The making of the Walker Cup

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

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Today both Kingston College and Jamaica College meet in the final of the Walker Cup, 56 years after St George's College won the first edition in 1961.

Sixteen schools have lifted the coveted trophy in a knockout that missed seasonal competition on four occasions.

The history books of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) revealed that on November 17, 1961, a special meeting of headmasters of corporate area schools was held to make arrangements for a challenge cup between the four leading schools in the Manning Cup competition at that time.

The meeting, which was held at Wolmer's Boys' School on Marescaux Road, had in attendance NS Jackson of Wolmer's, AW Powell of Excelsior, Father SJ Feres of St George's College, Douglas Forrest of Kingston College (KC) and Mr Grower and CH Ennever of Jamaica College (JC).

The headmasters felt that it would be a fitting gesture to rename the Challenge Cup in honour of HN “Chicken” Walker, for his devoted service as the general secretary and treasurer of ISSA.

It was felt that dividing the proceeds from this competition among the four top schools at the time, based on their positions in the Manning Cup — JC, St George's, KC and Excelsior — would not benefit substantially any one school.

So the headmasters, or principals as they are now known, agreed that the net receipts should go to JC's Drax Lodge Building Scheme, and that in future years the other participating schools should benefit in turn.

The following year, on February 3, 1962, another meeting of the headmasters was held and it was agreed that the Walker Cup competition would continue, and rules were then drawn up.

A condition was that proceeds of each competition should benefit in turn (according to need) every school in the Manning Cup competition, and that no school should receive a second benefit before all schools had been served.

Then there was unanimous agreement in the naming of the trophy and 50 was given to purchase a suitable trophy. This was taken out of the gate receipts of 711.96.

In the first Walker Cup in 1961 between the top-four schools, JC and KC drew 1-1, and in the replay, JC won 2-1 and advanced to the final.

In the other match, St George's and Excelsior battled to a 1-1 draw, but the “Light Blues” emerged victorious 3-1 in extra time. In the final, St George's defeated JC 3-0.

— Howard Walker




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