by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 21, 2022
Many will remember Mr. Owen Morrison as being a humble and patient man. He was one of the longest serving educators at the Belize Technical College (BTC), and the former head of the BTC Business Department, Mrs. Jennifer Hyde, remembers him as an influential man who was “good in every way.”
Mrs. Hyde spoke with us over the phone and recounted her memories of Morrison, who she says left a lasting impression on countless persons, students and teachers alike.
More than just an educator, he was also an advocate—for the poor, for his students, and for his fellow teachers. And the school at which he taught, The Belize Technical College, known as simply “Technical” to many, was more than just a school to him. On August 8th, 2004, he wrote in this newspaper that he was sad, and even bitter at times, to see the decline of what was once Belize’s largest public tertiary-level educational institution.
“The institution had been the only tertiary institution where poor people in this country were able to afford a decent, relevant, and alternative education in the Arts, Science, and Technology fields,” he said, and later went on to call the BTC a landmark and a crucial part of Belize’s history.
Former vice principal of the Belize Technical College, Ms. Georgia Belisle, also spoke with us. She said that she will always remember Mr. Morrison as the principal who was more a team leader than a boss.
“He was always respectful to your ideas. If he liked them, he was prepared to go to bat for you at all times. You always had his support, and we always supported him, too. It was a joy to work with him,” she told us.
Since his passing on the evening of September 20, there has been an outpouring of stories on how the beloved educator became a household name throughout Belize up until his retirement in 1991.
He was charismatic, energetic, and well-qualified for the task of managing the educational needs of hundreds of students at a time, wrote BTC alumni Karl E. Villanueva, who hails Morrison as one of the finest administrators of his time.
He was also a humorous man, and as Miss Belisle put it, a Jack-of-all-trades—willing to take up the roles of carpenter, plumber, mechanic, and even staff-party bouncer when needed.
“We always used to tell him he should write a book, because he was always telling us stories about when he was young and his exploits—humorous stories,” she said.
Owen Howard Morrison was fine educator. More than that, he was a fine man. AMANDALA sends our deepest condolences to all his friends, family members, former students, and former colleagues.