'The only time when I am not working is when I am asleep'

Attorney-at-law receives national honour for multifaceted service

Monday, October 21, 2019

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ATTORNEY Sylvester Jeraud Hemmings is being honoured by the Government for his varied contribution to country and community.

He is one of 215 Jamaicans who will recognised at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King's House today. He will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD).

The successful attorney, who is managing director of Sylvester Hemmings and Associates, gives back to his community by providing free legal service and advice to people in need.

He tells JIS News that he has provided pro bono services through Bethel Baptist Church.

“I assisted the residents of Jones Town for four years with free advice. I believe in giving back,” he says.

Hemmings, who is a dedicated Christian, served as moderator of Johnson Mountain Baptist Church in St Thomas for more than five years, where he was instrumental in the restoration of the church building.

“When I went there the building was in a dilapidated condition and I prophesied that it would be rebuilt…which was done within four years,” he says.

He says his work was not confined to the church, as “I took the time to meet every member of the community. I believe in taking the church to the people,” he adds.

Before joining the legal profession, Hemmings worked in the public sector for many years as manager of the Jamaica Pre-Investment Programme at Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), where, through conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank (IBD), studies were funded to undertake developmental projects.

“These were solely for areas of the economy considered developmental,” he tells JIS News.

He was a police officer for 18 years and worked with the Financial Intelligence Unit for over five years.

Despite a hectic schedule, Hemmings finds time to serve as president of the citizens' association in the St Andrew community where he resides, providing true hands-on leadership.

“I am concerned about the improper disposal of garbage, especially plastic bottles,” he says.

“I collect as many polyethylene terephthalate (PET) containers as I can because I don't want them to block the drains,” he adds.

Hemmings says he believes that success is achieved through hard work.

“Some people say I am bright, but I don't accept that. The key to my success is hard work, as well as the discipline instilled in me by my parents,” he points out.

“The only time when I am not working is when I am asleep, and that's because I need to restore my energy,” he laughs.

Hemmings says the Lord advised him that he was going to get the National Honour in a dream. Hence he was not surprised, though very honoured. “I intend to have a reception with persons who have been influential in my life.

I would love to have my mom and father there, but they are in heaven,” he says.

— JIS


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