Trinidad-born educator Lloyd McKell dies at 78

Trinidad-born educator Lloyd McKell dies at 78

Lloyd McKell

Trinidad-born educator Lloyd Jefferson McKell died at Sunnybrook hospital in Toronto on Sunday after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.

McKell came to Canada in 1967 to attend the University of Toronto and graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

After graduating from university, he worked as a program director with the Harriet Tubman Centre in Toronto and was the first chair of the Scarborough Black Education Committee before joining the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).

McKell had been an educator with the TDSB for 35 years and retired as Executive Officer of Student and Community Equity in 2011.

Kenneth Jeffers, founder of the Harriet Tubman Centre and well known activist in the Black community, was a longtime friend of McKell. He recalled that “we played cricket together while we were students of Queen’s Royal College in Trinidad.”

“When I founded the Harriet Tubman Centre in 1972, I asked Lloyd to be head of the staff. He was involved in all aspects of the Centre, including the steelband and dance programs.”

“He was also a social activist and we both worked together on various projects in Toronto. One of his heroes was Nelson Mandela,” Jeffers noted.

“Lloyd was an amazing cook, loved watching birds in his backyard and spent much of his leisure time making road trips through Ontario,” Jeffers recalled.

McKell leaves his wife, Charlotte, his sons Jessie, Nathan and Daniel, his daughters, Erin and Melanie, and eight grandchildren.

A funeral service for the late Lloyd Jefferson McKell will be held at the Highland funeral home in Scarborough on Saturday.