JIS News

Hemsley “Bookie” Johnston, a Clarendon farmer who turned 101 years old on Valentine’s Day, has been recognised by the Jamaica 4-H Clubs for service to the Movement and the agricultural sector.
Mr. Johnston was presented with a special award at the 4-H Clubs’ National Achievement Day and Expo, at the Denbigh Showgrounds, Clarendon, on Friday, April 24.
He was hailed for dedicating several years of his life to feeding the nation. He also stands out as a pioneer of the 4-H Clubs’ Tractor Trailer Programme, which he started in his home, York Town, Clarendon, in the 1930s.
An illustrious farmer, who in his youthful days operated the largest tobacco farm in the island, Mr. Johnston started the Farm Implements Co-operative with 5 persons. It expanded to include persons from other communities including Rinesbury and Tollgate.
In the 1950s, he started the Tractor Maintenance Programme at Denbigh, and was helpful in co-ordinating and assisting with the smooth execution of many National Achievement Day events at that venue.
In the 1960s he was given the opportunity to serve on the 4-H Club’s board of management.
He was described by Public Relations Officer, Ms. Karelle McCormac, as a “stalwart”, who has been instrumental in shaping the 4-H Movement and, in particular, the Tractor Trailer Programme, dedicating himself to the service of the people of the parish and creating opportunities for others to learn and grow.
Mr. Johnston cited his years of farming and active involvement in the 4-H Movement, as some of his most pleasurable and memorable, being fully engaged in an area of endeavour he found not only financially rewarding, but also mentally and physically stimulating.
Today, he resides on a 387-acre property, which is still heavily cultivated and continues to supervise his sand and gravel mining operation, which is his chief source of income.

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