JIS News

Hundreds of persons attended this afternoon’s official funeral service for the late Senator and former Member of Parliament, Ryan Peralto, at the Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church in Kingston. Among those paying tributes was Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, who spoke highly and fondly of Mr. Peralto, while stressing how important service to his country had been to his late colleague.
“When he became active in politics, he virtually abandoned everything else. He left his business essentially to his sons, and he threw his entire life into it,” Mr. Golding said.
“I don’t think that this country can ever undervalue the importance of the contribution that he has made to the improvement of the electoral system in Jamaica,” the Prime Minister said. He also noted Mr. Peralto’s foresight in advocating the use of fingerprinting technology to reduce fraud in the electoral system.
Former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, also emphasized the importance of Mr. Peralto’s contribution to the introduction of the electronic identification voting system, as well as the transformation of the Jamaica Labour Party’s(JLP) Constitution following the party’s defeat at the polls in 1989.
“His accomplishments were exceptional, displays of constructive leadership unmatched by most, an undisputed statement of what can be accomplished,” Mr. Seaga said.
Mayor of Kingston, Councilor Desmond McKenzie, noted that Mr. Peralto had contributed more than was required of him and was a stickler for efficiency and timeliness, which are important ingredients in nation-building.
He also highlighted Mr. Peralto’s work in transforming the KSAC into a model by which local government agencies are measured in Jamaica. He announced that Mr. Peralto will be posthumously honoured with the key to the City of Kingston at a later date.
In his tribute, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda recalled Mr. Peralto’s abiding faith in the strength of the Jamaican spirit, and his unceasing commitment to his country.
“This he did through commercial enterprises and service organizations, including the Lions Club and the Jaycees, and political organizations such as the JLP,” Mr. Samuda said.
Member of Parliament for North Western St. Catherine, Robert Pickersgill, who represented Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson-Miller, said that Mr. Peralto had left an indelible mark on the political landscape of Jamaica.
“He was what we would like to describe as an all-inclusive political institution. He served with distinction at all levels of representational politics in Jamaica,” he said.
Tributes were also paid by representatives of various organizations to which Mr. Peralto belonged, including the Electoral Commission of Jamaica and the Jaycees of Kingston.
Mr. Peralto joined the Jamaica Labour Party shortly after the 1976 general elections. He was Mayor of Kingston, 1981-1983. He was MP for Central Kingston 1983-1989. He also served as Minister of State in the Ministries of National Security, and Trade and Industry; and General Secretary and Chairman of the JLP. He was a member of the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC), and played a pivotal role in the electoral reform process.
Outside of politics, he served as 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).
The service was officiated by Rev. Edgerton Clarke, Archbishop emeritus of Kingston, Most. Rev. Lawrence Burke Archbishop emeritus of Kingston, Very Rev. Father Michael Lewis, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Richard Albert, Rev. Fr. Caston Nsongolo and Father Brian Kerr.

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