by Howard Campbell
[SOUTH FLORIDA] – In Jamaica, high school rivalries are as intense as in the United States. When it comes to athletics and soccer, fans of Kingston College (KC), Calabar and Jamaica College (JC) are rabid.
David Muir never attended a sports powerhouse. But he credits his alma mater, Campion College, for him being a rounded individual.
He was a working-class youth in a school with an upper-crust student body. Yet, the ace photographer never felt out of place.
“Jamaica was so much fun during my youth, specifically my teen years and into my 20s. There was always so much to see and do in my childhood years. I grew up in Kingston and St. Andrew and yet had many more experiences island-wide as my family travelled to see family members in each of our three counties and to enjoy excursions at various attractions and places throughout the island,” Muir recalled.
From Jamaica to South Florida
The folksy Muir has lived in South Florida since 2002. He moved to the region in the aftermath of 9/11 and gradually established himself as a photographer, and entrepreneur who co-founded the Island Space Caribbean Museum and Island Origins lifestyle magazine.
That zest to achieve was nurtured at Campion, former school of dancehall group TOK and Oliver Mair, Jamaica’s current Consul General to Miami.
Remembering the Days at Campion College
“While attending Campion, I was extremely active in school activities. I wanted to and participated in everything I could. That including playing and captaining both the rugby and chess teams. Plus, I also participated at an executive level in the school’s Key Club chapter, the student government, as well as becoming a prefect while in sixth form.
I was heavily involved in Ministry Outreach too,” he disclosed. “Though not as enthusiastically, I also participated on the school’s math team because I was selected to be on the team by the faculty. As a hobby during school hours, I also took photos using my Dad’s SLR camera which I carried to school when I could sneak it away from home. Even though I loved football (soccer), cricket, swimming, and table tennis, I didn’t attempt to play these sports for the school’s teams but did play them competitively outside of the school environment.”
Passion for Music
The resourceful Muir’s first crack at commerce was starting a sound system while in high school. After leaving Campion, he co-founded the Ambassador’s Disco.
Ambassadors’ stocks rose to the point where they played Kingston hot spots like House of Leo alongside Stone Love, and Front Line located along the capitol’s popular Red Hills Road strip.
Life at home was similarly productive.
“We attended much of what the social calendar allowed for, including going to the Pantomime at Ward Theatre, stage plays at the Little Theatre, NDTC (National Dance Theatre Company) performances where they were held, cultural activities at the Ranny Williams Centre on Hope Road, sporting activities at the National Stadium, fundraisers like school BBQs, vacations in tourist areas, dining or going out to eat at a variety of restaurants on special occasions, and, attending parties at the homes of friends and family,” Muir recalled.
David Muir has never lost touch with Jamaica, or Campion College which his wife also attended. In the past year, he made several trips to his homeland, taking photos for Pieces Of Jamaica, a book celebrating the country’s 60th anniversary of Independence, scheduled for release in July.
Memories of Yaad