Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator
ONE OF Jamaica's oldest retired politicians and educators, Mr Arthur Williams Sr, died last night in Montego Bay, where he had been residing for the last several years. He was two month short of his 99th birthday.
Teacher Williams, as he was known to many, was a graduate of the Mico Teacher-Training College, as it was then. He taught for several years at schools throughout the island, his last assignment being principal of Pratville Primary and Junior High School in south Manchester.
He later served as Member of parliament for Manchester South, as a deputy speaker of the House of representatives and parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education under a Jamaica Labour Party administration.
Apart from education and representational politics, he had a deep, practical interest in agriculture, especially its niche markets, and for several years he encouraged residents of Manchester to grow mint for export.
Mr Williams' wife, Letetia, predeceased him some years ago. Surviving Mr Williams are their children Senator Arthur Williams, Geoffrey Williams, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon; Maureen Williams, an obstetrician and gynaecologist; and Pansy Young, an administrator who retired a few years ago from the UWI.
Members of the Senate yesterday paid tribute to Teacher Williams.
Leader of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, Andrew Holness, yesterday paid tribute to the late teacher and politician.
Holness described Mr Williams as a "true patriot who served his country with distinction" and had a positive and lasting impact on the lives of many Jamaicans.