JIS News

Former Mayor of Montego Bay, Arthur Gilchrist, died yesterday (June 30), in the Cornwall Regional Hospital, after a long illness.
The management and staff of the St. James Parish Council have expressed regret at his passing, with the late Mayor being described as an outstanding public servant of extraordinary qualities and distinction.
Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Charles Sinclair has announced the opening of a Condolence Book in the Mayor’s Lobby on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building at 19a Union Street, where members of the public can pay their respect. The book will be available for signing as of today (July 1), between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
“Mayor Gilchrist, who held the distinction of being Montego Bay’s longest serving Mayor from 1990 to 1998, gave 12 years of distinguished service to the Local Government Political Directorate in St. James, representing the People’s National Party as Councillor for the Spring Mount and Mount Salem Divisions from 1986 to 1998. He was also Deputy Mayor from 1986 to 1990,” Mr. Sinclair said.
“Arthur Gilchrist’s tenure as Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council was one of the most accomplished in the history of the City, as he was instrumental in the development of the Greater Montego Bay Redevelopment Plan, of which he was a permanent member,” he added. Mr. Gilchrist spearheaded the formation of the Committee for the Upliftment of the Mentally Ill (CUMI), providing assistance to homeless mentally ill persons in St James.
“This pioneer who will go down in history as a great Mayor of Montego Bay, is credited with having addressed the perennial problem of illegal street side vending by establishing the People’s Arcade along the Howard Cooke Boulevard. He was also responsible for the establishment of the William Street Fresh Food Market and the Byron Leslie Fish Market,” Mayor Sinclair said in a statement.
“During his tenure, Mayor Gilchrist also spearheaded the establishment of the Atlanta/Montego Bay Sister Cities Committee and institutionalized the St. James Junior Council Competition. He also established the Committee for the Protection of Tenants (COMFORT) and also secured 10 acres of land at Piggott and Crawford Streets where he settled persons who were living under unacceptable conditions in tenement yards,” he said.
The late Mayor was highly respected by members of staff and the political directorate at the St. James Parish Council and was a staunch advocate for Local Government Reform and the devolution of authority.
“He was among the first to call for the establishment of a Municipal Court and the appointment of Municipal Wardens. This genuine lover of people, especially the marginalized, was one committed to service and up to the time of his death was a Board Member of the St. James Peace Management Initiative,” Mayor Sinclair pointed out. “As Mayor of Montego Bay, I extend my sincere condolences to the widow of former Mayor Gilchrist, Fay and children, Art, Patrick, Michael, Barbara, Natalie, Melanie and the rest of the family,” the statement said.