Nearly 35 years ago, Neville Prowde resigned as a drafting and design manager with one of Canada’s largest steel producers based in Quebec with the intention of returning to his native Jamaica.
While en route in Toronto, he changed his mind and career.
Prowde, who spent 25 years with the Toronto District School Board as an educator after a decade with Sidbec-Dosco which was established in 1968 by the Quebec government, succumbed to cancer on July 31 at age 74.
He was buried last Saturday.
Prior to retiring as a TDSB technical director, Prowde completed the Principal’s Course, chaired parent-teacher programs and helped develop the Graduate Race Relations Awareness & Community Experience (GRACE) program.
“I met Neville for the first time in 1989 when I was appointed a vice-principal at Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute,” said retired educator, Lennox Borel. “He was a teacher on the staff and we became friends. At school he was well respected by students and colleagues alike. His warm and infectious smile was always welcoming to them and he was indeed a role model for his students.”
The same passion Prowde exuded for teaching was evident in his community service.
He was the John Brooks Community Foundation Scholarship Fund president for two years, a vice-chair with the City of Vaughan Safe City Committee and president of the Kingston College Old Boys Association Toronto chapter for three years.
“KC staged its first international reunion in Toronto and our fundraising reached an unprecedented level with him at the helm,” said Doug MacDonald, who succeeded Prowde as the association’s president in 1991. “Neville was a hard worker who got things done and he possessed a caring spirit.”
Lance Seymour, another KCOBA president, was shocked by Prowde’s passing.
“I had no idea he was ill,” he said. “So when I received the news, I was jolted.”
Seymour, who migrated to Canada in 1988, joined the organization when Prowde was the president.
“Looking back, that was one of the most successful periods of our organization,” said Seymour, who is a technology program manager with a large financial institution. “He was very good at fundraising and getting people out to our events.”
Current KCOBA president, Lawrence Prendergast, said Prowde will be missed.
“Like every KC alumni, purple blood ran through his veins,” he said. “He will definitely be in our thoughts when we gather for our next awards gala in October.”
In 2008, the Jamaica government honoured Prowde with a Community Service Award and, two years ago, the KCOBA recognized him for significant contributions to the organization.
Prowde is survived by his wife of 45 years – Ina Joy – and children Jacqueline and Christopher.
Their eldest son, Neville Prowde Jr., passed away suddenly at his Richmond Hill home on August 7, 2008.
“That hit him very hard and took a toll on his family,” said MacDonald. “I don’t think Neville ever bounced back from his son’s passing.”
Reprinted from Share News Online – 2015-08-13(http://sharenews.com/neville-prowde-was-a-role-model/)