Fri | Mar 23, 2018

Footprints: Derrick Rochester - A life lived for others

Published:Tuesday | May 3, 2016 | 12:00 AM


A fitting epitaph for Derrick Rochester are the words of Albert Einstein, "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

Rochester's life was a life of service to his community, constituency and ultimately his country. He will be forever admired for his vision, work, ethics and commitment to development. Rochester's giant footprints as a five-time People's National Party Member of Parliament for St Elizabeth South Eastern not only marked the progress he has made, but will serve as a guide for others to follow. He was not afraid to venture into uncharted territory and seemed to strive in the face of adversity.

Several developments in the constituency, especially the rapid growth of the town of Junction is credited to his hard work and dedication. He established the trade training centre which quite fittingly is named after him. He gave donations and sought funding for the medical centre which is a great asset to Junction and surrounding communities. He worked assiduously to try to improve the lives of people in the community as is evidenced in several infrastructural and other developmental projects that he implemented.

Daddy D, as he was affectionately called, was greatly admired even by his political opponents. He was for the people. He made himself available to them and not only paid attention to their needs and concerns, but addressed them as best as he could without political bias. Many persons from St Elizabeth and adjoining parishes attest to the contribution that Rochester's projects, advice and personal contributions have made to their social and economic development.

Derrick Rochester has been lauded as a stalwart politician, trade unionist, community developer, nation builder and friend. His award of the Order of Jamaica is undoubtedly well deserved. The constituency of St Elizabeth South Eastern, the wider Jamaica, and his family and friends mourn. But all will be eternally grateful for the positive impact that his contributions have had and will continue to have.

Seventy six years, a life of service, indelible footprints. Derrick Rochester lives on in the pages of our history and our hearts.