Calabar High School

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Calabar high school
Calabar High School Crest.png
Calabar high school is located in Jamaica
Calabar high school
Calabar high school
61 Red Hills Road


Coordinates18°01′44″N 76°48′34″W / 18.0289037°N 76.8094218°W / 18.0289037; -76.8094218Coordinates: 18°01′44″N 76°48′34″W / 18.0289037°N 76.8094218°W / 18.0289037; -76.8094218
Other namesC-Bar, Rabalac
TypeSecondary school
MottoThe Utmost for the Highest
Religious affiliation(s)Christianity
Established12 September 1912; 106 years ago (1912-09-12)
FounderRevds. Ernest Price and David Davis
PrincipalAlbert Corcho
Hours in school dayApprox. 7
HousesSparta (Yellow), Rome (Blue), Athens (Purple), Corinth (Green), Troy (Red)
Color(s)Green and Black         
PublicationChronicles of Rabalac
YearbookThe Green and Black Review

Calabar High School is a prominent all-male secondary school in Kingston, Jamaica. It was established by the Jamaica Baptist Union in 1912 for the children of Baptist ministers and poor blacks, and was named after the former slave port Calabar, in present-day Nigeria. Today, it is considered one of the finest schools in the country. It has produced at least five Rhodes Scholars, and is respected for its outstanding performance in track and field.[1]


Early beginnings

In 1839, William Knibb, Thomas Burchell and James Phillippo, the three leading English Baptist missionaries working in Jamaica, worked to create a college to train native Baptist ministers. Out of this effort, Calabar Theological College was founded in 1843, sited in the village of Calabar, near Rio Bueno in Trelawny Parish. The Spanish named Calabar after a slave port in Nigeria of the same name.

In 1868, Calabar College was removed to East Queen Street, Kingston, where a "normal" school for training teachers and a high school for boys were added. Shortly afterwards, the high school was closed and the teacher-training activities ceased. This left the practising school—now Calabar All-Age on Sutton Street—and the theological college, which was relocated at Studley Park (on Slipe Pen Road) in 1904.

High school established

At the beginning of the 1900s, there were few high schools to educate the sons of the working class and the rising middle class. In September 1912, the Revs. Ernest Price and David Davidson—Principal and Tutor, respectively, of Calabar Theological College, founded Calabar High School under the joint sponsorship of the Baptist Missionary Society of London and the Jamaica Baptist Union.

The high school opened 12 September 1912, with 26 boys; the foundation was laid in the Christian tradition. Rev. Price was the first headmaster. Within a year enrollment had reached 80 and the school had received government recognition. An early benefactor was Elizabeth Purscell, who in 1919 bequeathed the adjoining property on Studley Park Road in trust for the school. The school offered boarding facilities on nearby premises —the Hostel— to facilitate boys attending from outside the Corporate Area of Kingston.


In 1952, Calabar Theological College and Calabar High School moved from their location at Studley Park to Red Hills Road, where 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land (then called "Industry Pen") had been purchased for the re-siting of both institutions. At the time, this was a thinly populated, undeveloped area and many people thought the move unwise. The new school was built to house 350 boys but before long, extensions were needed. The school provided boarding facilities up to 1970. When boarding ceased, dormitories were converted to workshops.

In 1967 the Theological College moved to Mona as a part of the United Theological College of the West Indies and the High School took over the vacated space. This is the section of the premises which the boys now call "Long Island." At about this time a portion of the Calabar lands was sold, to be used for commercial and residential development. A privately run Extension School was added in 1971.

In 1978, the school adopted a shift system incorporating the day and extension schools, at the request of the Ministry of Education. There are over 1600 students on roll, with eight forms in each year group between grades 7 and 11, and four forms in grades 12 and 13 (sixth form).


Major scholarships —such as the Jamaica and Rhodes Scholarships— have been awarded to Calabar students. Sports, particularly athletics, have always been important and the Inter-Schools’ Athletics Championships ("Champs") Trophy has been won 26 times since 1930.

One major accomplishment is in the Schools' Challenge Quiz, where Calabar is the only school to win the competition three years in a row. Its team has been to six finals in one decade, the most of any school, competing in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2012.



The school motto is "The Utmost for the Highest".


The official school colours are green and black.


The school's mascot is a roaring lion, an homage to the school being named after the Nigeria city and former slave port of the same name.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

In sports the school dominates all major sporting areas, including track and field, football, basketball, cricket, badminton, and rugby. Calabar was the first school in Jamaica to have a swimming pool and won the inter-schools swimming competition repeatedly for many years. When the school was relocated to Red Hills Road in 1953, the boys helped to construct the new pool. At the Annual Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, the competition for which the school is most famous,[citation needed] Calabar is the only boys school to have won Champs titles in every decade since the 1930s.[citation needed]

In 2012, the school won both School Challenge Quiz and the all-island Boys Athletics Championships title (its 24th overall).[citation needed]

In 2008, the school Rugby Union team created history: for the first time, it placed a team in the finals of all four competitions entered. The boys won the Under-19 15-a-side competition for the second time in school's history and were runners-up in the under 16 version. The team was coached by old boys Sheldon Phillips and Romeo Monteith, with Nesta Dawkins as manager.

In Rugby Football the school became the first to win the U19 15s championship 3 consecutive years (2008–2010). The school also won the inaugural U16 Rugby League championship in 2009.

Calabar is the only school to have won the popular School's Challenge Quiz on three consecutive occasions.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Prof. Norman Girvan, former Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States
  • Prof. Keith Ellis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Spanish & Portuguese (Retired)/Author, University of Toronto, Ontario Canada[2]
  • Prof. Franklin W. Knight, Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr. Clive Forrester, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, York University, Toronto, Ontario Canada
  • Dr. Kenneth U. Richards, accomplished surgeon and researcher, known for inventing the Richards Procedure.[3]


Dr Ernest W Price, son of the first principal, Rev. Ernst Price, medical missionary, Leprosy specialist, orthopaedic surgeon and discoverer of Podoconiosis

Arts and culture[edit]

Business and finance[edit]

Politics and law[edit]




John Thompson
1912 Rev. Ernest Price
1936 1940 Rev. Herbert 1940 Rev. David Davis
1963 1972 Rev. Walter Foster
1972 1980 Arthur J Edgar
1980 1985 Roy Atkinson Teacher 1962-1980
1985 1995 Joseph Earle Vice Principal 1976 -1977
1996 2002 Lloyd Brian
2002 2012 Lincoln Thaxter
2013 Present Albert Corcho

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Register of Jamaican Rhodes Scholars". 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Museum, UWI. "On the Record". UWI Museum.
  4. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (12 December 1993). "A Tormented Life -- A special report; A Long Slide From Privilege Ends in Slaughter on a Train" – via

External links[edit]