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  • Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, has hailed the late Member of Parliament, Councillor and Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. James Thompson, for his contribution to the welfare of farmers.
  • Mr. Patterson said that the late farmer and businessman affectionately called “Jim T,” was a champion in the fight to overcome the “obscenities” of the plantation system.
  • Mr. Thompson accomplished much to improve the lot of the small farmers in Westmoreland, by facilitating loans and improving the availability of fertilizer and equipment.

Former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson, has hailed the late Member of Parliament, Councillor and Custos of Westmoreland, Hon. James Thompson, for his contribution to the welfare of farmers and the development of rural Jamaica.

Delivering the remembrance at the official funeral accorded by Government, in recognition of Mr. Thompson’s more than 50 years of service to the country, Mr. Patterson said that the late farmer and businessman affectionately called “Jim T,” was a champion in the fight to overcome the “obscenities” of the plantation system.

He noted that as Chairman of the West End Cane Farmers Association, Mr. Thompson accomplished much to improve the lot of the small farmers in Westmoreland, by facilitating loans, improving the availability of fertilizer and equipment, and providing a better quota system and harvesting protocol that gave them a better return on their investment.

Mr. Patterson said that Mr. Thompson was also an outstanding member of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and a prominent member of the Jamaica All-Island Cane Farmers’ Association, as well as a Founding Director of Western Meat Packers.

“This commitment and vast experience were advantageous during his stint as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture,” Mr. Patterson told the large gathering of Government and Opposition representatives, judiciary, lay magistrates, civic leaders, family, friends and well wishers at the St. George’s Church in Savanna-La-Mar on Wednesday, July 9.

The former Prime Minister also lauded the late Custos a “passionate fighter” in improving the social welfare of children, and is credited for guiding the resuscitation of the Scouts Movement when it faced serious challenges in the parish.

He was also passionate about the participation of women in commerce and in seeking high political office and even encouraged his wife and son to represent divisions in his constituency, Mr. Patterson informed.

“Devotion to his God, love for his country, pride in the people from whom he sprang and blessed with a fertile mind, he sought to ensure, by persistent diligence, the creation of a wider opportunity, not only for his own children but to enable others to overcome the legacy of slavery and to share in a decent quality of life”, Mr. Patterson pointed out.

Interment followed at the Holy Trinity Church Cemetery in Grange Hill, Westmoreland.