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HEADING FOR IRIE BEACH

by Clive Chambers

In early 1987, the I.C.H.S. Alumnae approached the St. George's College Old Boys' Association about the possibility of holding a joint fund-raising soca / oldies fete. Prior to this, both associations had held individual fetes which met with limited success. The possibility of holding one fete for both associations was readily accepted by then president, Lascelles Williams and other members of the executive. This was communicated back to Cecile Salter, a Georgian in her own rite, (father and brothers are all Georgians, the Rankine clan) who promptly updated her association and there began a lasting relationship between both associations.

The date was set for October that year with Byron Lee, Bunny Goodison and Peter Phillips providing the music. The fete was a success. Over 600 eager past students and friends of both institutions showed up and had a wonderful time. The joint committee decided to make this fete an annual event, and it has been so, except for 1988 as a result of Hurricane Gilbert. Alpha Alumnae joined us in 1989 and withdrew in 1994. The fetes remained highly successful and contributed greatly to the finances of both associations, as it remained the main fund-raising event for most of those years.

After 1994 however, the committee began to discuss ideas about doing something different, bearing in mind the preponderance of soca / oldies fetes that were being held each year, and that we needed to do something which involved our families. We thought of a barbecue, but agreed that we did not have all the human resources necessary to execute such an operation. The 1995 fete was held in October but without the usual enthusiasm. This was quite evident as the turnout was by far the worst we had ever experienced and the spirit was definitely lacking.

One night in June of this year I listened to the last few minutes of an interview on IRIE FM about a place in St. Mary called IRIE BEACH. It turned out that this place was owned and operated by a schoolmate, Robert Lee. I called him up that very night and inquired about the possibility of using his place for a family fun day. He was quite receptive. The I.C.H.S. president, Carol Anglin and her executive liked the idea. It was a little harder trying to win over the ST.G.C. executive even though president Trevor Graham bought the idea immediately. At the end of a spirited meeting where the pros and cons were debated fully, the executive body voted to go ahead with the fun day.

Presently, plans are going full steam ahead. The date has been set for Sunday, December 5 , 1996.Tickets are in circulation and so far the response has been good. It seems that the decision to "focus on family" is being readily accepted by most. We took a conscious decision to hold a family event because we recognize the need for families to do things together more often. Not just the nuclear family, but the wider one to which both institutions belong.

The joint committee planning the event meets once per week and will be doing so until the function is held. We hope the initial positive response will reap good results.

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