Calabar Alumni Urged to support school's development
Former Jamaica Prime Minister and Calabar High School old boy P.J. Patterson is urging alumni chapters in Canada and the rest of the Diaspora to consider supporting specific development projects as the 103-year-old institution seeks to regain its status as one of the schools of choice for Kingston boys.
Founded by the Jamaica Baptist Union for children of Baptist ministers and underprivileged Black male students, Calabar has produced eminent men of distinguished ability, including Rhodes scholars Dr. Franklyn Prendergast, who serves as a consultant at the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota; Florida-based orthopaedic surgeon, Michael Abrahams and lawyer, Rudolph Smellie.
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Warren Weir was born in Refuge Trelawny on October 21st 1989 which explains his phrase 'Di whole a Trelawny' in a post race interview. He moved to Portmore to live with his father, attended Calabar and was vice-captain of Calabar's winning track team. But he was a sprint hurdler and a pretty good one at that with a personal best of 13.65 seconds in the 100M hurdles in June 2007. However he suffered a series of injuries particularly with the stress of hurdling that kept him from being a household name prior to 2012.
It was after joining Racers Track Club that his career took a turn for the stellar. How Glen Mills saw a future 200m star in the slightly built, oft injured hurdler only he knew, but it was a genius move by the master coach. But it was Warren, with his training, dedication and heart, and his belief in his ability and his coach that made 2012 what it was. And what a year it was. In a series of races Warren recorded a set of low 20 second times at meets in New York, the Cayman Islands and Kingston, showing a consistency that made him a rising star to watch.
But first came the Jamaica trials and Warren was immersed in the most impressively deep 200 metre field in any country's history. With Bolt and Blake expected to get the top two spots the race for the third spot was between Nickel Ashmeade, Nesta Carter, Julian Forte and Jason Young. And fight he did, clinging to the wings of the plane to London, and remembering the instructions of coach Glen Mills to hold his form Warren ended up 3rd in 20.03 just ahead of Ashmeade.
Then came the big stage of the London Olympics. Some men wilt under pressure and some rise to the occasion. Warren took it in stride, at first enjoying the experience and becoming a vibes man in the Jamaican camp. Showing an impressive second talen, Warren produced two popular behind the scenes video of the Jamaican team at their Birmingham training village and at the opening ceremony in London. Jovial off-track, but serious on-track, Warren produced a stunning series of races - looking easy in his 200m heat, then just losing to Martina in the semis before sealing the Jamaican 1-2-3 in the finals.
It has been 60 years since Herb McKinley stood on the podium - in Helsinki in 1952. Then came Warren Weir in a post-race interview to proclaim the pride of being a Calabar Old Boy and remembering the great man Herb - on the BBC no less. The great school and the great man and the soon-to-be great Warren Weir on the greatest stage of all - The Utmost for the Highest.