Monday 20 November, 2017

Cliff Stone leads political pack among national awards this year

Cliff Stone speaks at a reception held in his honour on Monday night. (PHOTOS: Llewellyn Wynter)

Cliff Stone speaks at a reception held in his honour on Monday night. (PHOTOS: Llewellyn Wynter)

From a noticeable absence of more prominent political figures this year, Ambassador Cliff Stone, a former Cabinet minister in a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration, came out as the top figure in that arena at Monday’s National Honours and Awards ceremony at Kings House.

Ambassador Stone, who also served as Jamaica’s representative to Venezuela, was conferred with the Order of Jamaica (OJ). 

A graduate in political science from Howard University in the United States, he served as island supervisor of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) from 1965 to 1983, and was a member of the Senate. He was honoured with the Order of Distinction (OD) in 1979.

From 1983-1989, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Clarendon, and was Minister of the Public Service from 1985 to 1989.

Losing his seat in 1989, he regained it in the 1997 polls.

He later served as senior adviser/consultant to Labour and Social Security Minister, Pearnel Charles.

In 2010, Stone was appointed ambassador plenipotentiary to Venezuela, where he was assigned the task of improving relationships between the two nations, which was sagging under the weight of then president, Hugo Chavez's, aggressive rule, which had implications for Jamaica’s bilateral co-operation with the South American country.  This included the PetroCaribe oil deal. However, he served only a little over a year in the position, and returned home shortly after the change of government in early 2012.

Stone also succeeded former academic and Gleaner Editor, Hector Wynter, as head of the Bustamante Institute for Public and International Affairs, where he facilitated the coverage of regional presidential elections in places like Haiti and Nicaragua, by Jamaican journalists.

See photos from a reception held in Stone's honour at the Jamaica Pegasus in the slider below. 

Cliff Stone Award Reception