Wed | Nov 21, 2018

Eldemire lauded as a 'great man'

Published:Friday | June 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Denise Eldemire-Shearer lays a wreath on the grave of her father, Dr Herbert Eldemire, former minister of health, during a state funeral last Friday. The service was held at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. The body was interred in the family plot at his home in Reading, Montego Bay. - Photo by Noel Thompson

Noel Thompson, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Dr Herbert Eldemire, a physician and former government minister who pioneered major infrastructural developments in Montego Bay's health sector, made his final journey from this life when he was laid to rest last Friday.

He would have celebrated his 80th birthday on October 16.

Eldemire's body was interred in the family plot at Reading, Montego Bay, following a funeral service at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral a few hours earlier, which was well attended by family, close friends, state officials, members of the medical and legal fraternities, among others.

Heading the list of attendees were Prime Minister Bruce Golding and his wife, Lorna; Derrick Kellier, the PNP's member of parliament for south St James, and Desmond Leaky, a former PNP health minister.

Golding reflects

In paying tribute, Golding reflected on when he first met Eldemire as a young man and frequently spent time at his house in Reading, which resulted in a close relationship with his family.

"He was such a tremendous personality. On behalf of the Government and the Jamaica Labour Party, I extend our deepest sympathy. Even though his loss has placed a tremendous burden on us, there is so much about his life that we can give thanks for.

"He has made enormous contributions in so many fields to the development of our country when pioneering contributions were needed. He was a great man and I will miss him", Golding told mourners.

Eldemire was a former minister of health during the Jamaica Labour Party administration in the 1960s when he initiated the construction of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH).

Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston, the Most Rev Edgerton Clarke, said Eldemire was always very concerned about the people of Montego Bay, especially the less fortunate.

Monsignor Herbert Panton remembered Eldemire as a punctual man and one who had a life full of vivid experiences.

"He believed his redeemer lives and always hoped he would see him face to face some day. He was an amazing person in his good times and bad times, in his success and downfall," Panton stated.

Also bringing greetings and remembrance were his children, Denise Eldemire-Shearer and Barney Eldemire; Frank Phipps, QC; and Dr Marco Brown, a friend of 75 years. Brown seized the occasion to make a special request for the CRH be renamed the Herbert Eldemire Regional Hospital.

Health Minister Rudyard Spencer and Montego Bay Mayor Charles Sinclair concurred that the renaming proposal would be made to Cabinet for consideration.

noel.thompson@gleanerjm.com