Cornwall College, Jamaica

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Cornwall College
Cornwall College is located in Jamaica
Cornwall College
Cornwall College
1 Orange Street

Coordinates18°28′44″N 77°55′17″W / 18.4790°N 77.9213°W / 18.4790; -77.9213Coordinates: 18°28′44″N 77°55′17″W / 18.4790°N 77.9213°W / 18.4790; -77.9213
MottoDisce aut Discede
(Learn or Leave)
Sister schoolMontego Bay High School For Girls
Mt. Alvernia High School
DeanR. Gordon
PrincipalMichael Ellis
Years offered11-19
Age range12-19
Enrollment5-7 yrs
Medium of languageenglish
Hours in school day6
HousesBaker, Barrett, Leader, Lockett, Jackson and Kerr
Colour(s)Red and Gold (Honor before Fame)
NicknameCC, 'College'
RivalMunro College, Ruseas high

Cornwall College is a prominent public high school for boys located on Orange Street in Montego Bay, Saint James, Jamaica.[1] It is the third oldest high school in the county of Cornwall.


The school in St. James dates to the 19th century. In 1871 the academy closed it doors when representatives from Scotland encouraged the government of Jamaica to establish a Queen's College in Spanish Town. This institution also did not last long and again government sponsored secondary education was lacking in the country. In 1895, a Presbyterian minister, Rev Adam Thompson, and a government representative for St. James and Trelawny, Hon. John Kerr, petitioned the government to allocate 500 pounds for secondary education in Montego Bay. Hence, in 1896, the second city gave birth to Cornwall College which was at that time located on Barracks Road(site of the Public Works Office) and was called Montego Bay Government Secondary School.

Mr. E. Lockett, B.A., was named the first headmaster and he served until 1903. He was succeeded by Anglican priest, Rev. George Hibbert Leader in 1904. He served some 19 years at the institution which ran into difficulties due to lack of space in the classrooms. It was then that the Hon D.H. Corinaldi stepped in and used his status to procure 2,500 pounds from the government in 1909 to assist in the provision of a new school site.

Between 1910 and 1911, 34 acres of land were bought at the Pleasant Hill Estate where the institution was constructed. The school was officially opened at its new location in 1911 by the then Governor of Jamaica, Sir Sidney Oliver. In 1922, Montego Bay Government Secondary School became a name of the past and the large, beautiful institution was renamed Cornwall College. In 1953, Cornwall College came under the leadership of E.A. Barrett, the school's first Jamaican national. Barrett set new trends and advanced the school's population to over 650 boys. During his leadership the institution was named the first government school in Jamaica and also the first high school to offer Chemistry and Physics as subjects in its curriculum in the West Indies and for many years the majority of doctors and pharmacists in Jamaica were graduates of the school.

The school also excelled in sports and was named the top male institution in football(soccer), holding the famous Olivier Shield over 11 times in the sporting fraternity. Upon the inception of the schoolboy daCosta Cup competition, Cornwall College also displayed their talents and skills to grab a hold of the trophy in 1953, 55, 56, 58, 59, 63, 82, 83, 95, 2000, 2001 and 2016. Cornwall College is now one of the top institutions in the Caribbean working with the motto 'Learn or Leave'. It now houses some 52 classrooms and 1,245 students. Former principal, Dr. Lennox Rowe, took office from acting principal Vinette Virgo in 2016. He left the institution in 2017, upper school vice principal, Mrs. Lecia Allen took the role of acting principal. On 8 May 2018 Mr. Michael Ellis, former principal of Green Pond High School for 13 years, took office from acting principal Lecia Allen.[citation needed] The buildings are very colourful, sporting the school colours of red and gold.

Many popular figures have passed through the gates of Cornwall College including Lloyd B. Smith, Chief Editor of the Western Mirror; Chief Justices Sir Rowland Phillips and Sir Herbert Duffus; Ambassador Derrick Heaven; the late Garth Taylor, Ophthalmologist; Kenneth Smith, former Chief Justice; the late Walt Crooks, owner of Club Inferno Resort; William Billy Craig, former Custos Rotulorum of St. James; Members of Parliament, Dr. Horace Chang, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, Dr. Karl Blythe, Arthur Nelson, Patrick Rosegreen and Lindel Frater.

Cornwall College now enrolls females in their Sixth Form Programme. This began at the start of the academic year 2013-2014, 117 years after its establishment.


Extracurricular activities[edit]

Cornwall has been successful[vague] in extracurricular activities such as the performing arts, essay competitions, and debating competitions.

Additionally, achievements in the performing arts, one of the school's oldest and most successful; yet under appreciated/supported societies - has done excellently over the years. The young men have copped several gold and silver medals and national awards in annual JCDC festival of the arts competition (Music & Speech) and have performed nationally at several functions island wide. Recently,[when?] the performing arts society underwent a change in the operations of its award-winning boys choir (CCBC). The school's closest neighboring school - the Mount Alvernia high school for girls - was incorporated into the school's performing arts society. They are dubbed the MACC (pronounced 'mak) Singers - (Mount Alvernia Cornwall College Singers) and serve as the combined choir for both schools. The choir has lived up to the expectations of both schools' high performance in music and have won numerous awards at music festival and the Dr. Olive Lewin Award for best choral music presentation twice (2012 and 2013).

Cornwall College has an adequate Interact Club (of Rotary International) which is a major club of its sort in western Jamaica. Their ruling government is unknown.

The art department is a well-known patron of many national poster competitions.

The Geography Club of Cornwall has participated in several events and return many trophies to the institution.

The Cornwall College Chess Club has a history of being one of the stronger chess teams in western Jamaica.

The Cornwall College cadet unit was placed first in the 4th battalion and third in the 2011 annual inspection. Cadets from Cornwall captured the top four positions on the star four examinations February 2011. This was the first time the top four positions were taken by cadets from the same unit. Cadets from Cornwall were engaged in World War II.


Since its beginning, Cornwall has been highly successful[vague] in sports and has been named the top male institution in football, as it has won the famous Olivier Shield 11 times. When the daCosta Cup competition commenced, the all-boy institution went on to win the trophy in 1953, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1963, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2016.

Furthermore, they are currently[when?] the defending champions of the ISSA basketball U19 and U16 competitions for the last three years. Our players have a long history of attracting what we analysts call "season gyal"

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)