Report from the President - 1999-2000

Fellow Alumni:

The time of year for reflection and consolidation is upon us once again. This has been an outstanding year for our association – one filled with many notable achievements. In this report I will give a chronological outline of our accomplishments over the last year. However, as we bask in the glory of the great work done this year, we should not forget that the bar of achievement has been raised. Clearly, to enable us to equal or exceed the 1999-2000 endeavors, we must commence focusing our attention on plans for Queen’s College for the upcoming year.

The QCAA-NY activities for the 1999-2000 year commenced in September, 1999. We were fortunate enough on the 25 th of that month to meet with Guyana’s President, Bharat Jagdeo for over two hours. Our discussions centered on the lack of progress made in QC’s rebuilding effort, despite the government's 2-year-old promise to have this effected speedily. At the meeting, President Jagdeo pledged to rebuild QC at least to its original state with construction beginning in year 2000. He also challenged our association to address the needs of Guyana and not just QC. Spearheaded by Ms. Doret Edmonds, our chapter responded to President Jagdeo’s challenge by transferring US $1.5M of medical equipment to Georgetown Hospital and other hospitals in Guyana.

As usual (thanks to Gordon Williams and Gordon Wilson) we had a successful annual Christmas Ball in December 1999. Shortly thereafter in April, 2000 we hosted another successful event - the signature event of our year – our annual formal ball. Dr. Frank Denbow played a critical role in securing Dr. Nigel Harris, a world-renowned scientist in the field of Rheumatology, as our guest speaker.

Over a dozen members of our association attended the International Council of Queen’s College (ICQC) meeting in Guyana in July. We used that opportunity to accomplish a few of our major goals established for the 1999-2000 year.

  • Firstly, under the guidance of Mr. Wayne King, we completed a commemorative magazine for the meeting.
  • Secondly, we presented the school with a copy of Dr. Laurence Clarke's "Book of Records in CD-ROM format, which our vice-president, Lloyd Houston, compiled to replace the records lost in the fire.
  • Thirdly, we made a donation of about US$5k in equipment to the science lab. Last but not least, we met with The Board of Governors of QC, various members of staff of QC, QC students and the government to assess the progress made in the school’s rebuilding effort. The consensus of the ICQC meeting and the week of celebrations in Guyana was we got a lot accomplished but a long road awaits us ahead.

In July we held the second annual Family Fun Day at Avenel Park in New Jersey. We congratulate and thank Ms. Karen Blain, who coordinated the planning of this event. Although the attendance was disappointing, those of us who were there had a good time. In particular, the children were well entertained by our immediate past president Aubrey Smith.

Our final event of the year was the joint QC-BHS Labor Day Sunday Bar-B-Que, held on September 3, 2000. As our Assistant Secretary, Larry Boxhill, phrased it in an email, "it was the mother of all Bar-B-Ques." An estimated 700 people attended the event which concluded after 5:00 am on Labor Day (Monday)! I thank everyone (QC and BHS alumni) who contributed to the success of the Bar-B-Que by organizing the event, selling tickets, securing a license to sell alcoholic beverages on the premises, selling drinks and food and collecting tickets and money at the door. This was by far our most successful endeavor ever.

In conclusion, it has been a pleasure serving this association and working with you for the 1999-2000 year as your president. Thank you for your support that has enabled me to accomplish my task. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue serving you in whatever capacity you see fit.

Dr. Neil A. Jackman
President, NY Chapter, 1999-2000