Munro College Proudly Marks its 160th

Posted on 6/30/2016

Celebrations to mark the 160th anniversary of Munro College have gone extremely well, organisers say.

“It has been fantastic; we have achieved a great deal and there is much more to come,” said Mark Smith, principal of the school which accommodates boarders and day students, and which can lay claim to having nurtured many great Jamaicans.

Located at 2,000 feet above sea level on 157 acres, with a view of the southern St Elizabeth plains, Munro was first established to serve the sons of the colonial elite. Since the mid-20th century, it has catered for boys of all social and economic backgrounds.

Inevitably, history is central to the current celebrations, with students tracking the story of their school with the help of lectures and talks from old boys.

Smith told how the “boys were transfixed” during a recent session involving former Cabinet minister Hugh Hart, who attended Munro during the period of World War II in the late 1930s and into the 40s. Among other things, Hart recalled how war recruiters visited the school to draft young men and the grief when occasionally news came of friends who had been killed in battle.

 “It was something to see,” said Smith of the students’ reaction to Hart’s talk.

Smith said the stories of Munro’s great achievements and rich history had “engendered a sense of great pride” among the student body, and he also expected spin-offs in greater discipline and focus.

A museum launched recently will help to highlight Munro’s past using old and new technologies, and add value to heritage tourism in south St Elizabeth, the principal said. “We do get visits and a lot of calls from people from all over the world wanting to know about their ancestors,” said Smith.

Several older buildings at Munro, including the old Coke Farquharson dormitory where the museum is sited, are protected by the National Heritage Trust.

The anniversary celebrations will also assist a drive to “rebrand” Munro in the context of modern realities, said Smith.

The school’s colourful sporting history is commanding much attention on the programme of activities. Organised by the old boys association, events such as the schools last triumph in the all-rural daCosta Cup competition in 1964 and a subsequent losing engagement with Kingston College in the Olivier Shield are being highlighted.

Other major events still to take place include a 5K run, Founders Week, and Munronians Week in September.

Source: Jamaica Observer

160th Anniversary
Celebrates 160th
Mark Smith
Munro College
School anniversary
St. Elizabeth

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