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Sir Clifford Campbell, O.N., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O., first Jamaican Governor-General of Jamaica, was born at Petersfield, Westmoreland, on June 28, 1892, to the late James Campbell, Civil Servant and Blanche, nee Ruddock. He was educated at Petersfield Elementary School from 1901 to 1912 and at Mico Training College from 1913 to 1915.
After graduating from Mico, he began his career as Headmaster at Fullersfield Government School in 1916 where he served until 1918 when he moved to Friendship Elementary School. He remained as headmaster of this school for ten years. He then became Principal of the Grange Hill Government School from 1928 to 1944.
On August 1, 1920, he married Alice Estephene, daughter of the late William Jolly, planter, and Francis, nee Davis. They had four children (Dr. Winston Campbell, Newton Campbell. Mrs. Myrtle Mason (barrister), and Mrs. Clair Keane, (B.A.). Sir Clifford and his wife were Anglicans.
In 1944 Sir Clifford entered the second phase of his career when as a member of the Jamaica Labour Party, he won a seat (Westmoreland Western) to the House of Representatives in the first elections under Universal Adult Suffrage, and served until 1949. He was Chairman of the House Committee on Education from 1945 to 1949 and was also last Vice-President of the Elected Members’ Association from 1945 to 1954. In 1950 he became Speaker of the House and in1962 he was President of Senate. Shortly after Jamaica became Independent in1962, he was appointed by her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as Governor-General of Jamaica, succeeding Sir Kenneth Blackburne. He was also awarded the Honour of Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George (G.C.M.G.), and later Knight Grant Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.)
WIDE AREAS OF SERVICE
Apart from teaching and Politics Sir Clifford took a keen interest in music, painting, community and professional services. He was a member of the Manchester Committee of the Western Federation of Teachers, the Board of Visitors to Sav-la-Mar Public Hospital, the Advisory Committee of the Knockalva Practical Training Centre in1945, the Board of Education from 1944 to 1945, the Westmoreland School Board, the ISSA Scholarship Award Committee in 1945, the Westmoreland Rice Growers’ Association, the Committee on Training of Government Officers in 1945; he was last Vice-President of the Association of Westmoreland Branches of the Jamaica Agricultural Society and member of the delegation sent to investigate conditions of Jamaican farm workers in the U.S.A. in 1945.
Sir Clifford was also Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, President of the Jamaica Flying Club, the Jamaica National Choral and Orchestral Society, the Jamaica Youth Clubs Council, President and Grand Patron of the Jamaica Legion, and Patron of such organizations as Boys’ Town, the Jamaica Agricultural Society, the Jamaica Football Federation, and the Jamaica Cancer Society.