Former SE St Elizabeth MP Derrick Rochester dies

Saturday, April 09, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Former Member of Parliament for South East St Elizabeth Derrick Rochester has died.
According to a news release from the People’s National Party, he passed away earlier today after ailing for some time.
Party President Portia Simpson expressed condolences to his family, while noting the contribution he has made to Jamaica, St Elizabeth, the National Workers’ Union, and the People's National Party.
Among these, the release said, was being the former president of the NWU. He had the distinctive record of holding the offices of island supervisor and president simultaneously.
Rochester was also the first worker delegate to head the union.
Another record for Rochester was when as head of the union, he negotiated an initial 100 per cent increase for workers in the bauxite industry, followed by an 80 per cent increase, the release said.
As a trade unionist, the PNP said Rochester was very active in the bauxite industry and worker negotiations.
The party president recalled that when bauxite infrastructural development and expansion was at its peak in the 1960s and 1970s with Alumina Partners of Jamaica (Alpart), providing employment for thousands in St Elizabeth, Rochester, after winning the South East St Elizabeth seat in the 1972 General Election, quickly moved to establish the Junction Trade Training Centre, which was renamed in his honour in April 2013.
He also spearheaded the construction of the Junction Health Centre where he donated the lands and raised funds for its construction.
He became a councillor in the St Elizabeth Parish Council in 1969, serving until 1972 when he entered Parliament. He first served as a member of Parliament between 1972 and 1980, senator from 1980 to 1983, and MP again, from 1989 to 2002, when he retired.
Over many years, he served as a member of the party's executive and National Executive Council. He retired from active politics in 2002.
Rochester was the recipient of national awards, including the Order of Jamaica.
Simpson Miller said that at an appropriate occasion, the party would do its tribute to Comrade Rochester for his sterling contributions to the party and national development.

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