Colin Bullock — A genuinely warm and caring human being

Friday, October 20, 2017

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Dear Editor,

I wish to join with those persons who have paid tribute to the life of Colin Bullock, who died recently.

Naturally, reference has been made to his contributions as a public servant, and correctly so. In that regard, he served at different times as a deputy governor at the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), as financial secretary, and as director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica. His ability to serve with distinction in these various posts speaks not only his technical capabilities, but also to the versatility of mind in bringing to bear his academic credentials to different socio-economic challenges, facing the country.

However, as significant as Colin's contributions were to the public sector bodies in which he worked, his influence on the country's socio-economic development was more extensive because of his many years as a lecturer in the Department of Economics at The University of the West Indies, Mona. Colin was widely hailed as one of the best lecturers from the Department of Economics and his former students have occupied, and continue to occupy, many senior positions in both the public and private sectors, in Jamaica, the wider Caribbean, and indeed in the wider world.

I recall that when he first left The UWI to become the head of research at the BOJ the view was that he was simply reconvening his lectures/seminars at Mona, as the majority of the technical staff of BOJ's Research Department were his former students.

I wish also to pay tribute to Colin, who was Jamaican, through and through. Whilst he was at the BOJ, he was often asked to lead Jamaica's technical team interfacing with the technocrats from the multilaterals. We all had total confidence that the team, led by Colin, would be a match for the representatives of the multilaterals. However, without making any concession at the technical level, he maintained positions reflecting a deep awareness of the burdens carried by the lowest income groups.

His Jamaicaness was also demonstrated by the fact that he had a deep interest in all facets of the country's life,whether it be current affairs, politics, sports, music, whatever. Many were surprised when Colin would make an incisive comment on a subject area in which no one thought he had an interest.

Finally, I pay tribute to Colin, a genuinely warm and caring human being. As a specific example, I have personal knowledge that in the recent past, despite his own travails occasioned by the death of his wife and his own failing health, he was quietly and consistently supportive of one of his former students who had fallen on hard times. Without any fanfare, Colin would take the time to make regular visits and to make a financial contribution, which he knew was well needed. He continued with this support until the former student passed away.

May his soul rest in peace.

Omar Davies

Former Minister of Finance




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