GEORGE Ramocan, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) appointed consul general to Toronto, Canada, has had his tour of duty extended by the Portia Simpson-led Administration for another two years.
He told the Jamaica Observer that he had received his official letter extending his stay in Canada from November 2012 to November 2014, making him the only JLP-appointed diplomat to have been retained.
Ramocan, a former senator from 1983 to 1989 and JLP candidate for West Rural St Andrew in 1993, is also a former head of the JLP-affiliated Jamaica Institute of Political Education.
Asked why he thought his appointment had been extended, Ramocan said: “I just think that the (PNP) Administration has looked beyond partisan politics and looked at my performance.”
“If I am right, and I believe I am, that augurs well for the future of our country. I enjoy working for our people, and it is important to be able to direct the efforts of our Diaspora to the needs of our country,” he said.
Big name diplomats such as Audrey Marks, the former ambassador to Washington, and Anthony Johnson, who served as high commissioner to London, were recalled after the change of Government following the December 2011 General Election.
Ramocan spoke to the Observer at the recent Sandals Resorts International convention attended by an unprecedented 1,000 travel agents from across Canada, at the Toronto Congress Centre.
He used the opportunity to pay tribute to Sandals Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, and his CEO son, Adam Stewart, for their “phenomenal creation of a new concept and innovation in what is now Jamaica’s most important industry — tourism”.
He said that through their worldacclaimed brand — Sandals — the Stewarts had heightened awareness overseas that Jamaica is a place of high standards and, in addition to being a place to vacation, “is also a place to do business”.
Ramocan described Butch Stewart as a model for Jamaica who could provide hope to young men and women who had a vision, that their ambitions could be realised by hard work, determination and passion.