A BRIEF HISTORY OF CALABAR HIGH SCHOOL
In 1839 William Knibb, Thomas Burchell and James Phillipo, the three leading English Baptist Missionaries working in Jamaica, moved for the creation of a College for training native Baptist Ministers. Out of this Calabar Theological College came into being in 1843 and was first sited in the little village of Calabar, near Rio Bueno, Trelawny. The name “Calabar” was brought to Jamaica by slaves from Nigeria, West Africa, where there is an old river-port city by that name. In 1868 Calabar College was removed to East Queen Street, Kingston, where a “Normal” school for training teachers and a high school for boys were added. Shortly after, the high school went out of operation and the teacher-training activities ceased, leaving the practicing school-now Calabar All-Age on Sutton Street. The Theological College was relocated to Chetolah Park on Slipe Pen Road in 1901.
In 1912, through the instrumentality of Rev. Ernest Price, Principal of the Theological College and Rev. David Davis one of its tutors, Calabar High School came into existence under the sponsorship of the Baptist Missionary Society of London and the Jamaica Baptist Union, to provide high school education for the sons of the working class, the growing middle class and the sons of Baptist Ministers. It opened on the 12th September with 26 boys and the foundation was firmly laid in the Christian tradition. Rev. Price was the first Headmaster.
In 1952 the school moved to a 60-acre site at 61 Red Hills Road. Some of this land has since been sold. Boarding facilities were provided up to 1970 and reinstated in 2013. There are presently over 1700 students on roll. Calabar High School was famous almost from the start. It established a reputation for scholarship which it has maintained over the years as seen from the number of major scholarships, such as the Jamaica and Rhodes Scholarships, which have been won by Calabar students. Today, Calabar Old Boys fill important positions in every walk of life and have made an outstanding contribution to the development of Jamaica. They are prominent in public service, law, politics, education, the church, sports, business and creative arts. You are indeed entering a “goodly heritage.”