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Cecil Collington, a committed comrade laid to rest

Ainsworth Morris Life Tributes writer morrisa@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, July 22, 2012    

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Retired People's National Party (PNP) stalwart, Cecil George Collington, who was buried on July 14, was remembered as a committed comrade who always placed the needs of others above his.

Collington, who served as a councillor for North Central St Andrew in the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) since 1975, died on June 22. He was 84-years-old.

He was honoured with the Order of Distinction in 2001 for his service to politics and his community.

His thanksgiving service was held at the Saxthorpe Methodist Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, PJ Patterson, who was unavoidably absent, was the first listed to offer tribute.

In his absence Paulette Henry delivered Patterson's glowing tribute to the committed comrade.

Patterson, recalled Collington as being "a man of principle, discipline, selfless and committed" to nation building.

"He entered successfully in the electoral service, where he devoted his energy and experience to the welfare and advancement of the KSAC and the municipal division," said Patterson. "As councilor, he was always there for the people - the aged, the children and the unemployed," he said.

Patterson met Collington while he (Patterson) was a student in London. Both returned to Jamaica and engaged in politics.

"Cecil Collington decided to return at a time and stage when he was able to make an effective contribution to the people of his homeland. In his wide range of public duties, Cecil Collington gave service to the Consumer Affairs Commission.... He engaged in activities to engage the consumers, as to their right and benefits of market competition, to which they were entitled," Patterson said in his tribute.

Kingston Mayor Angela Brown-Burke, in recalling Collington's work with the KSAC, said that he served the city from 1974 to 1981.

"There is no doubt that those he served benefited from his advocacy skills. He was close to the people in the division," said the Mayor.

"Kingston benefited from his clear conviction that the interest of the nation came above all else. This was manifested in his full involvement in the life and work of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation," she added.

Member of Parliament for North Central St Andrew, Karl Samuda, a close friend, recalled Collington as being a jovial person with an "electrifying personality" who knew how to entertain a gathering and make people laugh.

Samuda said they shared a very close political relationship, despite the borders, and he could not recall the deceased ever addressing him as 'Minister', instead simply 'Karl'.

"He had a peculiar way of calling my name," said Samuda. "I never really expected him to call me Minister because he was a personal friend," he added.

A musical selection by Michael Gordon and tributes from: Pastor Alison Iton of the Methodist District Conference, nephew, Dwight Robinson, his grandchildren, Oliver and Gabrielle Green and his church sister, Charmaine Hanson completed the service.

Collington leaves his wife, Olive, two daughters, one sister, two grandchildren, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends. He was interred at the Dovecot Memorial Park.

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