Percival was born at Sitten River, Belize, May 5th, 1929, the fourth of six children. He attended classes up to standard three when he began in the world of work. He moved to the west in 1949 where he was a laborer at a number of properties. After six months he moved back to Sitten River but did not go alone, for in the west he met and began a 46-year union with Gertrude Alford. He and his family of four returned to Cayo and began working with Mr. Clive Hyde. In 1958 he began at Central Farm where he gained much hands-on experience working with machinery, planting, and gardening. To complement the normal skills he began to build himself academically through ICS correspondence courses.
In 1965 his ambition paid off and he became a Plumbing Instructor at the Vocational Training School in Belize City. He was given the opportunity to study abroad at Stout State University in Michigan.
He then transferred to the Belize Technical College, where he continued to successfully prepare the students for the City & Guilds exam. There he served until retirement in 1987.
In 1979 after he had helped many people with ailments that doctors had given up on, he established Triple Moon Herbs, so named because he harvested his plants in three moons, first quarter, last quarter, and the full moon. He felt that this was essential to guarantee a longer shelf life for his 35 different medicinal formulas. After retirement he refused to sit back; he began in-depth studies on herbs, spending much time reading books and investigating plants found in the forest. Percival also joined the Traditional Healers Association and took part in many exhibitions. He had a great love for sports. He was also actively involved in the local governing body of the village and up to the time of his death was a member of the Belize Creole Council.
He is survived by his Wife, Gertrude, nine children, an adopted son, 45 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, three brothers, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Article copyright American Botanical Council.
By Rosita Arvigo