Message from the President

eugene chang portrait

As President of the Canada Chapter of COBA, it is my unique privilege to welcome you to this website, especially if you have been, or would like to be, a part of the Calabar family.

I invite you to contribute to our community and to record your involvement by registering on our website. As a member of the Old Boys Association, you will be kept abreast of information about the worldwide COBA community and, more specifically, the Canada Chapter. To facilitate this, please keep your contact information current.

Calabar Old Boys Association - Canada Chapter

The Calabar Old Boys Association (COBA) – Canada Chapter, exists primarily to facilitate the social interaction between alumni (“Old Boys”) of Calabar High School (Kingston, Jamaica). Our secondary purpose is to assist the school as well as current students, both financially and otherwise.

The Association was founded in Toronto in the early 1970s, but became dormant for a few years. It was resuscitated in the latter part of the ‘70s and has continued to operate virtually uninterrupted since then. We plan and host events that promote collegiality among our membership, also with the wider Jamaican high school alumni community in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), through membership in the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations (AJAA).

With the establishment of COBA organizations in other parts of the world (in addition to the original COBA-Jamaica group) we are part of the network of COBA chapters. Because of the very high concentration of Calabar Old Boys in the GTA, we decided taken to change our name from “Toronto” Chapter to “Canada” Chapter .

 The affairs of the chapter are in the hands of an Executive Committee (“The Executive”), which generally meets on the third Saturday of each even-numbered month. Meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend, with advance notice to the President.

The Making of a  Chapter

Initially founded in the early 1970's, but became dormant without widespread support and involvement. The Chapter was again restarted in the mid-late 70's and continues to maintain quarterly meetings and hosts events which promote continued association with its membership.

The Constitution

Article 1 - NAME

The name of the Association shall be the Calabar Old Boys Association (Toronto Chapter).

Article 2 - MEMBERSHIP

1. All Past students of Calabar High School are eligible to become members of the Association, subject to the rules and regulations laid down in this constitution.

2. The Executive shall be empowered to invite persons to become Honorary  Members of the Association.


1.  The colours of the Association shall be Green & Black.

2. All official stationary of this Association shall bear the name of the Association.

Article 4 - OBJECTIVES

1. The perpetuation of collegiate ties

2. The provision of a platform for intercourse with Calabar Old Boys around the world.

3. The bringing together of its members for social, athletic and intellectual activity.

4. To provide wherever possible such assistance to the School as may be necessary from time to time.

5. To be a resource to the School.

6. The promote the name of Calabar High School in Canada.

7. To act as liaison between the School and or the parent body and this city and between the School and or the parent body and this country, where necessary.


1.  The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, ,Secretary and Assistant Secretary.

2. Together with the Officers, a Public Relations Officer, Social Director, Sports Director and Ex-Officio member will form the executive of the Association.

3. The Executive shall be the governing body of the Association and is empowered and honour bound to perform such duties and transact such business as would be in the best interest of the Association.

4. Each member of the Executive shall perform such duties as would be normally associated with their office.


1.  The Annual General Meeting shall be the time set for the election of members: voting shall be by the showing of hands only.

2. Terms of office shall be for a twelve (12) month period.

3. In the event of the absence or registration of a any member of the Executive, the assistant to the post automatically fills the vacancy and performs all the duties of that office. If the post does not carry an assistance, the Executive shall appoint someone to act in said post.

4. Any change in the Executive must be reported at the first Annual General Meeting of the Association following that change. If any member of the Executive permanently vacates their office, then at the first Annual General Meeting following same, a member of the Association shall be elected to the vacant office.

5. Any member of the Executive who is absent for three or more consecutive meetings of the Executive without just cause shall automatically vacate his seat.


1.  Sub-committees may an can only be formed by the members of the Executives to aid them in the performance of their duties. Such committees shall be chaired by the executive member forming them.

Article 8 - MEETINGS

1.  The Annual General Meeting shall remain the final authority of the Association; each meeting being held between the first Sunday in March and the last Sunday in April.  Due notice shall be given at least fourteen (14) days before all such meetings. A quorum of the Annual General Meeting shall be 30% of "paid up" members.

2. General meetings are called by the Executive of which there shall be no less than one (1) other than the Annual General Meeting. Time of notice and quorum of these meetings shall be the same as those of the Annual General Meeting.

3. A General Meeting may be called by the membership, through the Ex-officio Member of the Executive, on the written request of ten (10) of the members. A quorum of this meeting shall be 30% of the "paid up" members including all signatories of the request for this meeting.

4. Meetings of the Executive shall be held not less than one per quarter on a date to be fixed by the President. An Executive meetings may be deemed duly constituted if called by a majority of members on a letter to the President. A quorum for a meeting of the Executives shall be six (6).

5. The President , or in his absence the Vice-President, shall chair all Annual General Meetings, General Meetings called by the Executive and Executive Meetings.  A General meeting called by the membership shall be chaired by the Ex-Officio Member of the Executive. In the event of the absence of both the President and Vice-President at meetings to be chaired by the President, the remaining Executive members shall select a chairman.


