I wish to express my deep sadness and profound regret at the passing of one of Jamaica’s outstanding early international track and field athlete, George Kerr.
George Kerr, who hailed from Trelawny, a parish which has produced so many of our outstanding track athletes, was an excellent standard bearer for Jamaica, who excelled at a sport which was dear to his heart.
Long before Jamaica became known as the track capital of the world, George Kerr was labouring in the vineyard in the 1950s and 60s demonstrating his indomitable will to succeed on the track, thus being one of the early athletes to help pave the way for our current athletes.
His passing in this our 50th year of independence, reminds us of the fact that in 1962 he was the captain of the Jamaica Team at the 9th Central American and Caribbean Games, which was the catalyst for the building of the National Stadium.
He was the star of those Games, winning the 400m and 800m and anchoring the 4x400m relays to win the gold medals. That year he was also named Sportsman of the Year.
Before that, Kerr had showed his prowess, when by virtue of his tremendous discipline, hard work and devotion to a sport which he loved, he won the bronze medal in the 800 metres at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.
At the same Games, he also ran as a member of the West Indies team, at the time of the existence of the West Indies Federation, along with Keith Gardener, Mal Spence and Barbadian, Jim Wedderburn, in the 4x400m relay and captured the bronze medal. Also, before and after these Games, he won numerous other medals on behalf of Jamaica at Commonwealth and Pan-American Games.
George Kerr is no longer physically with us but he will always be remembered by me for his devotion to duty on behalf of his beloved Jamaica.
I wish to extend my condolences to his devoted wife Fay, his children Karyn, Margaret, Roger and William as well as his seven grand children.
Contact: Communications Unit-OPM