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Businessman Tim Lankester lauded at retirement service

Published:Saturday | January 31, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Horace Fisher, Gleaner Writer

Following the devastation of World War II on England and elsewhere in Europe, the Lankester clan, including four-year-old Addison Timothy (Tim) Lankester, pulled up the stakes and said goodbye to the frosty English weather for the cool clime of Jamaica just a year after the Great War (1946).

The Lankesters settled in the Hunts Pen area of Clarendon, where they established a sisal-growing rope-making agro business employing hundreds of local people in the production of ropes, bags, and their other business interests.

Tim, as the young English lad is affectionately called, flourished in Jamaica and went to school at Munro College, where he distinguished himself as an outstanding scholar and footballer at the St Elizabeth-based educational institution.

After his education at Munro College, Lankester went to pursue his dream of becoming a mechanical engineer, and with this, too, out of the way, he returned to his adopted parish (Clarendon) to carry on the family business. He began a life of altruism and philanthropy for the people of Clarendon and the wider Jamaica.

Outstanding résumé

"I thought I was a hard worker in Clarendon. That is, until I saw Tim's résumé. He is an exceptional community leader, initiator, and innovator," Custos of Clarendon William Shagoury declared at the recent retirement and appreciation ceremony for the Clarendon businessman, who is heading back to England with his wife, Gill, after almost 70 years in Jamaica.

Highlighting a long list of local and national institutions that the engineer-businessman served, the custos said, "Tim's approach to community projects comes from his engineering background, and this was manifest recently in his advocacy for compliance in sound-construction principles during the just-completed expansion of Highway 2000."

Central Clarendon Member of Parliament Mike Henry, who was among the scores of well-wishers paying tributes to the philanthropist Lankesters, jokingly asserted that if the businessman hadn't retired so soon, he would make far more money growing cannabis instead of sisal (hemp) in reference to the just-passed ganja legislation.

"If you had stayed long enough, you would have made more money growing that ... other thing," the member of parliament joked. However, as an MP, I have never turned to you for any support, and it wasn't given. You volunteer where even angels fear to trod," Henry asserted in a glowing tribute to Tim.

Unmatched contribution

In heaping praises on the retired businessman, Dr Winston Dawes, the current president of the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce, and the immediate past president, Aldo Brown, said that Lankester's contribution to the chamber was unmatched.

"Tim's contribution to the chamber dated back decades and is unmatched, therefore, while we wish him and his wife, Gill, a happy retirement, he will be greatly missed by the chamber and people of Clarendon," Dawes insisted as his predecessor presented an appreciation plaque to the Lankesters.

His contribution included board member, Postal Advisory Council; National Health Fund; Jamaica Employers' Federation; past president and current director, Clarendon Chamber of Commerce; chairman, Clarendon group for the Disabled; director, Rural Family Support Organisation; 20 years to the Clarendon Scout Movement; the Clarendon Horticultural Society, chairman; and trustee of the Cross Basic School; 23 years as a board member of the Glenmuir Preparatory school, among others.

rural@gleanerjm.com