Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon has expressed sadness at the death of former two time Mayor of Montego Bay Cecil Donaldson, who passed away on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
In expressing condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Donaldson on behalf of the political directorate and members of staff of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Vernon said the parish of St. James has lost a gentle giant.
He said as a Councillor and Mayor of Montego Bay, Mr. Donaldson’s work and worth will remain as part of his legacy.
“As a Councillor and as Mayor, Mr. Donaldson led his division (Montego Bay West) and the then St. James parish Council from the front. He was never afraid to make hard decisions, especially those which are in the best interest of the city and parish and the residents. He had Local Government and governance at heart and was never too busy to offer a word of advice and guidance to everyone, especially young Councillors. The parish of St. James has suffered a great loss”, Councillor Vernon said.
He added that even after retirement from active politics, Mr. Donaldson after whom the St. James Municipal Corporation's building at 19 A Union Street has been named, remained very active as a source of information to Councillors and officers of the Corporation.
Former Mayor, now Councillor and Senator Charles Sinclair said the passing of Cecil Donaldson has created a void which will not be easily filled.
Senator Sinclair pointed out that former Mayor Cecil Donaldson carried out his work in an unbiased manner and was a close confidante of another former Mayor of Montego Bay, his father Charles E. Sinclair, Snr.
He said "Former Mayor Cecil Donaldson played a great role in the transformation of the city of Montego Bay, serving twice as Mayor and gave sterling service on both occasions. He was a repository of solid information, especially as it relates to local government and governance. I express condolences to members of his family, especially his son Noel who also walked the same political journey as the senior Donaldson as Councillor and Mayor of Montego Bay".
Councillor of the Granville Division and Minority Leader at the St. James Municipal Corporation, Michal Troupe, said of former Mayor Cecil Donaldson “he will be missed. He transformed Montego Bay during his time as Mayor and I consider him the father of all Mayors. He was a person who was not interested in himself; he was more concerned about the development of the parish, and Montego Bay in particular, along will the wellbeing of its citizens. He was forward thinking, who, as Mayor, purchased the property that now houses the St. James Municipal Corporation building at 19a Union Street, which was eventually renamed in his honour.”
Chief Executive Officer of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Gerald Lee also added to the tributes from the Corporation.
He said “the Municipal Corporation’s staff, particularly those who knew or may have been acquainted with former Mayor Cecil Donaldson are saddened at his passing. His contribution to the parish will not be easily replicated and we want to use this occasion to express to his family, that we are sorry for their loss and that the memories of this great Councillor, Chairman and Mayor will live on”.
Cecil Donaldson Senior served as Mayor of Montego Bay from 1966 to 1969, and again from 1975 to 1981.