Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Moments before he could hit the send button to wish his daughter a happy birthday on Sunday, Coswell Duncan, a music teacher at Tivoli Gardens High School was instead struck by news that Annya Duncan was one of three people killed in a plane crash in Antigua.
"I was sitting around the table actually sending her a text to wish her happy birthday and in the middle of the text I got the news, I couldn't believe it. It didn't sound real," the father painfully disclosed yesterday.
Duncan, who told The Gleaner that Annya left her home in Richmond Park, St Andrew, just two years ago to live in Montserrat after finding employment as a teacher, said he last spoke to her on Saturday when she disclosed that she was on her way to Antigua to attend to medical issues.
"She had a blood shot in her eye and she went to the doctor in Montserrat who told her that she had to do a CT (computerised tomography) scan so they sent her to Antigua. She was returning to Montserrat from Antigua, when shortly after the plane took off it crashed."
"I understand that the weather was bad and there was a thunderstorm," Duncan disclosed.
Describing her as a brilliant child who "is always studying" Duncan said her daughter decided to leave Jamaica after she was unable to find a job, even with a double major degree in mathematics and science and minor in education from the University of Technology (UTech).
He said his daughter blossomed and quickly became an outstanding mathematics teacher at the Montserrat Secondary School where she received her first job after leaving UTech and was still employed up to the time of her death.
"She was a person who loved to know that she was doing well. She was very jovial and they all loved her in Montserrat."
The Tivoli Gardens High School teacher said when he last spoke to his daughter on Saturday, she was anxious to get back to Montserrat to start school yesterday.
"It's a very sad time for the entire family, her brothers and sisters are taking it especially hard," he said.In the meantime, through a media release yesterday Jamaica's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said it was in touch with Antigua government officials to seek out further details and see how best it could assist the grieving family.