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Mechanic, sound system operator making a difference

Prof a father figure in Tryall, St Mary continues to guide the youth

BY RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, March 02, 2014    

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His mother named him Carlton Henry, but if you go to Tryall, near the St Mary parish capital of Port Maria and ask for him like that, the citizens of the area may have difficulty readily identifying him.

Throw aliases like 'Prof', or 'Father Prof' into the mix and everyone would know right away that it is the man who has turned out to be a true father figure who is being sought.

The father of four, who grew up in nearby Trinity, always remembers the wise words of his grandmother to "do all the good you can no matter what people say about you".

Those words have propelled him into a mode that sees him always willing to lend a helping hand. Even after facing much criticism for trying to make life better for himself, Henry still continues to try to help others.

Henry has been serving his community as a member of the Citizens' Association. However, with his caring personality, he has gone beyond what is expected of him.

The father figure has been providing financial and moral support to the youth in his community, especially the children in school.

"Mi give a lot of them lunch money when me have it," he said.

Henry stated that he has a love for children and wants to see them achieve the best. He believes that his personality speaks for itself and so children are drawn to him.

"Mi no really do anything fi dem come around, but because dem see how mi treat the others, children always come 'roun me," he said.

Through his community club, the children are treated yearly and helped with back-to-school supplies.

"Mi love dem bad," he admitted.

One of the many ways that Henry has been trying to help in the development of young people is in the rules set for disc jockeys operating his sound system.

The man who said that he believes in integrity and in things being done the right way has also been working to make dancehall better in whatever way he can.

"Mi no even like a bad word cuss on mi sound," he said, insisting that as soon as a disc jockey starts doing something that he does not like, he would switch that disc jockey's microphone off.

"Certain music can't be played on my sound, unless I am not there," he pointed out.

Although his love for music prompted him to start his sound system, Henry has not given up his first love as a mechanic.

The 54-year-old spends most of his time working on vehicles and helping those who are in need.

"People always want mi do something. If mi no careful, mi no have no time fi myself," he said.

Henry is often kept busy attending to others and for him, saying "no" is hard to do.

"Sometimes you would think them a pay mi, but a no so," he said in a jovial manner.

Community members had high praises for Henry. According to them, he leads in a positive way. They pointed out that Henry was no "don" or "badman" but he commanded respect and was a leader in his community.

"He is a good person and he look out fi people. Sometimes him have his own business and leave it fi go help people," Omar Henry, a cousin and one of seven employees of the Integra Sound System, stated.

"He is genuine and is someone you can depend on. He loves to help the youth and is well-known for his generosity," Henry said.

Others see him as an honest and respectable community person.

"He is like a father and not a boss. Anything affecting you, you can run to him. Everybody look up to him," another employee, Maurice Livert, said.

Although trying to make a difference, Father Prof has had his fair share of problems but has not given up hope.

Henry, who suffered at the hands of criminals some years ago, said that he is grateful to Winston "Wee Pow" Powell of Stone Love, who was a mentor to him, helping him to get back on his feet after his musical equipment was stolen.

He also sees Powell as a father figure who has helped him to make the impact that he is now having on his community.

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