Mon | Jan 17, 2022

Jamaica has lost an outstanding son

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:00 AM


I write to express my condolences on the death of Patrick Rousseau.

I worked with him for several years when he served, first as chairman of the National Bauxite Commission, and more specifically, the bauxite negotiating team.

The achievements of the commission and the team made very important contributions to national development, in terms of the bauxite production levy; the partnership and joint venture agreements with, respectively, Kaiser Aluminium, Reynolds Metals, Alcan and Alcoa; the creation of the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JJBI), Bauxite and Alumina Trading Company, and Jamaica Bauxite Mining; and, last but not least, through his friendship with the former Citibank senior executive Bill Rhodes, who served for a time in Jamaica and Venezuela, and Michael Manley’s with Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, we were able to secure a lucrative Canadian one million ton contract to supply alumina and thereby succeeding in keeping a major producing unit at Alcan operating.

Even when he was not able to move about as easily as he once did, it was not long ago he would meet with Howard Mitchell and me, like him, former chairman of JBI, to see what could be done to improve Jamaica’s lot in the industry.

Bauxite was, of course, not his only interest: cricket, horse racing, boxing, housing, law, music and politics were among those I knew of.

Jamaica has lost an outstanding son. His widow, Hester, his sons and his brother, Peter, the relatives I know of, can take some comfort in the usefulness of his life.