JIS News

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, K.D. Knight has described the late Ambassador Vincent McFarlane as a distinguished public servant.
Ambassador McFarlane, who served as Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada from 1965 to 1970, died on March 11 at the age of 92, in Toronto, Canada. He was integrally involved with the Jamaica/Canada Domestic Scheme and particularly the Seasonal Farm Workers Programme, which began in 1966, a year after he became Jamaica’s highest representative in Canada.
At a memorial service held on Sunday, March 19 at the Turner and Porter Funeral Home in Toronto, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Carl Marshall read a message on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Minister.
“Ambassador McFarlane leaves a legacy of distinguished public service, particularly significant because his contribution spanned the colonial period and the early years of our country’s Independence,” said Minister Knight. “He belonged to that pioneering band of dedicated public servants who have made invaluable contributions in establishing firm foundations for our emerging young independent nation.”
Ambassador McFarlane’s career in the government service spanned more than 40 years. He entered the service in 1934, at the age of 20, and held a number of positions, including Administrative Officer and Assistant Secretary with the Colonial Secretariat; Principal Assistant Secretary and then Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands; and Permanent Secretary with the Premier’s Office.
In 1962, he moved to the then Ministry of External Affairs and first served as Minister Counsellor at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C., before moving to Canada in 1965 as High Commissioner and then on to Germany as Ambassador. From 1972 to 1974, he was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
In his message, Minister Knight said he drew on recollections from retired staff of the ministry who had worked with the late Ambassador. They described him as patriotic and having an abiding love for his people and country. He was called “down to earth” and always having an open-door policy, welcoming Jamaicans from all walks of life into his office.
“Our dear, departed has been recalled as a Jamaican at heart, a keen listener who accommodated all views. He was also praised as being tireless in his dedication to duty, always demonstrating a strong work ethic and maintaining the highest standards at the workplace. Recollections also speak of his wealth of experience, wisdom, ability and keen sense of judgment,” said Minister Knight.
Ambassador McFarlane was predeceased wife of 56 years Alice Joan passed away in 2000, and he is survived by his two children, John McFarlane of Walkerswood, St. Ann and Hilary Russell of Washington, D.C.

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