JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, advised the House of Representatives yesterday (January 27), that an official funeral would be held on February 9, 2009, for the late Ryan Peralto, who died on February 23.
In his tribute to Mr. Peralto, Mr. Golding described him as a businessman who was very involved in the leadership of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA).
“Despite the efforts he made there, I don’t think that anything commanded his focus and his zeal, his time and his energies as much as his involvement in political service,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Peralto, a former Member of Parliament, also served as Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew from 1981-83; a Senator from 1980-83; Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 1987-89. He also served as General Secretary and Chairman of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
The Prime Minister noted that Mr. Peralto played a vital role in the reform of the Jamaican electoral process.
“He approached it with a passion, with a commitment and with a determination. In the work that he did and the research that he undertook, and the recommendations that he put forward, always uppermost in his mind was helping to produce an electoral system that would command the confidence of the people of Jamaica and that would be an example to the world,” Mr. Golding said.
The Prime Minister extended condolences to the family of Mr. Peralto.
Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller, also expressed condolences to the family of Mr. Peralto. She cited his contribution to the reform of the electoral process in Jamaica.
“While working there, he was very engaging and tried to find the views of others, while he did his own research, in terms of making recommendations. The fact that at some time I served on the Electoral Advisory Committee myself, I felt privileged to have been associated with someone who was always very civil and very warm to me and to others, ” Mrs Simpson Miller said.
She also described Mr. Peralto as a very outstanding politician. “There was something special about him. He never allowed politics to get in the way of being friendly with others who were not supportive of his political party,” the Leader of Opposition said.
Meanwhile, his son, and Member of Parliament for St. Mary South Eastern, Tarn Peralto, expressed his appreciation to all members of the House of Representatives for extending condolences on the passing of his father.
“I want to say thank you on behalf of my mother and his wife, and our family; thank you,” Mr Peralto said.
Mr. Peralto was born on March 21, 1933, at the family home, 20 Cambridge Street, Franklyn Town, in Kingston. In the early years, he attended St. Simon’s School, on scholarship, then St. George’s College.
Guided by the Roman Catholic Jesuit priests, Mr. Peralto intended to become a doctor. Family finances did not afford him that opportunity, so he entered the business world, while serving St. George’s College Old Boys Association, the Lion’s Club, and then Jaycees of Jamaica.
He took his first job as a salesman for L.J. Williams Marketing, later becoming Director for Naco Caribbean, which made louvre windows, and L.J. Williams. In 1963 he formed Modern Partitions Limited, Jamaica’s first partitioning and ceiling company. He also started Carpets & Drapes Limited and got involved in other commercial ventures.
Through his early experiences with designing Naco louvres, Mr. Peralto was able to exercise his innate systems approach to problem-solving. Working with Alcan engineers, he designed the ‘Movawall’ partitioning and ceiling systems for Modern Partitions. That foundation allowed him to later formulate and patent the design of Jamaica and the world’s first electronic voting system, while being a member of the Electoral Advisory Committee. His first book, ‘Insure Your Democracy’, outlines his life, especially this work.
Mr. Peralto was a Vice-President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) and a Director of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC).
He leaves behind, wife, Lorna, of 51 years; eight children, and 18 grandchildren in Jamaica, Canada, and the United States of America. (USA).

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