Dr. Robertson Remembered As A Gentleman And Patriot

Dr. Robertson Remembered As A Gentleman And Patriot

Late former Cabinet Minister and Member of Parliament, Dr. Paul Douglas Robertson, has been eulogised as a decent gentlemen and patriot, who served the country with kindness and integrity.

At an official funeral held on Saturday (March 12) at the University Chapel in St. Andrew, which was attended by members of government and the opposition, along with family, friends and well-wishers, speakers recalled the humane and genuine spirit of the three-term Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southeast, who loved his country.

Leading the tributes was former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, who said that Dr. Robertson regarded service to country as the “highest expression of responsible citizenship.”

“In the discharge of his duties, he displayed the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. He was always a voice for consensus and was mindful of the greater national good. His sterling ministerial qualities made him a captain’s dream, and a model team player, absolutely reliable and multi-talented,” Mr. Patterson said.

He noted that through his various ministerial appointments, first as Minister of Information and Culture in 1989 by then Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Michael Manley, Dr. Robinson performed with distinction.

“He commanded due respect, because he was simply a decent and humane gentleman, who inspired his ministerial staff to give of their best for the nation,” Mr. Patterson said.

Former Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, said that he and Dr. Robertson shared a life-long friendship, which developed from their time in sixth from at Jamaica College.

He said that their political differences did not dampen their friendship, even when they served as original members of the then Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC).

“We had many arguments, some of them quite heated. He was strident in putting forward his position, but was never arrogant; he was combative, but never abusive. We bid farewell to a good patriotic Jamaican, who served his country well and set a good example for those who came after. Jamaica would be so much better if we have more people like Paul Robertson,” Mr. Golding said.

For his part, former leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, said that Dr. Robertson was a nation-builder, and was inspired by a vision of a “vibrant people-centred Jamaican economy”.

“His contribution to the EAC helped push Jamaica away from the brink of irreconcilable inter-party conflicts. Jamaica is a better place because of his contributions,” Dr. Phillips said.

Dr. Robertson’s grandson, Osaze Robertson Stewart, recalled the compassion that his grandfather had for people, noting that about two months ago, Dr. Robertson gave him advice that he will never forget.

“He said ‘son, if you are able to give and do what somebody is asking of you, do it. If you do not have the capability to do it, let them know,” he said.

Senior Pastor at the Webster Memorial United Church, the Rev. Astor Carlyle, who delivered the homily, urged the nation to come together and “do all that we must to build the community, to foster relationships that are lifegiving, and contribute meaningfully to the well-being of others.”

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who represented Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, delivered the second reading at the funeral, while the first reading was done by Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding.

Others in attendance included Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Karl Samuda; Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Southwest, Dr. Angela Brown Burke; Member of Parliament for St. Catherine South, Fitz Jackson; Member of Parliament for St.

Catherine, Southeast, Robert Miller; and other political representatives, as well as members of the academic community.

Dr. Robertson served as Member of Parliament for St. Catherine Southeast from 1993 to 2007. Prior to that he was Leader of Government Business in the Senate.

In addition to his appointment as Minister of Information and Culture, he also served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Minister of the Public Service; Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce; and Minister of Development.

He was also a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

Dr. Robertson was born on July 7, 1946, and died on February 19, 2022. He fathered two daughters.


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