Sat | Sep 21, 2019

Musical siblings Benjy Myaz, Joan Myers mourn mother’s death

Published:Wednesday | September 11, 2019 | 12:20 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Resa Myers
Resa Myers

Veteran reggae crooner Benjy Myaz, his sister, gospel singer Joan Myers, and their seven siblings are today mourning the death of their mother, Resa Myers, who passed away on Sunday, September 8, at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

‘Sister Resa’, as she was fondly called, was the founder of the Haddington Basic School in Hanover, which first opened its doors on September 3, 1962, less than a month after Jamaica gained independence from Britain. Under Sister Myers’ leadership, the school began with 12 students on the verandah of the Haddington Holiness Christian Church, where she and her husband, the late Rev E.E. Myers, JP, lived with their young family. With the continued growth of the school’s population, it relocated a few times, ­eventually finding a home at the recently completed church sanctuary. Sister Resa retired in 1988.

Prior to her death, residents of Haddington petitioned the Minister of Education to rename the school the Resa Myers Basic School to honour and celebrate the work and contribution to nation building of this iconic educator.

Joan Myers, a former lead singer of the Grace Thrillers, recorded two albums with the group and shared stage with Shirley Caesar, The Talleys, Rev F.C. Barnes, Andraé Crouch, Jessie Dixon and Monty Alexander. Most recently, she performed alongside Smokey Robinson at the 86th birthday ­celebration of Ambassador Andrew Young in Washington, DC. Her brother, Benjy Myaz, has carved out his own niche in music, touring the world as a bass player, supporting acts like Jimmy Cliff, Culture, Toots and The Maytals, Shinehead, and J.C. Lodge.

His solo career exploded in the early ’90s with a remake of Brooke Benton’s classic, So Many Ways. His lovers rock single, Love You Higher, was a No. 1 song on ­several charts.

Funeral arrangements for Sister Resa are currently under way. She would have celebrated her 94th birthday on September 12.