Cecil Charlton gets Glowing Send off at Official Funeral

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller (5th right); and Cabinet Ministers; and Custos of Mandeville, Hon. Sally Porteous (4th right), join mourners at the Official Funeral for the late former Mayor of Mandeville, Cecil Charlton, held yesterday (Oct. 6) at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville. The Ministers (from left) are: Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. AJ Nicholson; and Minister of National Security and Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Peter Bunting.

Story Highlights

  • Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J Patterson said the three-time Mayor through “...hard work and determination to succeed, achieved great heights”.
  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, stated that “the memory of Mayor Charlton is a great legacy that we can all be proud of.”
  • The Official Funeral Service was held at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville.

Glowing tributes were paid at the Official Funeral service held yesterday (October 6) at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville, for the late local Government stalwart, and former Mayor of the Manchester capital, Cecil Charlton.

The various speakers, led by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, detailed how Mr. Charlton was able to overcome a humble beginning, to become a successful businessman, who dedicated his life to service to his beloved parish.

Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J Patterson, in a tribute read by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Michael Peart, who is also Member of Parliament for South Manchester, said the three-time Mayor through “dint of hard work and determination to succeed, achieved great heights”.

“Cecil Charlton’s memory will be a beacon in the future of our country and it is hoped that his resilience, above all, will be emulated. The void created with his passing will be difficult to fill,” he stated.

The former Prime Minister, who is a lawyer, recalled with some humour that he had difficulty preventing the late former mayor from taking over a court case in which he appeared for a number of Mr. Charlton’s workers who were prosecuted, “for he believed his knowledge of the law was second to none.”

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, who is also Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, stated that “the memory of Mayor Charlton is a great legacy that we can all be proud of.”

Opposition Spokesman on Labour, Pearnel Charles, recalled the many special moments that he shared with the late politician and businessman. “He has made sure that we cannot easily forget him. ‘Mr. C’ was unique in many ways; he was uncompromising on the matter of human liberty, uncompromising on fair play, democracy and good governance,” he stated.

Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, who is also Member of Parliament for North East Manchester, said Cecil Charlton was a good politician, and an excellent and able political representative. “In Cecil Charlton we can say he was…a tribalist for local government and the municipality of Mandeville. He has left an indelible mark on representation in Jamaica.”

Mr. Charlton’s daughter, Winsome “Lady C” Charlton, eulogized him as one who stood for the best in education for his children, and others who came in contact with him.

She also recalled how he was firm on discipline, always giving special care on the type of clothing worn by his children, especially the girls. She also highlighted how her father used his truck to transport people across the island for entertainment purposes, and in support of Jamaica’s festival.

Mayor of Mandeville, Councillor Brenda Ramsay, in her tribute, announced that a monument has been commissioned in honour of the late former mayor. The structure will be erected in the Cecil Charlton Park located in the town.

“The Manchester Parish Council owes a debt of gratitude to this one of a kind man,” she said, noting that he was impatient of those who gave excuses as to why things were not done, or could not be done. “He did not tolerate slackness or shoddy work.”

Other tributes came from nephew Paul Lewis, the NCU family, Caymanas Track Limited, the Jamaica Library Service, and the Jamaica Evangelistic Centre.

Dr. Herbert Thompson, who delivered the homily, noted that Mr. Charlton was born in poverty in Mandeville, and “he won the battle over poverty here, he became a multi-millionaire here, and in the process, he lifted thousands of people from around here to better themselves”.

“It is something that we need to digest and emulate. Don’t be too quick to discard the people from your districts and your inner cities, because sometimes some people…just need a chance …if you are in a position to do so, help a few people rise to the next level, because that is what Cecil Charlton would want us to do,” Dr. Thompson said.

The service included bible readings from Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness and Custos of Manchester, Hon. Sally Porteous.

Mr. Charlton was born in Mandeville on April 6, 1925. He served as Deputy Mayor of Mandeville, between 1959-1960, and as Mayor between 1961-1969, 1974-1978, and 1981- 1986.

He retired from the Manchester Parish Council as a Councillor in 1998. Mr. Charlton died on September 12 at the age of 88. His remains were interred in the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Manchester.

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