Thu | May 23, 2019

We must build on Patrick Rousseau’s gigantic legacy

Published:Thursday | April 25, 2019 | 12:17 AM

THE EDITOR, SIR:

The outstanding life and illustrious career of Patrick Rousseau serves as a timely reminder of another giant who has truly made a monumental contribution to the advance of our nation in the spheres of law, institutional leadership and corporate engagement.

Patrick Rousseau entered law before the days of fusion in the legal profession. Despite his natural gift of eloquence, his deliberate choice was to pursue the craft of the solicitors branch rather than the limelight of court advocacy. To receive a brief as counsel with the clear and lucid instructions from Pat Rousseau was a monumental step in ensuring a successful outcome.

His prowess in the law served not only to help in the building of Myers, Fletcher & Gordon to a legal conglomerate of international recognition, but also to entice foreign capital and stimulate local business interests to engage in corporate enterprises for our economic growth.

His legal skills, when combined with an entrepreneurial flair, accounted for a leadership role on numerous company boards which spanned the areas of construction, manufacturing, insurance, finance, entertainment, education, and health.

He was personally a generous patron of the arts and, through corporate sponsorship, in the fields of sports and culture.Pat Rousseau was a formidable negotiator, whether for the nation or a legal client. He could be persuasive, patient, agile or stubborn, as the case required. His word was always his bond.

Bauxite negotiations

Much has already been written on Rousseau’s legal acumen in the bauxite negotiations, where the Jamaican team had to confront an impressive array of technical expertise which the alumina companies had amassed.

The Hon Patrick Rousseau readily responded to any call for national service, whether at JBC or the Jamaica Racing Commission. No matter where he served in the building of our national institutions, there was no political imperium which would impel him to breach the template of probity and democratic accountability which he followed, nor violate the dictates of his conscience.

It was that renewing commitment never to compromise or abandon principle which deprived West Indian cricket of his direction when, as its president, he sought to chart a bold course for our heritage to face the new challenges of professional sport in a competitive global market. During his tenure, he brought the Cricket World Cup to the Caribbean for the very first time.

My profound condolences are extended to his dear wife, Hester, sons Paul and Andrew, brother Peter and sister-in-law Beverley and all members of the bereaved family.

The Hon Patrick H.O. Rousseau has done much more than he had to do. We must seek to build on this gigantic legacy.

P.J. PATTERSON

Former Prime Minister