Posted: Friday, September 30, 2022. 12:25 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: At 2:00 p.m. at St John’s Cathedral in Belize City, friends, colleagues, and intimates of the late Owen Morrison will gather to pay tribute at funeral services.
The former principal of the Belize Technical College died on September 20 at the age of 85.
A native of Dangriga, Morrison studied at the University of British Columbia and on graduation returned to begin a lifelong teaching career which included stops at Pallotti High School, Anglican Cathedral College, St Michael’s College, and the University of Belize.
But it was his tenure at “Technical” that he is most remembered for and personally proud of.
Former CEO in the Ministry of Education (another position Morrison held) and colleague Dr Dorian Barrow told us today, “As far as I am concerned he is one of the constants in helping the country dealing with the big issue of scientific literacy, he has made one of the biggest contributions.”
Technical pioneered teaching in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and more importantly made it affordable. As BBN’s CEO Hugh O’Brien recalled last week, “І wіll аlwауѕ сhеrіѕh mееtіng Мr. Моrrіѕоn fоr thе rоlе hе рlауеd іn mу еduсаtіоn аnd mу lіfе. Wе nеvеr ѕроkе аbоut thаt fіrѕt mееtіng, but lіkе mе, аm ѕurе thаt hе dіd nоt fоrgеt аѕ hе nеvеr fаіlеd tо соmmеnd mе аnd tо lеt mе knоw thаt hе wаѕ рrоud, vеrу рrоud оf mе.” Morrison allowed O’Brien, a later CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, to work toward paying school fees at the “poor people school.”
Many others in the technical fields still working today are proud graduates of Technical, surviving its amalgamation into the University of Belize. Dr. Barrow credited him as a personal friend and introduction to many others.
And in the area of sports, Morrison came up with the concept of the Relay Marathon (Relathon for short) as a fundraiser for Technical later adopted by UB in which relay teams of men and women ran a mile along the highway and tried to beat each other into the City.
Morrison is survived by family including daughter and nutritionist Karen Rosito and all who counted him as a mentor, colleague, and friend. We think of them today as they bid farewell this afternoon.
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