Rev Henry Ward served as a United Church Minister in Jamaica. Seeing the need for childcare for working mother’s he established the first play center in 1938 that served children under six years old. Soon after he began a campaign to formalize education and play at these centers along with his colleagues. Surprisingly, he was met with resistance by parents who disliked the term play center. The term “play center” was changed to Basic School. Rev. Ward began the first Basic School in Jamaica during the 1940’s.
In addition to coining the term basic school, Rev Ward is also credited with establishing Meadowbrook High School in conjunction with the Rev Marjorie Saunders. Page 3 Biography Reverend Henry ward (1879-1981) Reverend Henry Ward was born in Golden Grove, St Ann. He received his early education at Clapham Elementary School, and then moved on to St. George`s Elementary in Guys Hill. There he passed the pupil teachers` examination with distinction and gained an exhibitioner`s scholarship to the Mico Teachers College. He distinguished himself at Micro, and his personal conduct was exemplary throughout his college career.
In 1900, he graduated from Mico as an honour student. His community involvement began when he started to work as a pupil teacher at St. George`s Elementary. He organized youth movements and formed the league of honour for Social Purity among Young Men. This focused on their spiritual, social and moral upliftment. He first taught at Ebenezer School in Manchester. There he demanded and achieved excellence. Although intellectual stimulus was highlighted, the physical and social development of the children was not neglected. In 1910, at the age of 31, REV.
Ward was elected President of the Jamaica Union of Teachers. One year later, he answered the call Christian ministry and from 1911-1913 studied at the Woodlands Theological College in South Manchester, Jamaica. In 1916, as a minister of the Presbyterian Church, he accepted a job to teach at the Hope Waddel Institute, Calabar, and South Nigeria. Rev. Ward returned to Jamaica 1923 and took up the pastorate at Salem Presbyterian Church in Islinton, St Mary. He was totally involved in community work and was an influential preacher, speaker and teacher.