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Stabroek News

Former Member of Parliament and educator Arthur Williams honoured
published: Wednesday | January 11, 2006

Angelo Laurence, Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

Gilbert Allen, a 'true Jamaican patriot', who saw the concerns of others as being more important than his own

EDUCATOR AND former principal of the Prattville Primary and Junior High School, Arthur Williams Sr., was honoured for his positive contributions to the country by past students on January 4, at the Golf View Hotel, in Mandeville.

Mr. Williams, 94, is best known as the former Member of Parliament for South Manchester and Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration.

He is also the father of current JLP Senator Arthur Williams Jr. The senior Williams has been recognised as a man with a vision for the development of agriculture and niche markets for some of its products.

MINT CULTIVATION

For years Mr. Williams tried to get Jamaicans, and Manchester farmers in particular, to grow mint on a commercial basis. However, it is only recently that farmers, realising the tremendous income that can be generated from the cultivation of mint, have made a meaningful effort to cultivate the plant.

A scholarship, established in his name, will benefit the top GSAT boy and girl of the Pratville community, on a yearly basis. A citation was read and presented to Mr. Williams, who was lauded by guest speaker, Dr. Daniel Fider of Northern Caribbean University, formerly West Indies College.

Mr. Williams was recently inducted into the Manchester Hall of Fame, along with Molly Rhone of the Jamaica Netball Association; Lord Bishop of Jamaica, Alfred Reid; past principal of West Indies College, Dr. Sydney Beaumont, and Mrs. Rose Thomas. The Manchester Hall of Fame is an affiliate of the Manchester Home Coming Foundation, which recognises parishioners who have made positive contributions to mankind and to Jamaica in particular.

At that function, he was hailed by Custos of Manchester, Gilbert Allen, as a 'true Jamaican patriot', who saw the concerns of others as being more important than his own.

According to Custos Allen, the examples that Mr. Williams set, in the way he conducted himself as a politician and in private life, will be corner stones for future generations to build on.

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