Honouring Dr Arnold Foote
Last Friday, the Chilean Ambassador to Jamaica, Eduardo Bonilla and his wife Martha, hosted a reception to honour President Emeritus of the World Federation of Consuls/FICAC Arnold Foote II.
Held poolside at the ambassador's St Andrew residence, the event was a gathering of influential individuals and brilliant minds.
The ambassador set the five courses of speech in motion with an appetiser listing a few of Foote's achievements. Among those mentioned were the fact that he received the FICAC medal of honour, medal of distinction and award of excellence. He also instituted the FICAC/UNICEF programme to raise funds for underprivileged children with HIV/AIDS, and even developed the FICAC slogan 'working hard to serve better.'
He was awarded the Sir Robert Balchin Medal that Bonilla read the citation by The Lord Lingfield whom presented the medal. "This medal is a personal one from my family, and goes back to the 17th century and my ancestors, " read Bonilla. . "It is awarded on rare occasions to those who have made a real difference. President Foote, you are such a man. Thank you."
Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, who remains as charismatic as ever, spoke of Foote's successes - starting with his days at GraceKennedy before he left Jamaica, only to return to build his business from scratch before undertaking his diplomatic endeavours.
Seaga was followed by Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry; Dean of the Diplomatic Corps JosÈ Tomas Ares, and Honorary Consul for Norway Grantley Stephenson.
The lovely night could not have ended without the guest of honour expressing his appreciation. Foote spoke of how consular activities were something that he just "lucked into". He expressed gratitude for the honours and the support he received from his colleagues and, most importantly, his wife. The night concluded with more expressions of well wishes and love.