A self-taught auto-mechanic, Dorrell Francis, better known as ‘Manton’, has been awarded for community service – including mentoring aspiring mechanics and sometimes repairing police vehicles free of cost in the Ewarton, Bog Walk, and Linstead areas of St. Catherine.
“Mi like when people call the police who are here to serve and protect an dem nuh seh dem nuh have nuh vehicle,” he told The Beacon.
Francis was among four people awarded by the Ewarton Community Development Committee (Ewarton CDC) during a ceremony, which was held last evening (November 5) at the community centre in Ewarton, St. Catherine. The other awardees are Daniel ‘Charlie’ Blake, Millholland Barker, and Donald Tinling Snr.
Francis, born to Caroline Blackwood Francis and Keith Francis at Orangefield district in Ewarton, attended Orangefield Basic School, Jericho Primary, and McGrath High School.
“After I graduated from McGrath High, I started to learn trade with a [motor vehicle] body-work man by the name of Horace Williams, otherwise called ‘Cow’,” he said, adding that his interest eventually switched from body-work to repairing and replacing auto parts.
Francis ended up becoming an acclaimed mechanic, who learnt mainly through trials and errors, especially with a motor car he possessed in his late teens.
He said the errors were sometimes costly, but he learnt quickly from them.
“I didn’t go anywhere to learn mechanic; it is like a gift. Every time I fixed something and it turned out good, it encouraged me, and so I just decided to go bigger,” Francis added.
He now has two employees, and is the owner a company – Manton Auto Doc, which is located at Jericho district in Linstead.
“I do rebuilding of engine, conversion and crash cars, repairing gear box, rack-and-pinion, diagnostic scanning, and so on,” Francis said.
He added that he does not hesitate in sharing his knowledge especially with aspiring mechanics. “I reached out to more than 70 young people already,” he said.
Francis, during the 2017-2018 period, taught auto mechanic at Enid Bennett High School in Bog Walk, St. Catherine. He said he was asked to teach after doing work for the school.
The Ewarton CDC, in a citation read during the awards ceremony, said Francis has been an ’embodiment of hard work, selflessness and zeal’ during the 30 years he has been a mechanic.
It added: “Mr. Dorrell Francis is a staunch believer in education and the many possibilities it can unlock for someone, and thus most of his community projects support this cause. For 15 years, Mr. Francis has partnered with a few local high schools to guide future mechanical engineers through the practical aspects of their fields.”
Francis, who has two sons, feels ‘excellent’ being awarded by the august community organization during Local Government and Community Month.
He encouraged mechanics – and aspiring ones, to make excellence their hallmark. “Do the work good – no shorthand; be honest and truthful to the people and you will reach on top,” Francis further advised.
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