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Veteran educator Daniel Warren-Kidd O.D. was yesterday (June 23) eulogized by Prime Minister Bruce Golding and members of the education and trade union fraternities, as a Jamaican extraordinaire, who made a valuable contribution to national development and helped to shape the character of many persons. Mr. Warren-Kidd was the father of former Senator Prudence Kidd-Deans and founder of the Warren Hall High School. He died on June 10th at age 97.
Speaking at the service of thanksgiving for the life of Mr. Warren-Kidd, Prime Minister Golding said like his contemporaries L.G. Newland, Donald Sangster and Madame Rose Leon, Mr. Warren-Kidd helped to lay the foundation for Jamaica’s independence. He said the former educator devoted much of his time to community causes and as a pioneer of independent schools in Jamaica, he ensured that children from poor families had access to secondary education.
“He was a pioneer educator. In the early days when access to education was difficult he felt an avenue could be provided for children of the poor to get a secondary education and he founded the Warren Hall High School,” Mr. Golding said.
Minister of Education Andrew Holness said Mr. Warren-Kidd’s influence could be felt at the highest levels of leadership in the country including Government, as former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller is a graduate of Warren Hall High School. Mr. Holness said it was noteworthy that Mr. Warren-Kidd made his school available to students who would otherwise have been excluded from the public school system. “He believed in the principle that you can learn wherever you are,” Mr. Holness said. He said the government would continue the fight to ensure that all citizens are literate.
In his remarks, Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service and former President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), said Mr. Warren-Kidd grew up in a society that did not offer the masses of the people a platform for improvement and that some of the benefits enjoyed by workers today such as sick and vacation leave, were non-existent. He said Mr. Warren-Kidd was determined to change all that. “His was a determination that caused him to want to leave the society better than he found it,” Mr. Nelson stated.
In addition to his many achievements in education, politics and community development, Daniel Warren-Kidd was also remembered as the ‘Sir Walter Raleigh of Jamaica’, for throwing his jacket on the ground for Queen Elizabeth to walk on during her first visit to Jamaica in 1953. He was arrested but later received commendations from the British Foreign Office, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. He was awarded the Order of Distinction in 2001 for outstanding contribution to education and politics.
At the thanksgiving service lessons were read by former Prime Minister and former Leader of the Opposition, Edward Seaga. Vincent Morrison, President of the National Workers Union and Ken Lewis, Chairman of the Integrity Commission, both past students of Warren Hall High School, were among those paying tributes.