The following is a tribute to the outgoing head of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), Noel Hylton, by Winston Dear, a past director of PAJ and a former chairman of the Montego Bay and Kingston Free zones.
I COULD not allow you to retire without adding my 10 cents! You are truly a great Jamaican who has put country before self. You took the Port Authority of Jamaica from nothing and made it, without any capital injection from Government, into a giant and a leading revenue earner for the country.
The Government gave you many seemingly impossible mandates to execute.
They included the establishment of the transshipment terminal, cruise-ship ports around the coast of Jamaica and the free zones. But you have taken on all the projects and with your strong, visionary and decisive leadership, they have all been highly successful.
The terminal has been an immensely successful venture and has brought fame to both you, your team and our country.
Without your input, I dare say, the cruise-ship industry would not have expanded to the level we now enjoy.
Kingston/Montego Bay free zones
The free zones in Kingston and Montego Bay are particularly close to my heart, as I was the chairman of both entities.
You were instrumental in developing these export free zones, once again with no capital from Government, and through your efforts, they created employment for thousands of Jamaicans.
The ITC industry is firmly established in Jamaica and has now expanded outside the free zones, giving it a permanent position in the country's economy.
I wish you all the best in your retirement and may you enjoy good health.
You are a champion. The country owes you an eternal gratitude. Thank you, Noel Hylton!