A student at Kingston College was playing football. The sports master observed the coordination of the boy’s movements and told him that he thought he should spend more of his time and energy playing cricket. The boy believed him and became the number one fast bowler in the world….in the world!! The young man was Michael Holding aka “Rolls Royce” ……and to the terror of any opposing team…” Whispering Death”. The sharp-eyed sports master was Munronian, Trevor Alward Parchment.
Trevor was born on the 7th of June 1931 in Southfield, St. Elizabeth, to Cyril and Johanna Parchment. His father was a fisherman who later went into business to found C.A. Parchment and Son. Their children were Carl, Trevor, Kingsley (also a Munronian), Arden, Pat and Merv.
Trevor attended Munro College from the summer of 1942 to the Easter term of 1950 when he was Head Prefect of Munro and house captain of Pearman. He earned school colours in boxing, cricket, hockey, pole vault (placing 1st in pole vault at the 1949 Boys’ Champs with a record vault of 11ft. 3½ ins.), and football, scoring both goals in Munro’s 2-nil football victory over Kingston College. He was captain of the football and hockey teams and vice-captain of athletics. In 1949, while still a schoolboy, he represented Jamaica against Haiti in Football. Trevor received excellent tutelage during his years at Munro, under the supervision of the feared and loved sports master, W.K.B. Dunleavy who served at Munro from 1931-1950.
In 1952, Trevor left to study Physical Education in Denmark at Fredensborg College where he gained his Physical Education Diploma with Distinction. While there, he joined the Svend Holtze Danish Gymnastics team. Skipping nimbly across the North Sea to England, he achieved the Teaching Certificate with Merit from St. Mark and St. John College. He was now ready to share the breadth and depth of his knowledge and skills in athletics with his alma mater and ultimately Jamaica.
The time to serve as Munro’s sports master came in 1955. In 1954 a young Richard Roper, then only 29 years old, was appointed to succeed outgoing headmaster Basil Ward. While the school waited for Trevor to assume his post, Mr. Roper served as acting sports master, understudying Mr. Wiehen who acted as head until Christmas Term 1955 when Trevor finally arrived. Trevor Parchment will be remembered for gymnastics, among other achievements, in which he raised the Munro team to dizzying heights (quite literally) performing before the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Hugh Foot when His Excellency honoured Munro with an attendance at Munro’s 100th anniversary celebration in 1956.
One of the early team performances was in Southfield where the reception was ecstatic, and the sheer wonder of the viewers was summed up by a spectator’s remark “dem mus mek out a rubba or plastic”. There were performances in Sav-la-Mar (the team reaching in the back of a truck), Mandeville, Knox College and twice at Wolmers. Twice because the headmaster remarked that their standard was comparable with that of the famous Danish team.
Between 1956 and 1958 he led Munro to the Alexander Cup for tennis seniors twice, the Henriques Shield for hockey twice, the DaCosta Cup for football in 1957 and Western Champs for athletics that same year. Trevor then moved on to Excelsior where he walked on water. He led the athletics team to its only Boys’ Champs title to this day. There were performances in Sav-la-Mar (the team reaching in the back of a truck), Mandeville, Knox College and twice at Wolmers.
His most precious accomplishment at Excelsior was won not on the sports field but the battlefield of love as it was there that he met a St. Lucian teacher on the staff, Alison Date. By 1963 she was no longer his date, but had her name written alongside his on the parchment of a marriage certificate. Their union produced Jacqui and David.
He moved on to K.C. in the early 1960’s and led them to victories at Boys Champs from 1964 to 1967. He coached K.C. to two Sunlight Cup victories and one National Championship. His success at K.C. also extended to the Henriques Shield which had sat comfortably at Munro but was wrested away by K.C. in 1968 and 1969. Munro, with a heavy heart, forgave you Trevor.
Trevor had admirable skills in both the playing of several sports and in the successful management of sport entities. From 1957 he represented Jamaica in hockey and in 1964 became Captain and National Coach. He was a member of the National Lawn Tennis Squad, a key member of the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee of 1966, and in 1971 was Chairman of the Organizing Committee and Meet Director for the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Championships. From 1971 until 1973 he served as Vice President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA). Between 1976 and 1977 he founded and directed the National Gymnastics Company. Starting in 1969 Trevor “went viral”. His constituency became the whole island and from perches in the Ministries of Education and Youth & Sports, he was put in charge of physical education, served on the Curriculum Committee and directed Sports and Recreation Island wide.
His brother Kingsley, judging that Jamaica was getting bad for business, left for Canada in 1974. Trevor made a similar decision in 1977 and moved to Canada with his family, carrying recommendations that could get the “Devil into Heaven”. Still, he could get no meaningful job in Canada, so he worked in Kingsley’s plumbing and bathroom supplies business in Oshawa near Toronto. When Kingsley decided to return to Jamaica in the early 1980s, Trevor by his diligent thrift, was able to buy Kingsley’s share of the business and ran it as his own. The business was successful. At age 70 he decided to retire, and his son David now runs the business.
His daughter Jaqui described Trevor as an “amazing father” who was humble, thankful and treated family and people in general with the love that Jesus recommended. She describes their home as one where family and friends and friends of those friends gathered happily. Trevor and his wife loved people. He intensified his interest in gardening and travelled with his wife Allison across Europe and the Caribbean. Allison predeceased him five years ago.
A life which reflected athletic excellence, business acumen and the sanctity of family ended in 2018 with Trevor’s passing at the age of 88. A man of humble mien, he sought no accolades. Those who knew him, however, know that he was deserving of many. This one is but a small token in comparison to what he has earned by how he lived his life. For the above and other reasons, Mr. Trevor Alward Parchment was proudly inducted into the Munro College Old Boy Association Hall of Fame.