Brian Hugh Ian Morgan was born in Spanish Town St. Catherine, on the second of January 1946 to medical practitioner Dr. John Hugh Scott Morgan and Esmine Louise Morgan, outstanding teacher. Although his parents were divorced when Brian and his younger brother Paul, were very young, they grew up in the heart of a close, extended family for whom education and Christianity were guiding principles. In fact, Brian remembers being required to face the rigours of strict preparatory schooling at Morris Knibb. as well as church at East Queen Street Baptist, including twice on Sundays. There were two formative and directly linked results of these circumstances: surrounded by several male cousins, Brian’s talent for leadership emerged at an early age as he became the ring-leader in mischief, to the dismay of his mother and many aunts and uncles.
Character Building School Days
The unanimous decision of the family was that sending Brian off to Munro College was the logical solution. Munro welcomed a new challenge in the summer term of 1957 and placed that challenge in second form and in Farquharson House. The ensuing discipline of the bell, the prefects, the masters (and a mistress or two), redirected Brian’s talents for leadership from the field of mischief and positively harnessed his energy to produce the Vice-Captain of Athletics, Right half on the football team and Captain of Farquharson House.
Brian speaks highly of the influence of Headmaster Richard Roper and of his wife Merle, most notably of their adherence to Christian values and their embodiment of integrity. Nonetheless, Brian is frank and critical of those events he considered wrongly handled by Mr. Roper and this balance of judgement on Brian’s part, lends credibility to the positive virtues he extols in them. Brian’s fond memories of Munro naturally include sports where he often recounts the feats of Trevor Parchment, a co-inductee today, and Ken Walton. He also lauds the teaching mastery of Steve Harle who had a penchant for turning chemical dunces into useful chemists and making bright ones great. This without giving any hint of the category to which he himself belonged.
The recipient of a dental scholarship in 1964, Brian proceeded with his HSC to attend The University of Birmingham in the UK and emerged in 1970 with his degree in Dental Surgery (BDS) and with the Final Year Prize in Advanced Conservative Dentistry….which means “mi naa pull out no toot mi can save!!”…..though of course he would never say it like that. (His brother Paul who also attended Munro won an engineering scholarship in 1966).
His world of work began in Jamaica in his private practice as a dentist in 1971 and continues. Paraphrasing from a citation rendered by the Jamaica Dental Association in February 2017, “You pursue unrelentingly, the most cutting-edge equipment and materials from wherever in the world they are to be found……and you always are happy to welcome your colleagues to your surgery to demonstrate some new piece of equipment, material or procedure. You always encourage us to raise our game and to measure ourselves against the best in the world”.
For twelve years he gave public service in the dental clinics of Kingston and St. Andrew. In 1978 the Jamaica Dental Association entrusted him with the Chairmanship of their Convention. His success in this capacity led to his chairing multiple times. Whenever he was not chairing, but serving as a committee member, he could be counted on for useful ideas and commitment to successful implementation. Just as the proverbial night follows the day, the dental fraternity went on to entrust Brian with the presidency of the Jamaica Dental Association in the year 2000 and four times thereafter. In that position, he supported the JDA’s ownership of the Association’s headquarters and characteristically, that idea solidified into the housing of the JDA at 7 Lady Musgrave Avenue. The Munro College Old Boys Association (over which he presided from 1995 to 2000) was able to rent office space in that building.
Brian went on to assume Chairmanship of the Dental Council of Jamaica, adeptly leading the organization. The fact that there were no scandals in the arena of dentistry in Jamaica, demonstrates his capacity to helm processes that cauterize malpractice in its infancy and secure compliance among the membership without undue publicity and fanfare.
Brian Morgan’s services to Jamaica have not been confined to dental matters. He has got his teeth into law and order by serving as a member of the Police Service Commission for several terms. He currently also serves on the Ecumenical Education Committee that has oversight of the rights of Church and Trust Schools. Brian’s passion for Munro and commitment to its continued improvement have been unwavering. He served as a member of the Munro College Board of Governors from 1996 to 2001. In a saga saturated with loyalty, emotion and the law, Brian took an opposing position to his colleagues on the Board. The mass resignation of the board did not include him but his resignation from presidency of the MCOBA had the effect of removing him from the board. Nonetheless, he proudly proclaims the achievements of that board chaired by the late Laurie Sharp, namely: the set-up of the wind turbine (brainchild of Paul Stockhausen), the completion of the auditorium and the initiation of a massive building programme to extend the Munro plant.
In 2000 he succeeded Professor Owen Morgan as Chairman of the Munro & Dickenson Trust and has been in that post for the last 18 years. As Chairman he secured the title for the Munro property a feat which had been proclaimed “Mission impossible” but can now be termed “Mission accomplished!!” His deep and wide interest in Jamaican art and huge collection thereof, as well as his business acumen are in keeping with his memberships of the Institute of Jamaica (I.O.J.) Council and chairmanship of the Foundation Committee of the I.O.J. He was also a member of the Art Committee of the Norman Manley International Airport and served as chairman of the Board of the Jamaica Grande Hotel from 2001 to 2004.
To balance his many leadership responsibilities, Brian engages in several hobbies. These include raising German Shepherds, growing flowers – which softens his surgery – and raising ornamental fish. Brian believes in doing well in everything that comes to hand as this life is the only opportunity to do so. In 2013, the Government of Jamaica conferred on Brian the national honour of the Order of Distinction Commander Class, CD, for his contributions to the fields of Dentistry and Public Service. For the above and many other reasons, this stalwart and Munro-moulded gentleman, Dr Brian Hugh Ian Morgan, has been proudly inducted into the Munro College Old Boys Association Hall of Fame.