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Raymond "Redd" Henry ’80 - Bishop Lynch Saved My Life

Most Bishop Lynch High School students grew up knowing they would attend BL or a similar Catholic high school after 8th grade. Many walk up and down the halls of Inadale and Ferguson each year without much thought as to what it truly means to attend Bishop Lynch, almost taking it for granted. Not Redd Henry ’80. Redd was reminded constantly throughout his four years at BL and his lifetime after, that this school was not only his saving grace, but his lifesaver.
At seven years old, Redd moved to Dallas, Texas from his home country of Jamaica. His grandparents raised him in what he noted as “the hood.” Redd’s grandmother worked three jobs, which included cleaning houses and mowing lawns, to provide the best possible life for Redd. He attended grade school at St. Anthony’s, and unlike most other students there, Redd only had two uniform shirts. His grandmother would stay up each night cleaning his shirts and wake up early each morning to iron them, so that he went to school each day looking his best. As far as Redd was concerned, if he had a roof over his head, food, and clean clothes, he had it all.

Redd and his friends; Daryl Brookins ’80, Carl Barns ’80, and Marvin Johnson ’80 were recruited to start playing basketball for St. Anthony’s by Coach Jim McCloskey. The boys fell in love with the sport and eventually won the 8th grade championship. Coach McCloskey saw such potential in these young men, that he worked some magic and got them into Bishop Lynch High School. To this day, Redd has no idea what circumstances happened to allow him to attend BL, but he is forever grateful for the opportunity it lead to.

Redd and his friends were skeptical about attending Bishop Lynch and worried they may not fit in. The transition was such a culture shock to him and his friends, that often times in the first few weeks of their freshman year, they were ready to give up and attend one of the public schools closer to home. Redd said each time he would feel this way, Coach McCloskey or one of his teachers would remind him that he was here for a purpose and encourage him to stay on track. He was constantly reminded of the opportunity that BL would give him long after his graduation day.

No teacher ever showed any sign of racism to Redd and his friends, which Redd notes to this day as a stand out memory of Bishop Lynch. Leaders like Father Gambro were kind but strong and Redd thanks God for the discipline he was shown. “They cared and you could feel it” said Redd when referring to his teachers and mentors at Bishop Lynch.

Growing up, Redd had four neighborhood friends, all of whom went to the local public high school. Throughout the four years of high school, all four of Redd’s friends found themselves in situations leading to jail or death. Redd notes that in every single situation, he would have been with each one of those friends if it had not been for his ability to attend BL. The mundane task of going to Harwood to catch the 64 Ferguson bus to Bishop Lynch saved his life.

Becoming a Friar allowed Redd to break the mold. The school and community offered stability and discipline unlike anything Redd had been offered before. It taught him how to learn, interact with, and get along with people from so many different cultures.

Redd and his friends went on to win Bishop Lynch's first men’s basketball state championship in 1980. Looking back, Redd said that although there were ups and downs, his four years at Bishop Lynch were life changing.
Faithful to Catholic Tradition and to our Dominican heritage of scholarship and service, Bishop Lynch High School promotes the development of the total person by bringing together a diverse community in a rigorous, college preparatory environment where students are taught to strive for excellence, seek truth, and work for justice in the world. - Founded in 1963