Philip Sherlock was born at Manchioneal, Portland, on February 25, 1902 and died on December 4 2000. He is the son of a Methodist minister, the Reverend Terence Manderson Sherlock and Adina Sherlock. Sir Philip was educated at Calabar High School. He began his teaching career at his alma mater at the age of 17 as a junior master.
In 1927, by private study, he gained the degree of Bachelor of Arts from London University, in England, the first achievement in a long and distinguished career in education. He also taught at Manchester High School for two years, followed by Wolmer’s Boys School in Kingston where he was the headmaster in 1932, making him the youngest in the island at the time.
Philip Sherlock worked for 20 years in the schoolroom before leaving the teaching profession to enter directly into the cultural mainstream of Jamaica. He took up an appointment as Secretary of the Institute of Jamaica, the national centre of the promotion of Literature and the Arts.
When Jamaica Welfare, a philanthropic organisation was formed, with another great Jamaican, Norman Manley, at the helm, Philip Sherlock gave of his time and his talent to this social development agency. He joined the movement in 1945 as Education Officer and rendered valuable service in this pioneering social effort.
Philip Sherlock had the distinction of being the first Director of Extra-Mural Studies, Vice-Principal and later Acting Principal of the University College at the Mona campus in Jamaica.
He was the founding principal of the campus of St. Augustine, in Trinidad, which was set up as the new Faculty of Engineering, incorporating the former Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture.His contribution to national service through the Institute of Jamaica and Jamaica Welfare was not confined to those two organisations, however.
He was a Member of the Legislative Council during 1952-59, and also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of St. Andrew High School, of Calabar High School (his alma mater), and of the National Council on Education.
His knighthood by the Queen of England was one among many prestigious tokens of recognition of the brilliance and superior intellect of this great Caribbean citizen. He received the high honour of the Order of Merit of Jamaica. Jamaican past Prime Minister P.J. Patterson described Sherlock as a ‘distinguished scholar and educator” who made an indelible contribution “to human development.”
After “retiring” in the late 1960s, Sherlock spent several years in South Florida as the first secretary-general of the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes, which he had founded in 1968 with other Caribbean university heads, among them Henry King Stanford, former president of the University of Miami.
In January 1971, he gave the midterm commencement address at the University of Miami after which he was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree.
Government of Venezuela’s Band of Honour of the Order of Andres Bello, in recognition of the success of the Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institution (UNICA) of which he was the General Secretary, Gold Musgrave Medal for his contribution in History and Literature, 1966.