1.  Annual subscriptions are due within fourteen (14) days after each Annual General Meeting. Members who fail to pay their subscriptions within thirty (30) days after a second notice of arrears, shall be deemed to be struck once from the roll. The reinstatement of any member who has been struck from the roll, shall on his application be dealt with at the discretion of the "Officers". Annual subscriptions shall be waived for Calabar Old Boys who are presently enrolled full time in a school. Honorary Members will pay such subscription, as the Executive in their discretion shall decide.

2. The annual subscription shall be as recommended by the Executive and ratified at the Annual General Meeting.


1.  The  Treasurer shall present to the officers a quarterly report of the financial position of the Association and at every Annual General Meeting an audited report.

2. The Secretary shall at every Annual General Meeting read a report of the Association's activity for the past year. Minutes of General Meetings shall form the official records of the Association.


1.  The signing officers of the Association shall be the Treasurer and any one of the President, Vice-President or Secretary.



Early Beginnings

In 1839, William Knibb, Thomas Burchell and James Philippo, the three leading English Baptist missionaries working in Jamaica, moved for the creation of a college for training native Baptist ministers. Out of this effort, Calabar Theological College came into being in 1843 and was first sited in the little village of Calabar, near Rio Bueno, in Trelawny. The name Calabar was brought to Jamaica by slaves from Nigeria, W. Africa, where there is an old river-port city by that name.

In 1868, Calabar College was removed to East Queen Street, Kingston, where a "Normal" school for training teachers and a high school for boys were added. Shortly afterwards, the high school was closed and the teacher-training activities ceased, leaving the practising school--now Calabar All-Age on Sutton Street--and the theological college, which was relocated at Studley Park (on Slipe Pen Road) in 1904.

High School Established

At the beginning of the 1900s, there were very few high schools in existence to educate the sons of the working class and the rising middle class. It was to meet this need that, in 1912, through the instrumentality of the Revds. Ernest Price and David Davis--Principal and Tutor, respectively, of Calabar Theological College-- Calabar High School came into existence under the joint sponsorship of the Baptist Missionary Society of London and the Jamaica Baptist Union.

The high school opened September 12, 1912 with 26 boys and the foundation was firmly laid in the Christian tradition. Rev. Price was the first Headmaster. Within a year enrolment had reached 80 and the school had received government recognition. An early benefactor was Miss Elizabeth Purscell who, in 1919, bequeathed the adjoining property, on Studley Park Road, in trust for the school. The school offered boarding facilities on nearby premises—The Hostel—to facilitate boys attending from outside the Corporate Area of Kingston.


In 1952, Calabar Theological College and Calabar High School moved from their location at Studley Park to Red Hills Road, where 60 acres of land (then called "Industry Pen") had been purchased for the re-siting of both institutions. At the time, this was a thinly populated, undeveloped area and many people thought the move unwise. The new school was built to house 350 boys but before long extensions became necessary. Boarding facilities were provided up to 1970. When boarding ceased, dormitories were subsequently converted to workshops.

In 1967 the Theological College moved to Mona as a part of the United Theological College of the West Indies and the High School took over the vacated space. This is the section of the premises which the boys now call "Long Island."

At about this time a portion of the Calabar lands was sold, to be used for commercial and residential development. As a result of the massive increase in population in this section of the city the School has grown by leaps and bounds. A privately-run Extension School was added in 1971.

In 1978, the School adopted a Shift System incorporating the day and extension schools, at the request of the Ministry of Education. There are presently over 1600 students on roll with eight forms in each year group between grades 7 and 11, and four forms in grades 12 and 13 (sixth form).


Calabar High School was renowned almost from the start. It established a reputation for scholarship which has been maintained over the years, as seen in the large number of major scholarships--such as the Jamaica and Rhodes Scholarships --which have been awarded to Calabar students. The school pioneered in the teaching of Science, Spanish and Agriculture. Sports, particularly athletics, have always been important and the Inter-Schools’ Athletic Championships (“Champs”) Trophy has been won 12 times since 1930.

Calabar was the first school in Jamaica to have a swimming pool and won the inter-schools swimming competition repeatedly for many years. When the school was relocated to Red Hills Road in 1953, the boys helped to construct the new pool there.

Proud History

Throughout its history, Calabar High School has consistently demonstrated an exemplary commitment to providing quality secondary education for boys in a Christian atmosphere, and has remained one of the most sought-after schools by parents who desire to have their sons educated in an environment which embodies the motto: "The Utmost for the Highest."

School Song

1. Like an ancient river flowing
From the mountain to the sea
So we follow, coming, going,
To the wider life to be
On our course, from the source,
To the wider life to be.


(Spoken) Here, sir!, Here, sir!, Here, sir!, Here, sir!
(Sung) So we answer, near or far
(Spoken) Here, sir!, Here, sir!, Here, sir!, Here, sir!
(Sung) At the call of Calabar.

2. One by one, and as they name us
Forth we go from boyhood's rule
Sworn to be renowned and famous for the honour of our school
True as steel, in our zeal for the honour of our school.


3. So today and, oh, if ever
Duty's voice is ringing clear
Bidding men to brave endeavour
We will answer, "We are here!"
Come what will, good or ill,
We will answer, "We are here!"


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