornwall College synonymous with excellence and I send out the call to all science majors to give back so that others may benefit.

Gentlemen these are just some of the issue we must confront and resolve. I urge us all to individually consider where we fit in terms of our expertise and how we can become involved in finding solutions for the numerous problems facing Cornwall College.

To shy away from these and many other responsibilities is to yield to pressure from the least of us and condemn the vision of the founders of Cornwall College, a place where one can earn an education based upon one’s own merit, industry and effort with a touch of discipline and respect thrown in.

I also urge you to dispel the rumors that the Trust will be replacing the old boys associations. Spread the word that the Trust is an umbrella under which all Cornwallians can find room to express their ideas and help develop and implement plans to make our school the best it can be.

I urge you all to laud the work we have done collectively to enable the students currently enrolled at Cornwall to receive a first rate education.

I also laud the rebirth of the Kingston Chapter of the CC Old Boys association and hope their reorganization will lead to renewed vigor, energy and passion within the chapter. To the vibrant Old Boys associations in North America and Mobay who continue to go the extra mile especially in these trying economic times I also congratulate you on your sacrifice

Finally, we must schedule an annual general meeting where elections can be held to enable others to lead the way in this continuing effort to make Cornwall College the best high school in Jamaica.

By all means these are not the only issues which we must confront, but we are gathered in a place today where we can develop and shape the future. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Kind regards to all.

Jeff McLeod,
Chairman; Class of 1973.

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