Today’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony could well be called Ken Walton Day. And why? Because three of his co-inductees, Winston Hutchinson, Stanley Darville, and Eddison Hinds all attest to his concern for their individual welfare and the welfare of others while at Munro College. Another co-inductee, Winston Browne was Walton’s contemporary on staff and coached the 1963 hockey team, ably assisted by Hall of Famer Mervyn Morris.
Ken Walton was born on January 20th, 1933, to Frederic Walton who worked with the Royal Air Force and his Mother Ethel Lambert Walton who managed a warehouse. By 1960, Ken Walton had gained his teacher’s certificate and from Loughborough Ireland his Diploma in Physical Education. A friend discovered that there was a job available at Munro College in Jamaica. Ken applied and was successful. He had also been successful in his application (proposal) to Daphne Elizabeth, the love of his life, so they tied the knot on New Year’s Eve when 1960 was making way for 1961.
Ken preceded her to Jamaica and Munro College and sorted out the domestic framework. Six months later, Daphne arrived to make their house into a home. She was Physical Education teacher at Hampton School. His appointment charged him as Sportsmaster with responsibility for all sports; teacher of Health Science; House Master of Pearman House and as Senior House Master with Chairmanship of Prefects meetings and thus day-to-day discipline of the whole school.
The responsibility for all sports seemed onerous but various masters had interests which helped to lighten the load – Richard Roper in rifle shooting, Mervyn Morris in tennis, Steve Harle in football and Winston Browne in hockey. In addition, house masters vested interest in the fortunes of their houses and general staff assistance in the run up to, and coordination of Sports Day itself, all made the job doable and delightful.
Ken had a stellar career at Munro. The results of Ken’s effort and success over his 11½ years were as follows:
Football: Elron Cup, five times; Galloway Cup, eight times; and DaCosta Cup, three times
Track & Field: Horsham Trophy, one time
Hockey: Henriques Shield, four times
Cricket: Headley Cup, one time
Tennis: Gibson Cup, one time; Alexander Cup, one time
Rifle Shooting: DeCarteret Shield, one time; Machado Cup, five times; and Perkins Shield, seven times.
Ken Walton’s averaged almost four (4) trophies per year between 1961 & 1972.
In 1966 Ken played an active role in the Eighth British Empire and Commonwealth Games held in Kingston, Jamaica during August 4th to 13th. Let the managers of the Australian swimming team, and the overall Australian team speak:- John McNamara wrote to Ken, “My team is meeting with considerable success — due to our training sessions not being interrupted as were at the times requested by me”. General Manager W.J. Young was equally fulsome “Without your consistent help my job would have been most difficult, and I am most indebted to you”.
During Ken’s 11½ years, the Munro schoolboy population grew from 162 to 430. The Walton family followed suit with their own expansion with children. Allan, now a mechanical engineer and citizen of Germany has two girls, Nigel who distils whiskey in Scotland has a boy and a girl. The only girl Robyn, a physiotherapist in London, has two children. In essence, the Walton family of Ken, Daphne, their three children and six grandchildren made the perfect team of eleven. His only sibling is sister, Gruber Hela, who is 14 years his junior and resides in Germany.
In an interview in 1972, the Munronian’s C.G. Miller asked Mr. Walton how he felt about leaving Munro. He said that he was sad to be going but “I feel I have to leave because of the economic situation” He went to Bel Air High School in Mandeville and spent four years there before returning to England in 1976.
In England, being overqualified for a PE post, he taught English to foreign students at the continental School for Foreign Students. After that he was appointed PE Master at Kingsleigh School in Bournemouth and in his spare time trained athletes at the Bournemouth Athletics Club where he was President for a year. Ken continued to contribute to sports around Bournemouth where he helped with speed and fitness training at AFC Bournemouth from 1995 to 2005,
Of special mention is Ken’s football coaching of Eddie Howe who, in spite of having to overcome the inconvenience of a bad knee went on to play for and coach AFC Bournemouth on multiple stints. Eddie Howe is now the coach at English Premier League club, Newcastle United. Also special is his coaching of Jamaican Kim Rowe who ended up as 440-Yard Indoor Champion of the world.
It is said that “It is better to wear out than to rust out” you will find no rust on Ken’s trail …. And so say all of Browne, Hutchinson, Danville and Hinds.
Ken Walton died on the 26th of September 2022 and six months later his wife Daphne passed. They made Munro College a better place for having contributed.
Today, for the above and other reasons we proudly induct Mr. Kenneth Frederic Walton into the Munro College Old Boys Association Hall of Fame.