KINGSTON — The House of Representatives on Tuesday (Oct. 18) paid tribute to former Member of Parliament and former Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Onel Theobalds "O.T." Williams, who passed away on October 10.
Leader of Government Business in the House and Education Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, described Mr. Williams as a kind man, who never lost his “fervor for representation” despite adversity, and extended condolence to his wife and family.
Member of Parliament for South Manchester, Michael Peart remembered
Mr. Williams for his keen attention to physical fitness and his meticulous diet, and his love for vintage automobiles. “His satirical elegance was unmatched in the Houses of Parliament…he was a committed and dedicated Parliamentarian. He loved the Parliament and loved to participate in it. We will miss O.T. Williams, he was a unique individual,” he said.
In his reflection, Member of Parliament for North Central St. Andrew, Karl Samuda, lauded Mr. Williams’ dedication to serving his country. “This Parliament and country has lost a genuine Jamaican, someone who cared for the people, someone who was committed, and took the job of Deputy Speaker seriously and carried it as a badge of honour wherever he went. He was a fine Jamaican, whose memory must be cherished,” Mr. Samuda stated.
Member of Parliament for North West St. Catherine, Robert Pickersgill, remembered Mr. Williams’ multi-faceted personality and business ventures. “OT was really a man of many parts… all of those things combined to make the man unforgettable. OT has made an indelible mark on us,” he said.
Member of Parliament for South St. James, Derrick Kellier, noted that
Mr. Williams was an “interesting personality”, who stood up for what he believed in, while Independent Member of Parliament, Sharon Hay-Webster said Mr. Williams was very committed to representing his constituency, and particularly to helping younger Parliamentarians grow and develop.
Minister of Mining and Energy, Hon. Clive Mullings, said that Mr. Williams had utmost respect for the House. “He took great pride in studying the standing orders…indeed, OT represents to us, a true Jamaican, who holds aloft the institutions, and took great pride in being a Member of Parliament and Deputy Speaker. We have a lot to learn from his legacy,” Mr. Mullings said.
Mr. Williams was a member of the People’s National Party and Member of Parliament for Western St. Andrew from 1989 to 2007.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter