Late William Knibb principal leaves big legacy

When Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote Footprints on the Sands of Time, he may have unwittingly penned the biography of Alcia Morgan-Bromfield.

The late principal of William Knibb Memorial High School was born in Clarks Town, Trelawny, on October 28, 1969, the ninth of 10 children for her parents. She died on May 10, 2019. She lost a 15-year battle with cancer. She was 49.

Despite her relatively short life, Morgan-Bromfield contributed greatly to the advancement of her country, Jamaica.

Morgan-Bromfield, in 2016, became the first past student of William Knibb to become principal of the institution. Her life touched a wide cross section of people, many of whom turned out at the Church of St. Michael’s and All Angels in Clarks Town for her funeral on June 8. The mourners included Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips, Jamaica Teachers’ Association President Dr Garth Anderson, Jamaica Baptist Association President Karen Kirlew, and General Secretary Karl Johnson, and Dr Grace McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education.

Dr Phillips said she was the consummate professional.

“When my sons went to Munro she was vice-principal. She took them under her care and mothered them without allowing them to feel they were more special than others. In her was kindness personified. She loved and believed in her students. I came to know her as a powerful and accomplished professional,” Phillips said.

Loving and supportive

Tedecia and Afia Bromfield, her two daughters, remembered their mother as loving and supportive.

“She was a best friend to both of us. You could not find a friend more generous and divine. She was always encouraging. Her words lit a fire in your soul. Although she loved us, she did not stand for foolishness. She faced hardships head on, and all through her illness, she never sought pity,” the children said.

Her sister, Denise, in the eulogy, said the late educator “had the strength of a lion”. She said, too, that Morgan-Bromfield knew how to make people laugh.

“She was cunning and smart and humorous. She loved sports, especially football, and nobody could win an argument when she spoke of her beloved Manchester United,” Denise said.

She added: “An extrovert at heart we grew together closely, and that gave me the opportunity to blackmail her. Once, she tore her dress on a swing and our story was to tell mother it was torn by zinc by the gate. Anytime she did not give me what I wanted, I threatened to tell mother how the dress got torn.

She got fed up of my blackmailing and I told Mother. That night I saw our mother coming with the strap. I was filled with joy that Alcia was going to get a whipping. Both of us got a whipping for the lies we told.

“I knew that when there was lightning and thunder, you had to look for my sister under the bed. When I needed guidance for my thesis as I studied for my masters, Alcia wrote it all. I couldn’t submit it because everybody knew I was not that smart. She lived a good life, and her legacy will live on.”

Morgan-Bromfield’s body was buried in the church cemetery.

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