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Former Permanent Secretary in the Jamaica Ministry of Labor Dies in Atlanta

ATLANTA – Former Permanent Secretary in the Jamaica Ministry of Labor, Mr. Astley Leslie died on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at Dekalb Medical Center in North Decatur, Georgia.

Astley Leslie
Astley Leslie

Mr. Leslie, who was an outstanding Jamaican in the Atlanta community for the past 22 years, was also former President of the Atlanta Jamaica Association (AJA), and a member of the AJA board. Prior to his position as Permanent Secretary, he was the ILO Regional Labor Administration Advisor for the Caribbean. As Advisor to 21 countries of the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, he established and developed the Caribbean Labor Administration Center in Barbados. In Atlanta he was a certified mediator with Clayton County and he served on several committees at St Timothy’s United Methodist Church

In reacting to his passing, Jamaican Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Mrs. Jewel Scott said the Jamaican community in Atlanta is mourning the passing of a stalwart and a favoured son.  She said that Mr. Leslie was committed to promoting his country and along with his dear wife, promoted Jamaica’s culture in Atlanta with the formation of the cultural group called, “The Sugarcanes”, staging various cultural events and hosting an annual National Heroes’ day tribute for AJA.

Mrs. Scott pointed out that Mr. Leslie was always involved and ready to serve his community and country in whatever way possible.

In paying tribute to Mr. Leslie, President of the AJA, Mr. Alan Stewart, described Mr. Leslie as an elder statesman, a friend and a voice of calm and reason in the Jamaican community. “We have relied on his diplomatic skills and mastery of parliamentary procedures and are bereft of words to express our sorrow.”

The AJA president said Mr. Leslie served the Jamaican community right up to the day of his passing.  He was a founding member of AJA and served as President for many years. He continued to serve the community, remaining active as an officer and Board member, guiding with a firm but gentle hand, the next generation of leaders.  His unrelenting efforts to serve the community continued when he became a founding Board member of the recently established Jamaican Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta, a post he held until his passing.

“Mr. Leslie, the folk and cultural songs might have ended, but the melodies will linger forever”, Mr. Stewart said.

As the community mourns this giant of a man, we take some comfort from our memories of his contributions to the Atlanta community and his country, Jamaica.

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Astley Leslie will be held on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at the St Timothy’s United Methodist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

He is survived by his wife Sybil, daughters, Dr. Winsome Leslie who is former Economic Attaché at the Embassy of Jamaica, and currently Regional Supervisor for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Dr. Heather Leslie-Brown an obstetrician-gynecologist in private practice. According to them, “he was a principled and dignified man, with an unforgettable sense of humor, and an overwhelming commitment to family.  We will miss his calm steadying hand. He was a blessing to us.  We could not have asked for a better husband and father.”



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South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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