Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Tulloch praised as champion for tourism workers, standards

Published:Friday | June 24, 2022 | 12:08 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer


Hailed as a man who fought for proper working conditions for tourism workers and quality standards of the product, Francis Tulloch was one of four men left standing from an era of great social change.

Tulloch died at the age of 81 yesterday.

With contemporaries including former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson; former government ministers Desmond Leaky of North Trelawny and Mel Brown of South West St Elizabeth, Tulloch served as minister of tourism in the Patterson administration before resigning in the middle of his tenure.

The late attorney-at-law, who was first elected to Parliament in 1972, represented St James Central from 1976 to 1980 for the People’s National Party (PNP).

Earning the moniker ‘Little David’, because of how he modelled himself in his speeches after Michael Manley, he also served Hanover Eastern from 1993 to 1997 and St James North Western from 1997 to 2002.

“I have lost a friend, a trooper and a colleague,” Patterson told The Gleaner Thursday evening.

“Francis Tulloch and I are contemporaries at the Bar and he decided to establish a legal practice in Montego Bay, which was a very bold move for somebody who is Kingston born and bred,” he added.

Patterson noted that, within a very short period of time, Tulloch was so well loved that the people of St James adopted him as one of their own.

A father of six, Tulloch resided in Lethe, Hanover, with his wife Doreen and children.

When Tulloch resigned as tourism minister, he decided he had to concentrate on rebuilding his legal practice, “because whatever Francis earned in his role as a member of parliament, he spent much more than that for the people”, revealed the former prime minister, adding that Tulloch did not know how to say no to anyone.

But tourism was Tulloch’s love and remained special in his heart.

“He emphasised the importance of the quality of the product and was always insistent on proper working conditions for those who were employed to the industry,” Patterson noted.

His dedication to service continued after his retirement from active politics, and he became a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, where he served diligently.

Expressing sadness at his passing, the PNP in a statement last evening spoke of a man who served with distinction.

“Francis made invaluable contributions, not only to representational politics, but also to the development of the tourism industry. He was integral in the formation of JUTA and JCAL, and was keen to ensure that there was space for small operators to earn from the industry, whether through transportation, craft, accommodations, or attractions,” said the PNP.

Tulloch’s brilliance, the PNP said, propelled him into key governmental roles, where he championed path-breaking policies and programmes, which set a new standard for ministerial operations.

The party hailed his impressive record of service, noting that Tulloch was a well-respected parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, minister of state in the Ministry of Transport, minister of state in tourism, before being minister of tourism in 1997.

Senator Janice Allen, opposition spokesperson on tourism and linkages, who worked with Tulloch, also spoke glowingly about her former boss.

“My personal connection with Mr Tulloch goes back to childhood, as he was a family friend and political colleague of my father. From as long as I have known about politics and the PNP, I have known of Francis Tulloch,” said Allen.

She revealed that,fresh out of university in her first job cutting her teeth in tourism, she worked as Tulloch’s assistant.