Members of the Upper House today (June 23) paid tribute to former Senator and Minister of Government, the Hon. Carlyle Dunkley, who died recently.
In his tribute, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid described, Mr. Dunkley as a committed public servant who served Jamaica for more than 40 years in various ministerial posts and as a former Ambassador to Cuba and Special Envoy to CARICOM and the Association of Caribbean States.
He said although Mr. Dunkley was well accustomed to the rough and tumble of fierce trade union negotiations and sometimes rivalry, he generally had an amiable and congenial personality.
“He would have passionate debates in defence of his perspective without any sense of malice or ill-will,” he noted.
Senator Reid said Mr. Dunkley’s commitment to Jamaica and the wider Caribbean was also reflected in his passionate advocacy for regionalism and for the interests of the broad cross section of Jamaican society.
“I make special mention of his years of service to education in which he sought to articulate the needs of those who had less access,” he said.
For his part, President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, extended deepest condolences to Mr. Dunkley’s family and colleagues in the trade union and political movement.
In his tribute, Opposition Senator, Lambert Brown, said Mr. Dunkley, who also served as Deputy President of the Senate, was an intellectual and sharp-witted.
“He brought his enormous trade union experience to bear upon the deliberations in this Chamber,” he said.
Senator Brown argued that members of the National Workers Union (NWU), particularly those in bauxite, sugar and manufacturing, benefited extensively from Mr. Dunkley’s effective negotiating skills and his wide knowledge.
Among Mr. Dunkley’s other broad areas of public service were those of Senator between 1972 to1978 and 1980-83; Minister of Public Utilities and Transport 1979-80; Lecturer, University of the West Indies (UWI) 1982 to 1989; Spokesman on Education 1984 to 1989; Minister of Education 1989-91; and Minister of Production, Mining and Commerce, 1992.
Mr. Dunkley also served as Island Supervisor of the NWU in 1972 and later President of the Union in 1977.