It was with immense sadness that I learned of the death of one of the pioneers of this nation’s independence who served us for decades in a selfless manner.
Sir Howard Felix Hanlan Cooke was a revered public servant, serving this noble country (and region) in almost every aspect of political life- from civil activism to party founder, from West Indies Federation MP to Minister of the Government of Jamaica, from Senate President to Governor General.
The career of Sir Howard spanned decades as he stuck with the leadership of the nation, contributing significantly to every aspect of public life to which he was called to serve.
A devout United Church christian, he forged forth to build a Jamaica with Christ as the pioneer.
Cooke served the Government of Jamaica in numerous capacities in the Manley administration of the 70s; Pension and Security Minister, Education Minister and later headed the Ministry of Public Service and Labour.
Sir Howard would go on to serve as Senate President for two years (1989-1991) before culminating his service to the public in his capacity as Governor General, a post which he relinquished after 15 years of service to enter retirement.
Sir Cooke even in his years of retirement reminded us that we are a people of power, promise and potential and that we needed to stop giving the impression that we are worthless.
Sir Howard, you have paved the way for the youth seeking to contribute to the development of this nation. We admire the invaluable contribution that you have made to this nation, and we will strive to serve with selflessness like you did.
“We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.”
Sir Howard, walk good!
Italicized quotes courtesy of Dr. Maya Angelou
Aujaé K. Dixon