Dr Wayne Henry — the consummate family man

...a sports enthusiast and motivator at heart

Sunday, November 10, 2019

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Spirited , humble, wise and encouraging are just some of the words that describe this week's Q10 participant. Having represented the country working out of the offices of the World Bank, or imparting economic knowledge to students at The University of the West Indies (UWI), this son of the soil, born and bred under the clock as he would say, now sits at the helm of the country's chief planning entity.

A man with a wealth of advice, knowledge and expertise, he values everything he has done as his God-given purpose. A deep-rooted family man who spends a lot of time with his kids and plays dominoes as his favourite pasttime activity, a man who dwells on the biblical word of trusting in the Lord with all one's heart, leaning not unto one's own understanding, he also lives by the anonymous mantra— have a dream so big that you can't accomplish it, until you grow into the person who can.

He is the 'wash-belly' of three children for parents Dr Artnel and Merle Henry; this son, father, husband, justice of the peace (JP), educator and motivational speaker defines success as simply the fulfilment of purpose, urging Jamaicans to dream big and push themselves with balance, and to just run their own race in life. The Jamaica Observer's Q10 catches up with Dr Wayne St. Aubyn Henry — director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

Q10. How would you describe yourself?

I consider myself to be a visionary analytic; a thinker, motivator, an optimist, a people person — all of which are required for the nature of my job and also in my constant interaction with people.

Q10. If not this field of work, what would be secondary?

Counselling psychology. I'm currently a motivational speaker, as I love to motivate and encourage people to move beyond their circumstances to find their rightful place in life. Just recently I was a guest speaker at Sagicor's Motivational Seminar.

Q10. What do you love about your job?

I am very excited that I can play a role in contributing to national development in its various aspects — economic, social, environmental — opportunity to improve the quality of life for many people.

Q10. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

I most likely would have taken God more seriously at an earlier age, as it was after accepting his call that my life began to take new meaning — wherein that drive for excellence became embedded and that strong sense of purpose became fulfilled.

Q10. What were you like in high school?

I attended Calabar for first form as my older brother and cousins were there. They were to graduate the following year, so in fear of not having any company to go home with, I transferred to Campion College where I completed second to fifth forms. I then went back to Calabar for sixth form; I was a member of the class of 1988. During my time in high school I was very social and involved in school activities and sports. I played football and did track. I was a practical joker in high school, one who just loved to have a good laugh.

Q10. What does family life look like?

I have a closely knit family consisting of my wife Gail — my Gaily — she is an ophthalmologist so I like to say we see eye to eye, and three children - Matthew, Joshua and Gabrielle. We are often doing various activities together and very supportive of each other. There is also strong interaction/involvement of extended family. My mother died in 2009 but my father is still alive. We go to visit with him from time to time, where we spend quality family time.

Q10. How do you spend your free time?

Most of my free time is spent largely with family where we engage in various activities, whether recreational or otherwise. I am a sports enthusiast; I spend a lot of time playing with my two younger children, especially with my son Joshua playing football as he's a footballer...It's during those times I realise that I'm getting old — as my energy levels just can't keep up to his young, agile pace. I also go to extra-curricular for them to cheer them on, for instance sports day, ballet classes with my daughter Gabrielle, and chess with my son. Dominoes is also a number one hobby because it involves a lot of family — my father, my brother and in-laws are domino players, so at Christmas time we go to an aunt in the country and there we have a domino challenge, and this is fun for me. Other than that it's spending a quiet evening at home watching movies with my wife.

Q10. What was one of your most defining moments in life?

Even though I grew up in the church, a life-changing moment occurred at age 18 when 'the lights went on' and I had a revelation of Jesus Christ. I am a devout Christian who is a lay preacher in the Methodist Church in which I serve.

Q10. If you could keep only five possessions, what would they be?

If people are not to be considered/included then a Bible, a notebook, something to write with, clothing, and a smart-phone (hoping I'd have internet connection!). Otherwise it would have to be my wife, three children, and a Bible.

Q10. How do you plan to retire?

In good health, affording me the opportunity to continue to focus on and do the things that remain important, especially those concerning motivating people and helping them to become their best selves and fulfilling their God-given purpose. I want to be remembered for a job well done in all areas of life (work, family, church, society).

— Compiled by Kellaray Miles


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