Hail the Hales!
Cayman couple helping to spruce up Munro College
When the boys of Jamaica’s only all-boys boarding school, Munro College, return for the next academic term in January, they will see a vast difference with regard to the school’s aesthetics, as Munro old boy Robert Hale and his wife, Monica, are spearheading a major venture that has been formulated to beautify the 166-year-old institution.
Hale, a former Jamaica and Munro College tennis player, is also undertaking a major overhaul of the school’s tennis programme. However, the urgent need to spruce up the school grounds and landscape has taken priority for the Cayman-based couple.
“We, as Munro old boys, realised that the school was not in good shape at the moment and it is sad for us to see. We wanted to do our part in trying to change the course of history and bring the school back up to a certain level that we can all be proud of,” Hale said.
Hale and his wife have been flying to Jamaica every month to oversee the project, which will see over 100 coconut trees, 150 Bromeliad plants, five palms trees and over 50 other plants being put in all around the school, from the entrance to the tennis courts, as well as the game areas and dorms.
Already, tremendous work has been done, with up to five trucks employed to clear away old furniture, trash and debris that were lying around the St Elizabeth-based institution.
After gathering feedback from the students themselves and the school’s administration, the Hales even flew in a specially skilled stone cutter from Cayman to assist with some of the stonework that will be displayed around the new-look tennis court, which will feature a newly installed sitting area.
“The aim is to beautify the school, which will allow the kids to come out of their dorms. One of the feedbacks we got from the students was that they didn’t have anywhere to sit, hence we created a lot of sitting areas, with a lot of vegetation around to make the experience more pleasant,” said Monica.
The kind gesture has also been supported by the Munro College old boys in Cayman, USA and England, as well as a number of past students who are currently in Jamaica.
The initiative has been wildly received by the board of governors at Munro College, and their chairman, Murphy Greg, is pleased that the effort was organised by the Hales.
“The boys are the centre of everything we do and, for me, this initiative will go a far. The end game is breeding better boys leaving Munro College; and with improved facilities, that can only help them to achieve their goals even better.”
The Hales have also secured three scholarships this calendar year for some students, with the aim to increase that number to six next year.
The next phase of the project will also see urgent work being done on the dormitories, and the historic cathedral also on the agenda for future projects.