Melbourne Park 1965 – 1967
I prepared myself and passed the government administered Common Entrance Examination in the first attempt and envisioned a career in sport with dreams of playing Manning Cup and international football in the realm of the great King Pele. Kingston College, it can be argued is Jamaica’s first sports college. The school’s motto reads: Fortis Cadere, Cedere non potest’ which translates to mean ‘the brave may fall but never yield’. I entered KC at Melbourne Park in 1965. KC were winners of the Manning Cup in 1964 and 1965 placing 10 players on the All Manning Cup team. KC’s Manning Cup teams of 1964 and 1965 have been acclaimed to be the ‘greatest schoolboy team’ ever with outstanding play against Brazil’s National under 20 team.
My first two years at KC were spent at Melbourne Park, Elletson Road. All my hopes and aspirations were centered on playing football for KC in the Manning Cup. In my first term at KC I represented my class/form (1e) team at Form football, distinguished myself as a skillful dribbler and goal scorer and was rewarded by being named a member of the All First Form team.
This was a highly motivating experience and I looked forward to my second year in high school. I continued to do well in my academic studies and set my sight on playing on KC’s Junior Colts team. In my second term at KC I was named to the Junior Colts (U14) Team and for the first time represented the ‘Purples’ against traditional name schools such as J.C., Wolmers, Decarteret, etc. and learning the ethics of schoolboy football. I was named to the All Second Form Team and thus maintained a level of consistency in personal performance.
By 1965, “dem tek weh wi fiel inna Harbour View an mek one up-scal)e housin scheme called Caribbean Terrace… rite pon de sea”. The demise of the ‘Big Field’ had repercussions that still resonate (today) in the football culture of Harbour View.
The moving of the football centre from East Harbour View to the Compound on the western side of Harbour View and the shifting of the football loci from east Harbour View to the western section where play was developed on the hazardous and stony Compound and led to the subsequent demise of the Eastern Thunderbolt FC. Shortly afterwards a small triangular piece of land located on Aqua Avenue on the Western side of the community also became another recognized play area.
ASIDE: When the Flora rains of 1966 swamped Jamaica, Caribbean Terrace experienced minimal damage but the first indication of potential danger was evident as the Hope River flooded out homes [in Harbour View] along the bank of the river [Riverside drive, Orion avenue, etc.] as well as threatened the back yards of the homes in Caribbean Terrace. The field was ‘captured’ by very opportunistic and greedy investors who convinced upper middle class and affluent potential home owners of the ‘exclusiveness’ in purchasing a home in the newly proposed ‘Caribbean Terrace’ to be built on the “buffer lands” between the Caribbean Sea and the St. Thomas main road. Hurricane Ivan’s “message in 2005” apparently did not register home. Forty five years later Hurricane Dean would reclaim the ‘Big Field’.
In April 1968, four days after the assassination of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee…at the relatively tender age of 13, Donald Davis boarded a British Overseas Airway Corporation (BOAC) aircraft heading for the United States of America….TO BE CONTINUED… CHAPTER 3…..FROM HARBOUR VIEW TO BROOKLYN