Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Four Calabar sporting stalwarts to be honoured

Published:Sunday | August 28, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Dennis Johnson
Lincoln Eatmon
Michael Clarke
Canon Gervaise Clarke
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The Calabar Old Boys' Association (COBA) will be honouring four Jamaicans during its annual fund-raising dinner this year.

As the school celebrates its 104th year of existence as a centre of academic and athletic excellence, the association will honour old boys Michael Clarke, Canon Gervaise Clarke, Lincoln Eatmon and Dennis Johnson on Saturday, October 1, at the Mona Visitors' Lodge in St Andrew.

Here are a few notes about the honourees.

DENNIS JOHNSON

Most notably known as the philosopher king of Jamaican sprinting, Johnson began his colourful athletic career at Calabar High.

Johnson was the former joint record holder at the 100-yard event in the 1960s.

Born in 1939, Johnson travelled to the United States for his college education. He studied at San Jose State College where he was coached by the legendary sprints coach Bud Winter and was a member of the San JosÈ State Spartans track team.

After leaving the sport professionally with a groin injury in his college years, Johnson went into a career in sports development and was to become renowned as the architect of Jamaica's subsequent track and field success.

In 1971, Johnson started a sports programme at was then a two-year vocational college, the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST), that later, in 1995, became the University of Technology (UTech), a four-year college.

Canon Gervais Clarke

Canon Gervais Clarke, born in Kingston, was sent to Calabar High School in 1952 on a Government Scholarship.

The Calabar graduate, who chose Christian ministry as his career, has been equally committed to sports.

Clarke became an official of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA), on the encouragement of the late Mortimer Geddes while in high school, and remained one ever since.

When he went to Princeton University in the US, Clarke became a certified USA track official and reached Master status in 1985.

Between 1988 and 1996 he had the privilege of being the chairman for the training of track officials in the State of New Jersey, where he has lived since 1987.

LINCOLN EATMON

Respected attorney-at-law Lincoln Eatmon has his beginnings along the halls of Calabar High School.

Eatmon, now managing partner of Dunn, Cox, Orrett & Ashenheim, went on to study at Council of Legal Education in Lincoln's Inn, London, England, before launching an illustrious career at the Resident Magistrate's Court in St Andrew between 1967 and 1969.

For track and field in Jamaica, Eatmon is well known for his involvement in the administration of Jamaican athletics and was vice-president of the JAAA between 1996 and 2000. He has travelled abroad on several occasions as manager of the senior team.

MICHAEL CLARKE

Coach Michael Clarke, a proud old boy from Calabar High, is the most successful schoolboy coach in all of Jamaica's track and field land.

Clarke started his love affair with track and field over 30 years ago after honing his skills at G.C. Foster College upon leaving Calabar - he then turned his attention to 33 Monk Street: St Jago High.

Being his first stint as coach at any level in 1982, he took his time to appreciate and understand his craft.

That hard work paid off pricelessly in 1987, when St Jago was crowned king of the hill at Champs.

Next stop was 189 Old Hope Road in that same year. Clarke assessed the athletic land landscape and after five years, Jamaica College, too, were crowned king of the athletic hill in 1992.

He would then stay at the school for 15 years - winning the Champs title seven times.

Clarke parted ways with JC shortly afterwards to return to his alma mater, and after a six-year, title-less spell, clinched victory for them in 2007 and followed up with further wins in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

As a coach, Clarke has secured an impressive total of 15 Boys' Champs titles.