Wed | Nov 21, 2018

KC family gather for healing amid multiple tragedies

Published:Wednesday | October 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Kenyon Hemans/Photographer Students from Kingston College gather inside the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kingston for a prayer vigil yesterday.

Bad things happen to good people, too, but God's comfort is present in the midst of all the grief and anguish.

This was the main takeaway as the Kingston College (KC) student body, school administrators, alumni, as well as principals and students from other high schools, converged on Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kingston yesterday for a prayer service and "a time of healing" for the bereaved KC family.

Five student deaths in the space of three months across both campuses have hit the usually exuberant school community hard, and while the congregation wasn't exactly immersed in an ocean of tears, the grim, young faces painted a vivid picture of the atmosphere around the school.

"Death has come to Kingston College in multiple ways and we don't know why," exclaimed the Reverend Robert Thompson, Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, in his homily.

"So, we need to acknowledge that that question is on our minds this morning. Acknowledging that is the first step towards how we respond, and the scripture (Romans 8: 31-39) can help us to respond to this question of why."

Thompson, who is also a member of the KC board of governors, told The Gleaner afterwards, "Bad things happen to good people, so, they are not singled out because they did anything terrible. The fact is, in the midst of it all, God is present and we need to assure them of that."

 

A TIME OF HEALING

 

The latest loss to the KC community surrounds the death of 16-year-old fifth-former Daniel Wray last Wednesday.

Police said Wray was shot and killed when he and a friend were playing with a firearm belonging to the friend's relative in Portmore Pines, St Catherine.

According to reports, Wray was shot in the head at about 3:40 p.m. The other boy has been taken into custody by cops for questioning.

Speaking directly to that casualty, Thompson declared that the care and protection of "these very dangerous weapons" is something to be repeatedly insisted upon as a society.

"These are dangerous weapons and a child may see that as a toy rather than a dangerous weapon that kills.

"Therefore, greater care in terms of the custody of those dangerous weapons is something that the society as a whole needs to take hold off," he contended.

Meanwhile, principal Dave Myrie, who spoke to The Gleaner briefly, stressed that the gathering was to begin the process of collective healing.

"We just wanted to bring the whole school together as a church family to have a time of healing," he shared.

He further thanked KC's sister school, St Hugh's High, and fellow North Street-based school, St George's College, for the outpouring of support in light of the recent tragedies. Principals for both schools attended the services, along with students from St George's College.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com