Condolence Book opens at Jamaican Consulate, Miami for Jamaica’s former Agriculture Minister

Hon. Roger Clarke
Hon. Roger Clarke

MIAMI – A Condolence Book for the late Hon. Roger Clarke, Jamaica’s former Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries opened Friday, Sept 5th, at the Consulate General of Jamaica in Miami. The Book remains open daily from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m., until next Friday (Sept. 12) at the Office which is located at 25 Southeast Second Avenue, Suite 609 (FL 33026) in downtown Miami.

Minister Clarke died in Miami last Thursday (August 28). He will be laid to rest in his birthplace, Glen Islay, Westmoreland, following an official funeral on Saturday (Sept. 13), at the St. George’s Anglican Church in Savanna-la-Mar.

The Member of Parliament for Central Westmoreland (PNP), the Minister had a rich upbringing in agriculture and its practices from his younger years to the present which led to his career in Jamaica’s political and social spheres. He attended Mannings High School and went on to pursue extensive management training at the now defunct Jamaica Industrial Development Corporation (JIDC), and also at Harbridge House in the United States in the 1960’s.

For almost 30 years, Minister Clarke worked extensively in the island’s sugar industry interfacing with various members of the farming community. Today, he owns his own farm that produces a myriad of crops and is the largest sugar cane producer in St. Elizabeth.

Minister Clarke has had a successful political career, having won eight elections comprising two Local Government and six General Elections. In 1986, he was elected Councillor for the Balaclava division in St. Elizabeth, and was nominated Mayor of Black River and Chairman of the St. Elizabeth Parish Council. He was subsequently re-elected in the 1990 Local Government Election where he continued as Mayor. Mr. Clarke also served a four year period as President of the Local Government Authorities from 1988 to 1991. He was elected Member of Parliament for North East St. Elizabeth in a by-election. Three months into the job, he was promoted in early 1992 to State Minister for Agriculture; a position he held for three years and by 1995, he was appointed Minister of Local Government and Works. In 1998, he was appointed Minister of Agriculture serving in that capacity for almost ten years, and during that period was one of the founding members of the Alliance of Ministers of Agriculture for CARICOM, serving as its chairman for many years.

On January 6, 2012, Mr. Clarke was re-appointed Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. During his tenure, the Minister had identified as his top priorities enhancing Jamaica’s food security to make farming profitable, and rural development as areas of particular interest.

He has served in several capacities in the People’s National Party and is currently Vice President Emeritus since 2003.

Minister Clarke is survived by his wife Sonia, and two children.

South Florida Caribbean News

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