The Shipping Industry remembers Ernest Gooden
The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) and its members regret the passing of industry stalwart, Ernest Gooden. Gooden’s career in shipping blossomed from a humble beginning in an entry level position on the port to becoming the Operations Manager at Terminal Services Limited. During the tenure of his career, he gave extensive years of service to Port Services Limited in capacities such as paymaster, and RoRo operations manager.
Other industry stalwarts came forward with glowing praises about his deep respect for and concern about port workers and about his overall kind-hearted and gentlemanly manner. Former president of the SAJ, Captain Michael Belcher remembered Ernest Gooden as a good man who was always willing to help others, one who had a reputation for hard work, competence, and excellent waterfront expertise.
“Ernest, then assistant Wharfinger at Railway Pier #1, was among the first of a very few experienced people to offer his expertise and joined Port Services Limited. He became invaluable to the company, not just for his experience but also for his willingness and ability to share his knowledge and skills with those less accomplished,” shared Captain Belcher.
Phillip Henry, former general manager of Port Services Limited, reminisced about his long-time friend and colleague. “He was very brilliant and would execute any tasks given to him efficiently. He always excelled in any area he was placed in and as such, his career advanced quickly in shipping.
“Gooden had a lot of confidence in his team and would take opinions and recommendations from myself and others on the projects that he worked on. He was committed to his responsibilities and would always push to satisfy the requests that were made of him.”
Robert Kinlocke, CEO of Gateway Shipping Jamaica Limited, also recollected Gooden’s hard-working nature and his reliability. “I remember Ernest mostly for being very reliable.’
He continued: ‘Ernest worked assiduously with stakeholders to ensure competitiveness in transshipment on the ports in Kingston with other ports from across the world. He knew what was required and had a great understanding of how to achieve it.”
Kinlocke also remembered Gooden for his outstanding relationship with the port workers. “He was very principled in his conduct with others. He had a special relationship with the port workers which flourished out of mutual respect. He would always go the extra mile to ensure that they were happy.”
However, the mutual respect did not only come from the port workers but also from fellow colleagues and managers. Condell Stephenson, chairman of the Joint Industrial Council, shared that, “Ernest got along well with everyone and neither manager nor worker had anything bad to say about him. This demonstrated the type of person that he was.”
Throughout the years, at the port and with all his wide-ranging ventures, Ernest Gooden was trusted, respected and liked by everyone. He operated a catering service on Windward Road and had a fleet of buses that would transport port workers to and from vessels on the port and to their homes from the port at nights.
He will be remembered as a committed and loyal colleague, a man of integrity and compassion with a strong sense of fair play.