Sat | Jan 29, 2022

Orville Taylor | KC’s bi, by, bye, and buy?

Published:Sunday | April 7, 2019 | 12:00 AM

It was two weeks of mixed fortunes for the Brave who fell, won, fell again, and fell again, but I suspect that they will not yield. Of course, Jamaicans know that I am speaking of Kingston College (KC), a school co-founded by unmarried St George’s College alumnus Bishop Percival Gibson and his sister, and an institution which I know to have been historically a school full of diversity.

Gibson, a man from humble beginnings, was keen on opening doors for the downtrodden and marginalised groups in society, and in particular, those boys from the bottom stratum of the nation.

An all-boys’ school, just like Calabar, the alma mater of P. J. Patterson and other famous Jamaicans, its population, unlike, St George’s, is still homogeneously male. Yet, Gibson, a man who my father knew well, being a Christian gentleman, would not stoop to vindictive outbursts or seek the blood of the offending misled Calabar boys, who chanted their chorus, which they have voiced for years after Champs, win or lose. Rather, this Christian man of virtue would have forgiven them, although in the circumstances, I am uncertain if he would’ve turned the proverbial other cheek.

For Gibson, one should be gracious and proud, both in victory and defeat, because both sugar and vinegar make one’s mouth water. KC lost a sure seat when incumbent Dave Cameron, thinking that he was going to edge out the challenger Ricky Skerritt in a close bid for re-election to the presidency of the Cricket West Indies, was clean bowled. With a vote of eight to four, his middle stump was knocked over and he had no more balls to play. Overconfidence and not showing respect to one’s opponents is usually a prescription for defeat.

Bounce back did the boys of North Street and Melbourne, and in the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships (Champs), they beat all and sundry, scarcely saving a single point for St George’s, and beating challenger Calabar, who after seven years in the saddle must have felt invincible.

KC taught them a lesson that to unseat a champion, one must be prepared to set or break records. That the purples did, amassing an unprecedented 395.5 points and leaving Calabar so far behind, that whatever they might think of the purples, they could not even see their rear ends.

Calabar learned a lesson, and clearly it wasn’t physics. They might have beaten the scientist, but they couldn’t beat the science. Whether karma or ‘sciance’, if the allegations about their assaulting the teacher are true, then it might really be ‘guzum’.

By the way, inasmuch as the ‘Rabalac’ boys, including one, ironically with a very girly pooh bear on his leg, were chanting anti-gay epithets against KC, most of us know that it is neither unusual nor unique to them. Truthfully, KC and many other boys’ schools do similar things. The difference is that teachers were either incapable of stopping it or complicit, and doing it in the chapel is sacrilege.

BOYS DON’T RAISE THEMSELVES

If you were expecting to see me berating the green and black mass homophobe boys in this article, then be disappointed because boys don’t raise themselves. Adults must guide them.

Anyway, with the Champs boost, KC went into the TVJ Schools’ Challenge Quiz brimming with (over)confidence because their soothsayer had predicted victory. After all, having won the title more times than any other school, the trophy was theirs.

After two rounds, they ran into a green wall, St Jago High School, who didn’t care too much about braves yielding. With a girl right in the middle, this heterogeneous team thumped KC so hard that the purple could describe the colour of the blotches on their skin.

They were simply outclassed by Jago, who, not living off hype or boosting, knew that, like KC did for Champs, Labor Omnia Vincit; hard work overcomes all obstacles. You have to work hard to beat a champion.

In less than a week, KC was again up for the challenge. The charismatic Damion Crawford crossed into the other parish in which Marcus Garvey had declared should have been a city. It was a seat held by his party, the People’s National Party (PNP), for more than 30 years. Left vacant by the murder of member of parliament Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, the party was playing defence.

Making a decision to displace caretaker Andrea Moore, the PNP must have considered the Ras’ hold on the electorate certain, because the seat was as safe as latex.

Indeed, had the voters from Buff Bay been in that constituency, the ‘college man’ would have had a better chance. However, East Portland is not what it might seem to be on the surface, and I am told that there is a subtle gender dynamic at play there. To win Bloomfield’s seat, one had to learn to think, though not necessarily act like a woman.

It was an uphill task. Despite it being a PNP stranglehold, Crawford was not in pole position and was poll positioned behind Ann-Marie Vaz, wife of West Portland MP, Daryl.

Even when one places a billy goat in an existing herd, it takes a while to be acclimatised. Worst of all, if a nanny from an adjacent farm with no fence routinely crosses over and mingles with the less-fed livestock. There was violence and lots of money was spent, raising accusations of it being a ‘buy’ election.

It was a record-setting election in which more than 50 per cent of the registered voters turned out to vote for their candidate. At last count, both Vaz and Crawford polled more than 9,000 votes and the results were close. Crawford was undone by the split in the middle.

There is no disgrace for Crawford but the party of the fist must now seriously recalibrate after back-to-back electile dysfunctions and swallow the hard pill of defeat.

But Crawford is a trooper; let’s see if he will remain faithful to the constituency. Be aware though, only a fool would not expect this Fortis to rise again.

- Dr Orville Taylor is head of the Department of Sociology at the UWI, a radio talk-show host, and author of ‘Broken Promises, Hearts and Pockets’. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and tayloronblackline@hotmail.com.