BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
Nostalgia and memories of days past filled the hearts of many on Sunday November 22nd inside Pearson Convention Center, as The WOLMER’s Alumni Association of Toronto held a Luncheon Concert in light of the 286th anniversary of Wolmer’s Schools.
Known as one of the oldest schools in the Caribbean located in Kingston Jamaica, Wolmer’s consists of a collection of schools including Wolmer’s Pre-School and Wolmer’s Prep School, as well as Wolmer’s Girls School and Wolmer’s Trust High School for Boys. The Wolmer’s Schools are considered some of the most prestigious schools in the Caribbean, with a traditional British-style uniform and a Christian philosophy that is ingrained in the upbringing of its students. Wolmer’s schools closely resemble the British schools of the 1950’s unlike the more modern prep schools of today.
Last year The Wolmer’s Alumni Association here in Toronto launched a Buy-a-Brick campaign in hopes of building a new auditorium at the Wolmer’s Boy’s School. They asked their supporters to invest in this cause and received an overwhelming response. Over $22,000 was contributed to their campaign, and through the efforts of the other alumni chapters, organizations, businesses and individuals they fulfilled their quest to build this new space of learning and fellowship. They have recently opened the Douglas Orane Auditorium on site at the Boys’ School and are pleased that through the efforts of their supporters, it was made possible.
The Alumni Association is run through the aid of many volunteers who are dedicated to giving back. This year they successfully organized a walk-a-thon, the luncheon concert and also hosted the Wolmer’s Girls’ track team while they were here attending an international meet, donating their time and efforts to get the jobs done.
They couldn’t have asked for a better turn out at Sunday’s Luncheon Concert, with over 700 guests in attendance, many who were alumni of other schools in Jamaica. Hosted by Marion Rodrigues, radio host at G98.7 she introduced tenor vocalist Paul Williamson, Alumnus of Wolmer’s Boys school who opened with a powerful rendition of the Canadian and Jamaican anthems. His ‘startlingly rich voice’ echoed throughout the hall praising the Jamaican and Canadian nations with all his heart.
Guests were invited to bid on a collection of items donated as part of the silent auction, while also purchasing raffle tickets for the chance to win door prizes as well as grand raffle prizes donated by Wolmer’s supporters. All of the funds collected at this luncheon concert will go towards sustaining the legacy of providing quality education to the students of today and continually building the communities through the power of education.
Lunch was a delicious three-course meal, topped off with a savory dessert, while enjoying a presentation and celebration of Jamaican Schools and remarks from Association President and Alumna of Wolmer’s Girls School Tka Pinnock.
$20,000 in scholarships was awarded to seventeen students who are aspiring to achieve more through their education and pursuing post-secondary educations at various institutions here in Canada, as well as in Jamaica and the West Indies.
The 2015 scholarship recipients making a difference with the support of Wolmer’s are:
Finally, after much anticipation, The Drifters featuring Rick Sheppard took to the stage to put on a special high energy and retro performance that had most of the audience on their feet! People were dancing and singing along to old favorites like their hits On Broadway, Under the Boardwalk, There goes My Baby and much more!
The Drifters featuring Rick Sheppard are entering into their fourth decade of thrilling audiences with their unique and popular sound. Rick Sheppard has been an integral part of The Drifters as he has been a part of the group for twenty two years. After joining them in 1996 he toured with The Drifters throughout the world and shared the stage with some of the greatest names in show business.
The audience drifted away, reminiscing days of old, holding each other close, smiling from ear to ear as they let the tunes of The Drifters take them back in time.
The Wolmer’s Alumni Association, Toronto humbly thanks all of their supporters for coming out to the Luncheon and helping to contribute back to the legacy of the school, providing superior teachings to the students of today.