Lower House pays tribute to Ambassador Anthony Johnson
Romario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness led tributes to the later Ambassador Anthony Johnson at Tuesday's sitting of Parliament describing him as a gentleman of great intellect and integrity who has left a lasting legacy.
Johnson died last week Tuesday Wednesday at the age of 82.
“He was an outstanding individual,” Holness said in the House of Representatives.
The prime minister remembered how Johnson by then a known Labourite acted in the capacity of a Citizens for Fair Election operative in a by-election in St Andrew West Central braving circumstances to observe the poll in a strong People's National Party enclave.
“I thought that he was very brave to have done this. Upon his discovery, he was almost mobbed, and he had to make a hasty retreat from the area – very quickly,” Holness shared as he remembers Johnson as a “strong supporter of the party”.
Johnson had been a member of the Jamaica Labour Party since 1980.
At different times during his political career, Johnson had various portfolio responsibilities including, technology, education, industry, commerce, agriculture, mining and energy.
He was also the first Jamaican council member of Parliamentarians for Global Action.
Johnson, the diplomat, served as ambassador to the United States, high commissioner to the United Kingdom, non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Finland, the Kingdoms of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, and Ireland and permanent representative to the Organisation of American States.
“He really believed in the principles and the philosophy of the party and what the party stood for. He made his contribution even when the party was down, he came out and he made his contribution,” Holness told Parliament.
Phillip Paulwell, the member of parliament for Kingston Eastern and Port Royal remembered Johnson as a “great Jamaican” who could speak on any subject matter.
Paulwell said Johnson was one of those who sought to guide him when he entered the Senate in the 1990s.
The opposition member also said Johnson was loyal to the Jamaica Labour Party.
“He was a real and true Labourite,” Paulwell stressed.
Holness in the meantime said Johnson withdrew from public life after he became ill. a
Paulwell said it was clear to him that he had support from his family as he expressed condolences to them including Kamina Johnson Smith, the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade.
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