Last updated Wednesday March 25, 2009



New Interview

Links etc.



Lost & Found

Priory Directory


Priory History

Priory Today


Interview Archive

Yearbook Website



Remember Charlene Purcell

Charlene Purcell 1975

Charlene Purcell 2007



When did you attend Priory



How did you locate the Priory website?

Jacque Faragher told me about it.

Jacque Faragher

Who were your most memorable teachers?

The teaching staff was one of Priory’s greatest assets.  John Batten, Mrs. Hernould, Barrie and Sue Day, Jenny Gervasio… I loved them all! Priory teachers did more than just teach. They built meaningful relationships with the students.  The chemistry between teachers and students was like none other.


Barrie Day, Sue Day, John Batten and Jenny Gervasio


Who were your best friends at Priory?

Dollyn Wilborn, Lisa Busby, Jacque Faragher, Sheila Keenan and many others.


Lisa Busby


Who are you in touch with today?

Dollyn and I have stayed in fairly close touch since Jamaica. I also hear from Jacque Faragher occasionally and have recently been in touch with Lisa Busby after many years. Since discovering the Priory website I have had contact with several old friends and teachers.

Dollyn Wilborn


Who would you like to track down?

Any and all old friends from Priory. 


What was the wildest thing you did at Priory?



Tell us about your memories of Priory and Jamaica

I loved my time at Priory and cherish the memories. The opportunity to meet so many people from all over the world on this little island in the Caribbean was unbelievable. The experience at Priory was truly unique and one that I would not trade for anything.

I visited the Priory campus on my last visit to Kingston in 2007. The poor condition of the buildings is disappointing.



Who was the craziest person during your time at Priory?

I suppose the boys were the craziest. Peter Smith, Micah Taylor, Curtis Bennett, Ian Wilson come to mind initially.


Peter Smith, Micah Taylor, Ian Wilson and Curtis Bennett


Where do you live and what do you do nowadays?

I live in Montgomery, Alabama. I am a stay at home mom. I have 3 boys. My oldest son, Trey, is 20 and attends The University of Alabama, my middle son, Charlie is 16 and the youngest, David is 14.

Charlene, Trey, Charlie, David and Lex


Tell us about any significant others

I have been married to Lex Holtsford for almost 25 years. He is an attorney. We met while in college at the University of Alabama.

Charlene & Lex


Tell us about your most unusual meeting with a Priory person

I have had several meetings with old Priory friends in the last couple of years largely due to Stephen Smith and his awesome Priory website.

First, Stephen helped me locate my former piano teachers in Jamaica, David Johns and his sister, Mary Johns. David is a Priory alum. I had lost touch with them after moving back to the US and Stephen directed me straight to them. While in Jamaica in the summer of 2007 we were able to meet them for dinner and attend a dinner party at their house. It was a dream come true! I never thought I would see them again.

Mary Johns, Charlene Purcell and David Johns

We decided to stay in a B&B while we were in Kingston. I thought it would be a good experience for my children to be with a Jamaican family. Coincidentally, I booked a room at the Anchorage B&B owned by Jennifer and Tony Tame only to find out that Tony was a former student and teacher at Priory. He often writes entertaining commentaries for the Priory website. As it turned out, the Tame’s home was just a few blocks from Mary and David Johns and they too are friends.  The Tames were wonderful hosts and I recommend their B&B to anyone. Their daughter, Stephanie happened to be in Jamaica on holiday from Geneva while we were there so we  had the pleasure of meeting she and her children. Stephanie also attended Priory.

Charlene Purcell flanked by Jennifer and Tony Tame

My family was planning a trip to the UK this summer. I used the Priory Website to contact Barrie and Sue Day (former Priory teachers) for advice. We decided to fly into Edinburgh, Scotland and they met us there! We did some sightseeing together and then drove down to their home in northern England and spent 2 wonderful nights with them. They warmly welcomed my whole family into their home and were the most gracious hosts! It was an incredible reunion not to mention that  it was a unique opportunity for my children to be in a “real” English home. I could not believe I was with my old teachers after 30 years! We visited the ruins of an old Roman fort and Hadrian’s Wall, hiked in the gorgeous Lake District and watched slides from the good ‘ole days at Priory!  It was amazing. In case you are wondering, they have not lost their touch with young people. All 3 of my boys were immediately enamored with them. Without question, they are still really “cool”.

The Holts with Sue and Barrie Day

Eating out with the Days

Last, but not at all least, I had the pleasure of meeting Priory webmaster, Stephen Smith this summer while in London.  I did not know Stephen at Priory, but he kindly agreed to meet us at our hotel one day after he got off work. I was determined to meet the guy that was behind the Priory Website so I could personally thank him for all of his efforts. I felt like I was meeting an old friend. I immediately recognized him in the hotel lobby. I can tell you, he is even cuter in person and is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit with him.

Stephen Smith, Charlene and Lex


What do you think of the Priory Website?

I am happy that I had the chance to tell Stephen in person how grateful I am to him for the website. I appreciate the time and energy he has put into this project.  I am a faithful Sunday morning visitor. I usually check the website first thing, while having my coffee… even before I look at the Sunday paper!

For years I had wished there was a way to reunite with old Priory friends and teachers. Stephen has made that happen for me and many others. He has given us all a wonderful gift that I treasure. Thank you Stephen!  Keep up the good work.

I encourage anyone that has not done an interview to please do so as soon as possible so that there will be a continuous flow of new information to keep the interest level high and keep the Sunday morning updates coming.

 Stephen, you are our hero.




Click here to e-mail Charlene

Archive Index

Back to the homepage

Click here to e-mail Stephen Smith

©Stephen Smith 2009

Published on the Priory Website Sunday 8th February 2009


Search the Web Search Search



This site was last updated Wednesday, 25 March 2009 19:59