As MBHS embarks on a journey to rebuild its track and field program with support from the Alumni Association, Carpe Diem Corner will be featuring some of our stars from the early years who set the standards for todays athletes to emulate and follow.
Our first feature in the series is Mr. Felix Bailey.
Mr. Felix Bailey is a man that many younger members of the Carpe Diem Nation may not have heard, but he is without a doubt one of the track and field pioneers upon whose shoulders all MBHS track and field stars that followed him have stood.
Felix started his journey at MBHS in 1968, and from very early his sporting ability was evident. These talents were honed under the guidance of the school coaches at the time, including Mr. Dempsey who dubbed him “Lignum Vitae” , Mr. Steele and Mr. Riversmore. He soon became a regular member of the track and field and cricket teams.
Despite some very difficult times experienced during his school years including the loss of his mother, Felix persevered with his studies and his sports. Some of the teachers who inspired and encouraged him include Mr. Parkins, Mr. Blair and Mr. Kelly. He also received support from fellow student athletes including Hylton McWhinney, Appleton Spencer and Norman Thompson.
As a member of the track team, Felix represented the school at both Eastern and Boys Champs and performing creditably. He secured his place in MBHS sports history by winning the 3000m at Boys Champs, and then going on to be the first MBHS athlete to represent Jamaica at the Junior Carifta Games in 1974.
This was a pioneering accomplishment and a source of tremendous pride for the school community. It set the stage for future Champs medalists and CARIFTA Games representatives that were to follow.
After leaving MBHS in 1974 he joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and was based mostly in Portland. He trained officers at the academy for 8 years and even helped with some mentorship of young athletes in the JCF. He retired as an Inspector in 2015.
Felix has seen the highs and lows of MBHS sports over the years since then, and his advice for our young athletes is to be persistent.
“You can’t reach anywhere without discipline and training, so now is the time to do it and reach for the sky. Sometimes success is quick and sometimes it comes slowly, but it will come.”
He also encourages our young athletes to not lose sight of the primary objective of getting a good educational foundation.
“The pace of change in the world has become fast and furious, so work hard to get accredited with at least a first degree while climbing for ascendency.
Acquiring wealth through sports is now also possible so stay functional and clean”
To the Carpe Diem Nation as a whole, Felix has this advice:
“Let us all try to do something for the school so it can be marked as a monument for the parish. Remember our fellow brothers and sisters when they might need a push to get going again or are left behind. Remember God daily as He is our only chance”.
Over the decades since the early 1970s, MBHS has produced more than a few national champions, and even 2 Olympic medalists. As we celebrate those great accomplishments and anticipate the ones that are yet to come, we must also celebrate those who set the foundation for it all to happen.
Thank you Mr. Felix Bailey for your efforts and the pride you brought the school while representing the Green and White.