Arnold Foote Jr wins Gusi Peace Prize
Laura Redpath, Senior Gleaner Writer
Veteran advertiser and diplomat Arnold Foote Jr travelled to Manila in the Philippines recently to join distinguished past laureates in accepting the internationally recognised Gusi Peace Prize.
The awards ceremony took place last Wednesday.
According to a website dedicated to the international award, the Gusi Peace Prize "envisions itself" to be of the same honourable mention as the Nobel Peace Prize.
However, unlike the Nobel Peace Prize, administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, the Gusi Peace Prize is administered in Manila.
"The Gusi Peace Prize has become one of the foremost peace prizes in Asia and the whole world.
"The (prize) will continue to recognise, honour and give pride and dignity to every deserving achiever and peacemaker worldwide," the website stated.
Speaking of his father with pride, Arnold "JJ" Foote III reflected last week on the elder Foote's knack for gaining respect and trust almost instantly.
JJ noted that it was an eye opener watching his father interact outside of the advertising and marketing domain.
"What an incredible person he is. It places him on a different level," he told The Gleaner.
Foote, husband of Patricia and father of JJ, Roma and Kimberly, has been recognised in Jamaica before for his ongoing record of service.
He represented Jamaica College in football, cricket, hockey, lawn tennis, shooting and athletics and went on to represent his home country in football during 1951, 1954 and 1957.
Football, according to JJ, was an activity that translated to family life very well.
"If we were in a hotel, we'd run up and down in the passage and in the room kicking the ball around," the younger Foote said with a laugh.
"I don't think we mashed up anything," he added as an after thought.
The Footes also shared a football field in the front yard of their home.
"(My father) would let me score a lot but it made me feel good. It has been great having him around, to grow up, mature and still have my dad," JJ said.
He also highlighted his father as a man who sets an example of what any Jamaican with the right attitude can accomplish.
"My most amazing memory is seeing him get his OJ (Order of Jamaica). Knowing what he does and how he feels about Jamaica, he was honoured to be recognised by fellow Jamaicans.
"Seeing the look on his face meant a lot," JJ recalled.
The elder Foote has been the recipient of more than 10 awards including Appreciation from Turkey, the Grand Official Order of Merit from Brazil and Honorary Citizen of Ghana, to name a few.
The diplomat was also a key player in the establishment of various institutions.
These include the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Advertising Standards Authority.
He was also head of Jamaica's first trade mission to Europe; chairman of the Agri-Business Council and the Jamaica Daily News.
Foote's most recent achievements include, but are not limited to, his stint as president of the World Federation of Consuls (FICAC), which ended last year; and his post as honorary consul general of the Republic of Turkey.
According to his profile on the Gusi awards website, under Foote's leadership, FICAC partnered with UNICEF to boost funding for "underprivileged children with HIV/AIDS".
Under his leadership at FICAC, membership increased from 35 countries to 83.
"Any victory of his, my sisters and I feel a part of it too," JJ said.