St Elizabeth mourns death of leading citizen Basil Bennett

Thursday, February 16, 2017

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Well-known public servant and social activist, retired educator and returning officer for St Elizabeth South Eastern, Basil Bennett, is dead.


Bennett died in hospital on February 4 following a brief illness, family members told the Jamaica Observer. He was 68.


A former principal of the Nain Primary and Junior High School, Bennett was very active as principal returning officer for St Elizabeth up to late last year. At what may have been his last official function, he supervised the swearing-in of councillors of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation following last November’s local government elections.


Custos of St Elizabeth Beryl Rochester, in paying tribute to Bennett this week, described him as a being among the most "committed and dedicated" justices of the peace who volunteered his administrative skills in a range of areas.


Bennett was a leading light in the St Elizabeth 4-H movement and in early childhood education, headed or was a member of several school boards, community organisations and church groups.


Rochester said Bennett had been a "stickler for excellence… very ardent in the quest for excellence and in support of excellence throughout the parish".


A thanksgiving service is set for the St Stephen’s Anglican Church at Nain in south-east St Elizabeth on March 4, starting at 11:00am. Interment will take place at the church cemetery.


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