JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, joined hands with staff and students at the Mona High School yesterday (January 26) in mourning the loss of second form student, Darnell Foster.
Addressing a special devotion in memory of the youngster, who died after collapsing in Half-Way Tree on Monday, January 23, Senator Reid urged students to use the life and death of Darnell as a reminder to always practise love and peace.
“There is a message for us who are left behind and the question we must ask ourselves is, ‘What will we leave as our legacy on this earth’?” he said.
The Minister said he prays for the comfort of God for Darnell’s family, as well as the school community.
“How are we going to mourn (the loss of) Darnell and how are we going to remember his legacy as we reach out to his father and mother? We are going to not only love each other, we are going to be the catalyst of change to make Jamaica a better place,” he said.
Senator Reid also met with Darnell’s classmates and encouraged them to practise a healthy lifestyle and to be conscientious about their well-being.
Mona High School Headmaster, Keven Jones, expressed appreciation for the Minister’s visit and support.
“It is indeed a sad occasion. We would have preferred not to have to celebrate the life of Darnell in this way. But sadly he was taken away from us…but I am so heartened that the Minister and his team have visited us and we sincerely appreciate it,” he said.
Mr. Jones hailed Darnell as having been a good student who attended classes and was loved by his schoolmates.
“He also loved to smile. He had a great smiling face and he will be missed,” he added.
Students from Darnell’s former form class, 2N, used the special devotion to offer tributes for the boy they described as a good friend who was caring, loving, kind and peaceful. He was remembered as a good Spanish student who liked to play football, and would often share his lunch with his friends.
“You were a great friend from day one,” one student said.
“Darnell was a kind and generous person. In class, he was quiet and calm,” another of his friends said.
Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Eastern, Hon. Fayval Williams, and Councillor for the Mona Division, Andrew Bellamy, were also in attendance at the service.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, signs a condolence book for Mona High School student, Darnell Foster, at a special devotion at the school on Thursday, January 26. Darnell died suddenly on Monday (January 23) after collapsing in Half-Way Tree.