Montego Bay bids farewell to Jamaica Dispatch Services founder
FOUNDER AND managing director of Jamaica Dispatch Services and the Atrium Hotel, Phyllis Jones, was hailed as a woman of sterling qualities and unbridled benevolence at a service of thanksgiving honouring her life and work at the St James Parish Church in Montego Bay last Saturday.
Several tributes were read and sung, including from Jamaica Dispatch Services, the Rotary Club of Montego Bay of which she was a long-standing member, The Whitfield Family United Church in Manchester, and classical singer Rory Frankson.
Jones started Jamaica Dispatch in 1981 as airline handling agent, with head office at Sangster International, Montego Bay and operations also at Norman Manley International Airport, and jointly managed the company with her husband, Gwyn Jones, who predeceased her. The company has a staff complement of 450.
Penchant for excellence
She was eulogised by her brother Arthur Ellison, who described his sister as caring and hard-working, with a penchant for excellence.
"Phyllis was dedicated to hard work and she set high standards and always strove to do the right thing. She was that person who, at all times, sought to bring out the best in people."
He said she was an avid golfer, a keen supporter of the game, and shared excellent camaraderie with her friends in the Montego Bay Rotary Club.
Jones Grandon George Simpson, holding back the tears, said his grandmother and role model had taught him life lessons (some on the golf course) which moulded him into the man he is today.
In paying tribute to their former boss, employees of Jamaica Dispatch Services cited Jones as a woman of excellence who, with diligence and fortitude, ensured that the company became the number-one handling company in the island.
"Mrs Jones gave the company the motto 'Fast, Efficient and Professional Service' and she, along with her staff, ensured that the words actually became reality. Now we say with pride that we have planted flagpoles at both airports as the number-one handling company in the country," said Donna Wagstaffe, human resource manager.
Service above self
Pishu Chandiram, past district governor of the Rotary Club in Jamaica, said it was difficult to pay tribute while in grief, but said Jones epitomised tenets of the Rotary movement in her life.
"She was sincere and down to earth, honest, kind and impartial. Phyllis was warm-hearted and always helped to lift up the less fortunate in society, giving service above self," said Chandiram.
Archdeacon Justin Nembhard, rector of the St James Parish Church, in delivering the sermon, said Earth has lost a generous soul in Jones, whose benevolence to numerous churches, charities and individuals was boundless.
He also urged the large congregation of mourners to be cognisant of the brevity of life, citing that, despite severe illnesses, at the point of death, no one wants to go.
"It means that we must, as we prepare to live, prepare to die, and those who die in a faith in Jesus Christ will have the assurance of repose in Him."