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A classmate of trumpet player Dizzy Reece and trombone players Don Drummond (Skatalites) and Rico Rodriguez (Specials) at the famed Alpha Boys School in Kingston, Jamaica, Thornton later played with the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jules Holland and Aswad and still performs hundreds of gigs per year (you can catch him at the Effra Pub in Brixton every Thursday when he is not touring).

Passing Through was produced by Strange Brothers to tell Tan Tan’s story in a new way while making connections to the fascinating legacy of the Religious Sisters of Mercy from Bermondsey, England. December 12, 2017 will mark 127 years since the the first four sisters arrived in 1890. Passing Through includes an original soundtrack dedicated to Tan Tan’s late bandmates, Don Drummond and Rico Rodriguez. 



Happy 99th Birthday to Sister Mary Paschal Figueroa, RSM, CD, OD, a longtime member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy community. We proudly remember your service to Alpha Boys School as far back as 1945! A 2017 Order of Distinction Commander Class awardee, Sister Paschal has much to celebrate.

Sister Paschal attended Convent of Mercy ‘Alpha’ Academy in the 30s and her mother attended Alpha Academy before her. A teacher by profession, Sister Paschal was principal at St Catherine High School for many years and wrote the school song, “Dear St Catherine High We Love You”. Sister Paschal received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government in 2005 for her work in education and health care.  (more…)

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. This year, Giving Tuesday is November 28, 2017. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

In Jamaica, where 4-in-10 young men 20-25 years old are unemployed, the Alpha Institute’s youth employment program is made possible by the generosity of others. Our community, including the beneficiaries we serve, offer our most since thanks for support of the holistic program designed by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in Jamaica.