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Footprints: Percival Henry - Long journey completed

Published:Tuesday | June 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Percival Henry

Percival Aloysius Henry was born on November 18, 1924, to Doris Maud Henry, who was an evangelist.

As a child, he attended the Tulloch Elementary School and then Kingston College. He was later invited by a caring aunt, Daisy Henry, who was his mother's sister, to the United States (US). It was Aunt Daisy who assisted him while he pursued further studies in the US.

In the US, he attended Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York, where he obtained a first degree in biology. Percival worked his way through university while in the US. He always spoke fondly of his days as a waiter and was very proud that he was promoted to the post of maÓtre d'. Percival had almost finished pursuing his doctorate in microbiology at Syracuse University when he got the opportunity to take up a scholarship to study medicine in Germany.

He studied medicine in Germany in the 1960s and graduated from Mainz Gutenberg University.

In 1966, he married Jacqueline Ponty, who he met while learning German in his first year in that country.

After completing his studies in Germany in 1967, his professor in pathology offered him a job to work for the German government. He worked in research, where he was highly respected, and when he travelled for that job quite often to Freiburg, he was accommodated in the general's suite on the army base.

He later worked for the Government of Jamaica as the doctor at the General Penitentiary Tower Street Facility and also at the Half-Way Tree Police Station.

Percival also started to do postmortem examinations from the 1970s and did so until early 2012. He also examined bodies in funeral homes in respect of which cremation permission was sought.

He worked in the public service until his retirement in January 2012.

He is remembered as a devoted family man who loved his children. His first son, who bears the same name, was born in 1956 during a relationship with Daisy Powell.

His daughter, Michele, was born while Percival and Jacqueline were living in Canada in 1968.

Percival returned to Jamaica in 1969 and resided in Jamaica since then. In Jamaica, the union with Jacqueline bore three more children - Vincent, Sylvia, and Nicole. Percival was a Methodist and he worshipped at Coke Methodist Church.

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