Jamaica News: It was a somber atmosphere inside the Half Moon Hotel conference centre in Rose Hall, St. James on Saturday (January 26), where scores of persons came out to bid farewell to late Ambassador Donald Frank Pringle.
Mr. Pringle, who had a distinguished record of public service, including serving as Jamaica’s Tourism Minister from 1989 to 1992, died on December 10 at the age of 88.
Minister of National Security, Dr. the Hon. Horace Chang, (representing Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness); former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson; Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips; and Custos of St. James, Bishop the Hon. Conrad Pitkin, headed the list of dignitaries attending the memorial service.
Dr. Chang, in his tribute, said that while Mr. Pringle served in both the private and public sectors in various areas, he will best be remembered for the role he played in taking tourism to “a higher level.”
“He was very passionate about tourism and truly believed in the Jamaican product,” he noted.
“He was also a very humble man, who saw only the best in others and who simply had an everlasting love for family and country. He will surely be missed,” Dr. Chang added.
Former Prime Minister Patterson remembered Ambassador Pringle as a man, who had no other personal ambition but “to serve his fellowmen.”
“This is a man, who has done so much to serve the people of this country especially in western Jamaica where he lived for many years,” he pointed out.
“His was a commitment to the service of the people to create social justice and social awareness. He was of the belief that economic development should not be confined to the benefit of a few but something that should be shared by the entire population. He was a giant of a man who will be sorely missed,” Mr. Patterson said.
Montego Bay businessman Mark Hart, in his stirring eulogy, said that Ambassador Pringle’s contribution to tourism and public service “cannot be measured in words.”
“His work at Tryall in Hanover, even though he didn’t know it at the time, was the beginning of Jamaica becoming a force in the hospitality and tourism industry and from where we have never looked back,” he noted.
Mr. Hart pointed to the late Tourism Minister’s role in conceptualising the ‘Meet the People’ programme in 1963 and which today, is still one of the centerpieces of the Jamaica Tourist Board’s (JTB) marketing strategy.
“It is still the premier model for community tourism and a major advertising tool for Jamaica,” he noted.
“You can look at all the successes we have had in tourism over the years and you would be hard pressed not to find Frank Pringle’s fingerprints all over the place. He was a visionary and a man, who was way ahead of his time,” he added.
Mr. Pringle, in addition to serving as Tourism Minister, was also Jamaica’s representative to the Executive Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
He was accorded the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2001 for outstanding service in the fields of tourism and public service.
Source: JIS News