Remembering an outstanding Maroon Colonel
Moore Town, Portland:
Hundreds of persons comprising family members, friends, and well-wishers packed the St Paul's Anglican Church in Moore Town, Portland, last weekend to celebrate the life of former Maroon Colonel Collin Lloyd George Harris, who only recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
Affectionately called 'Teacha', Harris lived an exemplary life, wherein he reportedly impacted the lives of hundreds of residents in the Maroon community by providing them with financial assistance, offering them guidance and mentorship, while spending time teaching them how to read and write
A two-term president of the Portland Jamaica Teachers' Association, Colonel Harris was a graduate of the then Mico College, which is now The Mico University College.
He also held the distinction of being the first student from Moore Town to secure a credit grade in English language in what was then known as the First-year Super Teacher Examination.
Having excelled academically, Harris quickly aborted a life-long dream of becoming a shoemaker and started his new occupation as a schoolteacher at his alma mater, Moore Town Primary.
Yorke Harris, one of the Colonel's sons, spoke about the bonding relationship with his father and pointed out that his dad was well loved by community residents as a result of his invaluable service to the people and the varied communities in the Rio Grande valley. He argued that the contribution made by his father should be replicated by those assuming leadership positions.
"He was an outstanding teacher," commented Yorke.
He added: "He was an advocate for the community and a family man. He has left us with a rich legacy, and I am strongly advocating that Moore Town Primary school be renamed in honour of his memory and contribution."
During his lifetime, Harris wrote several books including Teacha, The Chieftainess, Sharon Silver Land, and Reminiscences, for which he received multiple awards.
Among those who paid their respects were Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment, and Sports Olivia Grange; Minister of National Security Robert Montague; Dr Fenton Ferguson representing the leader of the Opposition; Mayor of Port Antonio Paul Thompson; and Member of Parliament for East Portland Dr Linvale Bloomfield.
Harris, who was elected as head of the Moore Town Maroons in 1964, was laid to rest at the Bump Grave, next to the monument of one of Jamaica's national heroes, Nanny.