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Speech
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (left), presents Medal of Appreciation to President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Francis Kennedy, for his contribution to Economic and National Development, at a ceremony, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, on July 31, 2013. Mr. Kennedy died on October 26. He was 74.

 Jamaica has lost a giant

The passing of Mr. Francis ‘Paco’ Kennedy has taken from us a giant in the field of commerce and business  in Jamaica.

He was literally born with manufacturing in his blood, being a descendant of the founders of the popular GraceKennedy Company.

Mr Kennedy was always driven by the desire to improve the cause of business and doing business in Jamaica.

He was not just a businessman who tended to his own business, he also  tended to the business of others.

That is why he was elevated to the position of president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, a position he held up to the time his passing. It was for the very same reason why he served, some years ago, as the president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica. He also  served the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica in many different capacities.

Mr Kennedy must also be recognised for his years of contribution to the efforts to revitalise downtown Kingston. He was a passionate believer in the Kingston market district and he, along with others, have been working tirelessly to make this a reality. Paco was also integral to the Partnership for Jamaica agreement.

In all his undertakings he served with exemplary dedication and humility and he never, in all the years that I have I known him, complained or protested when called upon to be of public service.

It was with this in mind that the Government this year, decided to recognize his inestimable contribution to national development by way of a national award.

On behalf of the Government, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family, especially his dear wife Marjorie, daughter Catherine and son Charles, whom we all have in our prayers at this time.