Sun | Jun 26, 2022

Drowned Wolmer’s boy hailed as standout ‘man of God’

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2022 | 12:12 AMAsha Wilks/Gleaner Writer
Dageon Whiteley (centre), chair of student and teacher relations, comforts Alwayne McLaughlin (left) and Quan Lyttle, close friends of the late David Minott, as they lamented his drowning death.
Dageon Whiteley (centre), chair of student and teacher relations, comforts Alwayne McLaughlin (left) and Quan Lyttle, close friends of the late David Minott, as they lamented his drowning death.
David Minott (left) and aunt, Pashon.
David Minott (left) and aunt, Pashon.
1
2

David Minott was remembered by academic staff and fellow students of Wolmer’s Boys’ School as an exemplary human being and a ‘man of God’ who never missed an opportunity to encourage or use his infectious smile to brighten the faces of others.

The 15-year-old, who travelled to Portland’s Somerset Falls on Sunday with three busloads of church brethren, is believed to have drowned about 4 p.m., moments after he had completed a boat ride at the tourist attraction.

When school reopened on Tuesday after the Labour Day holiday break, Wolmer’s was at an emotional low as the devastating news started to set in.

Principal Dwight Pennycooke described David as “one of the school’s success stories” despite having a rough start because of financial challenges.

David distinguished himself, academically and otherwise, by his steely will to work tirelessly to become an honour-roll student, said Pennycooke.

Only a few weeks ago, the teenager was classified as upper-tier – the highest level awarded at the Kingston high school.

“If the pan knock, David Minott would be somewhere in the midst responding,” Pennycooke said, referencing the late student’s willingness to help.

Nyron Beeput, year group supervisor of 10th-grade block, recalled in a Gleaner interview his first encounter with David when the boy was in grade eight.

During a class, said Beeput, Minott had randomly walked into the class with the sole purpose of offering a reassuring word of God’s love to students while urging them to pray.

It was not uncommon for David, a Christian, to testify of divine deliverance from hardship.

David, who lived with his grandmother Sharon Miller, was the public relations officer of Wolmer’s’ Inter-School Christian Fellowship (ISCF) club and was also a sub-prefect.

“He’s like that. He’s very outspoken ... an advocate for just about everybody,” said Beeput.

“When I heard the news yesterday morning, I was literally lost for words. It just struck me,” said the year group supervisor, who said the tragedy was a reminder of mankind’s mortality.

Shea Martin, Jalon McLeod and Alwayne McLaughlin, classmates and close friends of David, said he was a standout – “different from the rest” – and would often go beyond the call of duty.

Pennycooke said that the school would find a fitting way to memorialise his legacy.

A teacher at Wolmer’s Boys who is also a church sister to Minott and went on the trip said that the journey back into Kingston was filled with tension – a sharp contrast from the vibrancy and mirth in the morning.

The teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that though she was not in proximity to Minott at the time he died, he had earlier been his jovial self. She said further that it was difficult to keep track of individuals who would ofen venture off with different groups.

“It’s just something so mysterious and surprising to know that after being there with him a few minutes ago, and to really see what happened, it’s just strange. It’s like you can’t fathom to know that just like how we are here with somebody, and then in the next moment they’re fighting for life,” the teacher added.

asha.wilks@gleanerjm.com