The Utmost for the Highest — Calabar Old Boys Celebrate

The Utmost for the Highest — Calabar Old Boys Celebrate

Friday, October 12, 2018

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On the evening of Saturday, October 6 there was a glorious display of school spirit at the 2018 iteration of the Calabar Old Boys' Association (COBA) dinner and awards. The annual event took place at the Mona Visitors' Lodge at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and was attended by a sterling group of Calabar Old Boys, their partners, friends and those who wished they, too, were Lions (a nomenclature given to Calabar students).

The 2018 COBA awards inducted persons into the hall of fame — “the pantheon of those who have brought honour to Calabar”, acknowledged the contributions of key school supporters with the President's Award and celebrated the academic achievements of top students.

Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson delivered the keynote address with the theme, “Crime Fighting for Nation-Building”. The commissioner's speech focused on the Jamaica Constabulary Force's crime-fighting initiatives; however, it was mindful not to “bring the temperature down too much” on the “light-hearted dinner”. During his almost 20-minute presentation the commissioner shared stats, facts and made observations. Stat: “Crime, violence and violent crimes cost us five per cent growth per annum.” Fact: “There are those for whom crime is an option and they sit at the periphery of crime, and there are those for whom crime is their business.” Observation: “Calabar has produced men who have largely and interestingly gone on to public service and even when it's not public service it's still service and this tends to be a feature of Calabar.”

It's an eternal squabble about which school is “the best”, but one thing is irrefutable, Calabar Lions have a great sense of humour. In a special presentation, former prime minister PJ Patterson read from a green folder and said: “If anything goes amiss it's because I am not accustomed to speaking from a folder of this colour.” This was just one of the many comedic gems uttered throughout the evening.

Calabar has enjoyed 106 years of existence and the school continues to produce men who are committed to nation-building and care about the welfare of others. This excellence is spurred by a mantra shared by all Calabar Old Boys. Whatever a Lion does and wherever he goes, he's guided by the principle laid out in the school's motto — “the utmost for the highest”.

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