Prime Minister Hon. Bruce Golding, has described the Late Ripton Stewart Macpherson as 'a gentleman of the highest order', one 'whose dedication to Parliament and the parliamentary process was recognized not only among those who served with him but recognized throughout the Commonwealth' and 'one of the finest speakers that our Parliament has produced'.
“Ripton was a man who had a bearing of distinction. He was a gentleman of the highest order, known for his decorum, his urbanity, his civility, qualities that he never abandoned despite the fact that he served at a time when politics brought out the best in us and the worst in us. He bemoaned the coarseness and the crassness that politics so often exhibited, but he believed that politics was about the people’s representatives working together to the people’s benefit”, the Prime Minister said.
He was giving the main tribute at the Official Funeral service of thanksgiving for the life of Mr. Ripton Macpherson, late Speaker of the House of Representatives, who died recently.
Prime Minister Golding noted that he was privileged to have been among those who served in Parliament with the late Ripton Macpherson, having entered government at the same time with him in 1972.
“Ripton Macpherson served at a time when the strength of the chair was severely tested and in all of that he was firm but fair and he commanded the respect of both sides of the House. His dedication to Parliament and to the parliamentary process was recognized not only among us who served with him but recognized throughout the Commonwealth, where he served as Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and he helped in no insignificant way, to modernize parliamentary practice throughout the entire Commonwealth”, the Prime Minister observed.
“Today we mourn, not in remorse, but in recognition of the life of a good man who served with dedication and with distinction, who made his mark in a most quiet and unassuming but profound way and whose contribution has helped in shaping the nation that we have today. Today we bid him farewell and we give thanks to his wife and the children and indeed all of Ripton’s family, we extend our heartfelt sympathies at his passing”, Prime Minister Bruce Golding added.
Leader of the Opposition, Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, in her tribute which was read by Mr. Derrick Kellier, said that Ripton Macpherson ‘steered the debates and each proceeding with dignified purposefulness and a balanced decorum, that not only signified the rank of House Speaker, but underscored the important outcomes to human development that the activities of the House of Representatives was designed to yield’.
“Ripton’s example is timeless, his endurance and commitment to the ideals of the party (Peoples National Party) have made us stronger and stronger as a movement today. His contribution to national life has made us a stronger Jamaica. His selflessness in sharing himself with those in his flock has made many men and women and many families better than otherwise they might have been. Indeed these tributes and all the accolades he has received are well earned and well deserved”, Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller pointed out.
Former Prime Minister Most Hon. P.J. Patterson asserted that the man Ripton Stewart Macpherson whose memory was being honoured, was a fine lawyer, a dedicated politician and a man whose honesty no one could impute.
“Much of the early development of Portmore took place during his watch and under his direction and guidance. Mr. Macpherson was always helping people in his constituency … he was a more astute politician than his calm demeanor and proper decorum would suggest. Was it his abiding faith that provided his source of equanimity and thereby ensured that Ripton was never diverted from his course? His sharp intellect, his mastery of parliamentary rules and practices, and his devotion to the duties of the revered office he held commanded respect from the front bench to the back bench. He was affable, articulate but at the appropriate moment, he was resolute”, Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson pointed out.
After several other tributes, the body of the late Speaker of the House of Representatives was taken to Dovecot, St. James for interment.
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JIS REGIONAL OFFICE