Jamaica News: Hundreds of mourners turned out at the St. Andrew Parish Church on Thursday (September 20) to pay final respects to late former government minister, Easton Wentworth Xavier Douglas.
The official funeral was a celebration of a life well-lived and included musical tributes from Pam Hall, DiMario McDowell, and Professor Winston Davidson.
The congregation included Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who read the first lesson from Lamentations 3:21-26, and former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, who both delivered tributes.
Mr. Patterson noted that Mr. Douglas, who served as Minister of Health; Public Service; and Environment and Housing, was a town planner by profession, who ensured that thousands of Jamaicans received proper housing during his tenure in politics.
“Easton’s skills in physical planning and urban development were formidable, resulting eventually in his appointment as Chief Town Planner,” Mr. Patterson said.
“He was a wise, energetic and creative member of my team in the Cabinet… . He was a man of formidable courage and indomitable will, who was prepared to take the lead of the battle, no matter how hot or weighty the odds, and to do so from the frontline,” he noted further.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said that Mr. Douglas was one of her mentors who guided her on the path to becoming Jamaica’s first female Prime Minister.
“He made available to me his wealth of experience in public service,” she noted.
She also remembered him as someone who had a passion for the provision of houses that not only provided shelter but helped to build families.
“Most of the housing that was done for the poor in this country was done through Easton Douglas… . He was the one that started to put proper housing in these inner-city communities, so that the people could live in a particular way and [under] good conditions,” she added.
Mr. Douglas was Member of Parliament of South East St. Andrew from 1989 to 2002. He was also a Permanent Secretary and Government Town Planner. He was the Minister responsible for the National Land Policy in 1996, dealing with human settlement, rural and agricultural planning, and management of our water resources and our coastal zones.
He helped to fashion the National Land Agency, which brought together all the government agencies involved in transactions related to land.
He helped to redesign and merge various groups relating to environment and planning and insisted on a coordinated and integrated approach to town planning and land utilisation.
The body of the late Easton Douglas was interred at the St. Dorothy’s Church grounds in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.
Source: JIS News