Hundreds Pay Final Respects to Carlyle Dunkley

Photo: Donald De La Haye Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) carry the urn bearing the remains of the Ambassador the Hon. Carlyle Dunkley, at the official thanksgiving service held at the University Chapel, University of the West Indies, Mona, on Wednesday (July 5).

Story Highlights

  • Hundreds of Jamaicans paid their last respects to former Senator and Minister of Government, Ambassador the Hon. Carlyle Dunkley, at the official thanksgiving service held at the University Chapel, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on Wednesday (July 5).
  • Among those in attendance were Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who represented the Prime Minister; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles Snr.; President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson; and former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, who gave the remembrance, and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.
  • Mr. Dunkley served as Senator from 1972 to 1978 and 1980 to 1983; Minister of Public Utilities and Transport, 1979 to 1980; Lecturer, UWI, from 1982 to 1989; Spokesman on Education, 1984 to 1989; Minister of Education, 1989 to 1991; and Minister of Production, Mining and Commerce, 1992. He also served as Island Supervisor of the NWU in 1972, and later as President of the union in 1977.

Hundreds of Jamaicans paid their last respects to former Senator and Minister of Government, Ambassador the Hon. Carlyle Dunkley, at the official thanksgiving service held at the University Chapel, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, on Wednesday (July 5).

Among those in attendance were Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, who represented the Prime Minister; Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Pearnel Charles Snr.; President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson; and former Prime Ministers, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, who gave the remembrance, and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

The service included a musical prelude by the Kingston College Chapel Choir, and tributes from President of the Union of Clerical, Administrative and Supervisory Employees (UCASE), Vincent Morrison, and children Graham, Julian and Kimberley Dunkley.

Dr. Chang and Dr. Phillips read bible lessons, while the Rt. Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson delivered the homily.

In her tribute, Kimberley Dunkley said her father was a man of integrity, with an unwavering commitment to excellence.

“Growing up, he held all of us to high standards, some we thought we will never meet. But one thing was for sure – we weren’t allowed to give up,” she pointed out.

Ms. Dunkley said she shared a unique bond with her father and “not because I was the only girl, but simply because I got to spend the time with him when he became the most vulnerable”.

“We were able to reminisce about our time together in Cuba and about the time I called him screaming in tears, when Barak Obama became the first black President of the United States,” she added.

For his part, Graham Dunkley said his father taught them the benefit of reading, and noted that he had an extraordinary ability to absorb information.

He noted that as children, they were exposed to their father’s friends and colleagues, which included former prime ministers, and from these experiences “we learnt confidence… and power without fear or trepidation”.

Mr. Dunkley said he and his brothers took pride in the fact that they bore a striking likeness to their father.

“We are told constantly that we look like him and we have his mannerisms, his speech pattern, his disposition, his wit and his smile. We wear these comparisons with pride,” he said.

In his remembrance, Mr. Patterson noted that Mr. Dunkley became the first graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to put his education, training and leadership skills to the workers’ cause, when, in 1963, he joined the National Workers Union (NWU).

“In doing so, Carlyle established a tradition that would increasingly bring the intelligentsia to the labour movement and to contribute to the creation of a legislative framework that would protect workers’ rights and improve their living standards,” he said.

He added that Mr. Dunkley was a brilliant negotiator and argued with vigour and lucidity, for the cause of workers.

“He was always well prepared, and could deal with the most meticulous details. He also recognised the importance of training the delegates in a way that would enable them to assist in obtaining final outcomes for a settlement in the toughest of industrial battles,” Mr. Patterson said.

Mr. Dunkley, who died on June 21, served Jamaica for more than 40 years in various posts and was a former Ambassador to Cuba and Special Envoy to CARICOM and the Association of Caribbean States.

He held the positions of Cabinet Minister, Deputy President of the Senate and former President of the NWU.

Mr. Dunkley served as Senator from 1972 to 1978 and 1980 to 1983; Minister of Public Utilities and Transport, 1979 to 1980; Lecturer, UWI, from 1982 to 1989; Spokesman on Education, 1984 to 1989; Minister of Education, 1989 to 1991; and Minister of Production, Mining and Commerce, 1992.

He also served as Island Supervisor of the NWU in 1972, and later as President of the union in 1977.

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