Jamaica’s fourth head of state, Sir Howard Cooke, has died, He was 98.
Sir Howard, who died on Friday, was regarded as one of the pioneers in Jamaica’s political movement and who also played a role in the establishment of the regional integration movement.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, hailed him as an unflinching regionalist who was committed to the upliftment of people.
“Ever since he became involved in public life in that pivotal year of 1938, Sir Howard’s heart and mind have never wavered in commitment to the upliftment of his people.
“An unflinching regionalist, it was fitting that he was elected to the West Indies Federal Parliament in 1958. None could fail to be moved by his warmth, his broad, endearing smile and his captivating generosity of spirit. He embraced all and was a model of inclusiveness and non-partisanship. His passing has left a deep void in our national life,” she added.
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said “Teacher Cooke” will be remembered for his contribution to education.
“We ask that in respecting his memory the country recalls his commitment to the education of the nation as well as to the development of decency in political activity,” said Holness, a former Education Minister.
Sir Howard was sworn in as Jamaica’s fourth Governor General on August 1, 1991.
A teacher by profession, he was a founding member of the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), in 1938. Over the years he held key positions in the party, as well as several ministerial posts including education, labour and public service.
In 1958 he was elected to the West Indies Federal Parliament as the representative for the western parish of St. James.
Between 1962 and 1967 he served in the Senate after which he sat in the Lower House.
Sir Howard was president of the Senate from 1989 to 1991 and served on the executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
In 1958, he was elected to the West Indies Federal Parliament as the representative for the western parish of St James.
Between 1962 and 1967 he served in the Senate, after which he sat in the Lower House from 1967 to 1980. Between 1972 and 1980 Sir Howard held several Cabinet portfolios, including education, pension and social security, and labour and the public service.
He was president of the Senate from 1989 to 1991 and served on the executive of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.
Sir Howard who was appointed Governor General in 1991, retired from active public service in 2005.
No date has yet been given for his funeral. (CMC)