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The Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor the Honourable Rex Nettleford, received the news of the death of The Most Honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer while attending the meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in Grenada and delivered the following statement, on behalf of the University.

“The passing of the Most Honourable Hugh Lawson Shearer, former Prime Minister of Jamaica and trade unionist extraordinaire, is a huge loss for Jamaica and the region. His contribution to the development of the Trade Union Movement in the English-speaking Caribbean was extremely important. The support and encouragement he gave to the Trade Union Education Institute at the University of the West Indies, in particular, and also to the establishment of the Joint Trade Unions’ Research development Centre are some of the enduring legacies of this great Jamaican patriot. In acknowledgement of his outstanding contribution to nation-building, the UWI conferred on him in 1994 an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree.

As a politician he, like Sir Alexander Bustamante and Michael Manley, loomed large as a charismatic and extremely popular figure. He brought civility to political life and to trade unionism and in negotiations had the knack of knowing how to disagree, agreeably. He was undoubtedly one of the great leaders in post-independent Caribbean public life and will be greatly missed.

The University of the West Indies salutes Hugh Lawson Shearer and will endeavour to ensure that future generations of West Indies continue to hold him in high esteem.”

The UWI expresses condolences to his widow, our own Dr. Denise Eldermire Shearer who is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry and to the rest of his family.

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