Forrester to be inducted into Camperdown's Hall of Fame
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
Gone too soon, many will agree, of her departure. But surely, she will not be forgotten.
In her lifetime, she has made a tremendous contribution to what she proudly termed her alma mater, Jamaica, as well as the region and the international community.
It is for this reason why the St Andrew chapter of the Camperdown High School alumni, her conventional alma mater, will be inducting the late sports journalist, Clare Angella Forrester, into their Hall of Fame, at a function scheduled for Saturday night at The Knutsford Court Hotel, Ruthven Road.
Forrester is among three persons who will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. Former Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association chairperson, Cynthia Cooke, a past student and former principal of the school, will also be inducted; along with Dr Barrington Murray, a successful gynaecologist who also attended the east Kingston-based institution and now lives in the United States.
Carl Davis, who taught at the school for more than three decades, will receive the Ivy Grant Award. Davis, an actor, was featured in the movies Dance Hall Queen and Ghetto Life.
"About four months before she died, Clare was selected as one of the candidates to be inducted into the Hall of Fame," said William Watson, president of the Camperdown Alumni St Andrew Chapter. I didn't know that the alumni and Camperdown meant so much to Clare."
Persons inducted into the Hall of Fame are past students who have excelled in their area of discipline or represented the country, region, at various levels. This is fourth year since the inception of the Hall of Fame.
The Ivy Grant Award goes to persons who never attended the institution, but have served the school well.
Among other sports per-sonalities who have been inducted are Olympian Donald Quarrie; the world's top sprint coach Glen Mills; former West Indies batsman Wavell Hinds and former national footballer Peter Cargill.
Former national juvenile coach, Patrick 'Jackie' Walters, was recently honoured with the Ivy Grant Award.
Forrester was a people person, who did practically everything. She was an author, social commentator, sports writer, columnist, adjunct lecturer, philanthropist, social activist, photographer, health promoter, activist for persons with disabilities, passionate family person and a committed Christian.
Born as the youngest in a family of eight siblings, Forrester attended Camperdown High where she showed the intellectual capacity and great love of sports, which would end up being the guiding characteristics of her life.
She attended the University of the West Indies, where she earned undergraduate and graduate degrees, before moving on to further studies at the Keel University in the United Kingdom, where she obtained a certificate in health information and management science.
In 1981, Forrester was appointed a board member of the Institute of Sport (Insports) and a member of the National Stadium management committee. She was part of the Ministry of Youth's appointed coordinating committee of an international conference on sport, 'Physical Education and Sport as an instrument of the new Jamaican', that helped develop guidelines for the curriculum of the then proposed G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport. She also was a member of the Insports organising team for the Norman Manley International Games.
As a sports journalist, Forrester was accredited to several regional and international games, including four of the last five Olympic Games - Atlanta, Athens, Beijing and London - as well as the 1995 IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
She wrote and co-authored several publications and articles on sports and health, including Unyielding Spirit, the authorised biography of the legendary Jamaican sprinter Merlene Ottey; and the Sportsman 50 book to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
Forrester wrote for many newspapers, including the Jamaica Herald and Jamaica Observer, where she offered sports commentary. Her pre-games medal analysis of track and field pertaining to the Olympics and World Championships were always awaited with great anticipation, as she was mostly correct in her assessments.