Family awaits autopsy on man who died on plane
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:All Joseph A. MacWade wanted to do was to come home to Jamaica. But, the 83-year-old didn't make it further than the Providenciales airport, Turks and Caicos, where he was pronounced dead on board a Caribbean Airlines flight en route from New York to Jamaica last Sunday.
The aircraft was forced to be diverted to Turks and Caicos, owing to MacWade's condition on the flight. The situation worsened cutting the elderly man's journey short.
"My aunt brought him to the airport in New York and everything seemed fine. He was happy and relaxed. Several hours later, she got a phone call saying he had died. We have lost a great deal," said MacWade's niece, Christine MacWade.
While uncertain of the circumstances surrounding her uncle's death, MacWade revealed that officials in the Turks and Caicos were conducting a thorough investigation into the death. "They will send their report to the family when it is completed."
In the meantime, it is almost a week since the body has been in the Turks and Caicos awaiting an autopsy. "They said the doctor would be back on the island sometime today (yesterday). I don't know if they will get the autopsy done right away or if it might take longer. We are hoping he will be in Kingston by Monday," she said.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, MacWade has lived in Jamaica for the past 40 years.
He completed his philosophy and theology studies at Weston College and spent three years of regency in Baghdad, both as a student of Arabic and a teacher of English. He was ordained at Weston in 1961. After tertiary education at Pomfret, Connecticut, he studied canon law at the Oriental Institute in Rome from 1963 until 1966 when he returned to Baghdad to teach ethics and theology at Al Hikma University. When the Jesuits were forced to leave Baghdad in 1968, MacWade returned to Rome to finish his doctoral work. He received his degree in 1972. In that year, MacWade was commmissioned to Jamaica, where he first taught theology at St Michael's Seminary and the University of the West Indies.
"He then happily accepted a new role in Jamaica as high school teacher and, for the remainder of his career, became extremely involved at Campion College, heading up the religion department, serving as a religion teacher, running retreats, and animating the spiritual life of the students, while continuing to serve as a canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of Kingston," said Christine MacWade.