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G-G-designate a devout Adventist and educator

Wednesday, January 14, 2009    

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Dr Patrick Allen, the man who will become independent Jamaica's sixth head of state on February 26, is a devout Adventist and educator who oversees the network of Adventist-administered educational institutions in Jamaica which comprise 10 high schools, 22 primary schools and numerous basic schools.

Dr Allen rose through the ranks of the church to become president of the Central Jamaica Conference and president of the West Indies Union Conference in 1998 and 2000 respectively.

In 2005, he was re-elected to serve for a second consecutive five-year term as president of the West Indies Union Conference.

Dr Allen, who turns 58 in February, was in 2006 conferred with the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for services to religion, education and social welfare.

He serves as a member of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, the Strategic Review Implementation Oversight Committee for the Jamaica Constabulary Force and is a former director of the Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Dr Allen was born on February 7, 1951 in the farming community of Fruitful Vale, Portland, the fourth of five children of Ferdinand Allen and his wife, Christina (nee Grant).

He attended Fruitful Vale All-Age School and, after successfully completing his GCE examinations in 1968 by private study, he joined the staff of the school as a pre-trained teacher at the age of 17. Two years later, he enrolled in Moneague Teachers' College. Following his graduation, he taught at Water Valley All-Age School in St Mary for three years before being appointed principal of Robins Bay Primary School in St Mary in 1976.

In 1978, he became principal of Hillside Primary School in St Mary which had an enrolment four times the size of Robins Bay All-Age.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in History and Religion, a Master's degree in Systematic Theology, and a PhD in Education Administration and Supervision.

He has been married to Denise Patricia (nee Beckford) for 33 years. They have three children - Kurt, Candice and David.

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