Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Remembering Vere Johns Pt.1

In some countries the late Vere Everette Johns, would have been made a national hero. In Jamaica there is absolutely nothing, tangible or otherwise to reflect the legacy of this great Jamaican war veteran, actor, producer, director, columnist, radio artiste and talent scout. Since his death in September 1966, there is the occasional mention of his name, mainly by some of our great artistes whose life Vere had touched during the hosting of his famous `Opportunity Hour` and `Opportunity Knocks` talent shows from the late 1930s until his death.
Vere was born in Mandeville in November 1893 and was the first son of Rev. Matthew Johns and Lillian Johns (nee Hendricks). His father was head master of the Manchester Middle School, now Manchester High School. At the time of Vere's birth the school was endowed with a Free Trust by the district of Vere. As a result, little baby Johns was given the name Vere, to mark the occasion.
Vere was educated at the school and after graduating he moved to Kingston and worked at the General Post Office in 1912 until he went off to serve in World War 1 in 1915. He joined the South Lancashire Regiment and saw active service with the Egyptian expedition Force led by Field Marshal Lord Allanby. A highly competent soldier, Vere was awarded the Military Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry in Devotion to Duty in 1917.
At the end of the war in 1919 he returned to Jamaica and resumed at the General Post Office after which was transferred to the Collector General's Office, on promotion. He dabbles in various other things and became Jamaica's Elocution Champion in 1926, as well as played football for Melbourne and the YMCA Football Clubs. And if that wasn't enough, Vere became captain and Adjutant of the church (Anglican) Lads Brigade.


Monic Johns said...

Hello, I am the grandaughter of vere Johns and the daughter of Verve Johns Jr or Everette Johns Jr aka "Jamica". I was so pleased to see your written article on my grandfather. Because of you, I am able to learn all about him and how educated and talented he was. Your article was phenomonial and I truly appreciate it! I look forward to Part II. Regards,
Monic Johns

J knight said...

Hi Monic,

I'm trying to trace my family history. My grandmother's maiden name is John's. Are you related to a Doris or Norah John's

loryn everette said...

Hello, I too am a 52 year old grandaughter of Vere Johns and Doris Johns,his first wife.
My mother is their daughter, Marjorye Everette Johns. My name is Loryn Everette.
I am wondering how I am related to you.
I too am looking forward to Part II

Monic Johns said...

Hello to J Knight and Loryne! This is such exciting news. It sounds like we are all related..amazing! All thanks to Vintage Boss! My father (Everette Johns, Jr) mother's name was Margaret Lilian Johns. She was Grandpa Johns 2nd wife. If you email me directly, I have some photos that I can share with you. jmonic@bellsouth.net

Canadians 4 Canadians said...

Hi Loryn,

I am following up on the note my sister (J Knight) posted. We are in search of our grandmother (Doris/Joyce Johns) and we believe she's Vere's daughter from his first wife, which means she could be your aunt. Do you know of a Doris (or Joyce - could be her government name) Johns? She moved to the UK in the mid 50s/early 60s.