Dr. Phillips said the Hon. Easton Douglas has a long and distinguished career in both the private sector, where he a commissioned land surveyor and urban planner and the public service, serving in both the civil service and the political executive. As a civil servant, he worked as the Government Town Planner and Permanent Secretary in the Ministries of National Security, Defence and Construction (Housing and Works) before retiring.
The PNP President said after his civil service career, he became active in the People’s National Party and was elected Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew in1989 and served the constituents faithfully until he retired from Parliament in 2002.
While in Parliament, he served both the administrations of Michael Manley and P.J. Patterson as Minister of Health, and the Public Service as well as Housing, Land and the Environment. Dr. Phillips said under his watch, much progress was made in both housing and land distribution. “Operation Pride”, a bold attempt at low income housing through partnerships with the poor, became one of his signature programmes, and after leaving politics, he served as Chairman of the National Housing Trust.
Dr. Phillips said Comrade Douglas’ service to the party was exemplary and his work as Vice President for many years assisted in the building of an election machinery which was invincible in the latter part of the twentieth century. In the service of the party and in policy debates, he was always a voice which championed orderly physical development and improvement of the living conditions of the poor Jamaican people, who remain landless. He detested land capturing, “uglification” of communities and gentrification to the exclusion of poor Jamaicans.
The PNP Leader said for his colossal contribution, he was deservedly awarded the Order of Jamaica, which was a fitting tribute by a grateful nation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described the late Hon. Easton Douglas, OJ, as a passionate public servant. In paying tribute, Prime Minister Holness said Mr Douglas served Jamaica with honour and dedication.
“Easton Douglas has etched his place in the history of Jamaica. His legacy is one of sacrifice, dedication and service to the development of Jamaica and its people. He was most passionate about infrastructure development, particularly town planning. Indeed, he served the people of Jamaica well,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Mr Douglas also served in the capacities of Member of Parliament for South East St. Andrew, Permanent Secretary, Government town planner and Chairman of the National Housing Trust. He was also a business owner.
“Despite our political differences, Easton’s passion to see the development of Jamaica always stood out as one of his most endearing traits. As a passionate public servant, he deserves the highest commendations for his years of service and sterling commitment to see Jamaica grow,” continued Prime Minister Holness.
Prime Minister Holness extended his deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Easton Douglas.
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