The Calabar Old Boys Association - Canada
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Calabar Old Boys Association
Canada

- Ewart "Fatz" Walters

When I went to Calabar in January 1952 there was no Chronicles of Rabalac. The school was at Slipe Pen Road, a site later taken over by the Ministry of Health. There was the school, the theological college, the dormitories, a chapel and a swimming pool. The big boys were not housed at the Slipe Pen Road site but down the road at the entrance to Jones Town and the Chetolah Park School there was a building we knew as the hostel.

Just as how you could not walk into the sixth form room, no small boy dared enter the precincts of the hostel unless under special circumstances and/or orders from a big boy. But at some point in time, I was able to go to the hostel and look around.

By the time we got to Calabar, two things had stopped. There was no more caning, and we no longer competed in boxing, at which I understand we used to do very well. I did not find any canes at the hostel but I did see a lot of boxing equipment - medicine boards, medicine balls, gloves, punching bags etc. And there was a lot of stuff just strewn around.

As I searched around in the rubble I saw it - something called the Chronicles of Rabalac. I read them and was both enthused and enmused. Chronicles of Rabalac indeed.

We only spent the first two terms of 1952 at Slipe Pen Road for the school moved to 61 Red Hills Road in the summer of that year and the third term of the year saw us in the new school.

I am hazy now as to when exactly I launched the idea, but it was not in that third term. It was either in our third form or fourth form days (1953 or 1954) that I began pushing the idea of a school magazine. For we did not have one. I pushed and pushed, and eventually there seemed to have been agreement and so I made it known that I would like to be the editor. Again I forget the exact process, it might have been some kind of election, but when the results came, I was not the one selected.

I do not know if I wrote anything in that first Green and Black Review, or if it was the Chronicles of Rabalac which have been a consistent feature of the magazine ever since. I have a faint recollection of writing something about the Mighty Yepod, which was an allusion to our headmaster Walter Murray-White who we all knew as "Dopey." And if I did that, it would of course have been in the Chronicles. But I clearly remember Orville Green's article in it which was a beautiful description of our notable Latin master, T.A.M. Grant and his Black 1938 Chev. So, I never edited the Green and Black Review but apparently that was just a stepping stone to editing other publications over the years. The moral of the story is that failure is not all it is cracked up to be; it is really an invaluable part of success.