MONTEGO BAY, St James
IT could not have been a more opportune time than the 17th anniversary of the inception of the Good Shepherd Foundation, for newly installed Roman Catholic Bishop of Montego Bay Most Rev Burchell McPherson and Board Directors of the foundation to pay a courtesy call on former Patron and Custos of St James Hon Clarence Nelson and his wife, Lucille, at their private residence.
In his inimitably effusive and humorous style, the retired custos regaled the gathering with his many anecdotes on the early days of the foundation and the many ambitious initiatives and pursuits of the Board of Directors and management team in establishing one of the most effective and credible charitable organisations in western Jamaica.
Its pioneering work in treating HIV/AIDS patients at the Hope hospice at a time when persons were being ostracised and rejected by family and friends were among the many tales shared during the visit. He expressed great confidence that Bishop McPherson will be up to the task in following in the footsteps of his predecessor and Founder of the Foundation, Archbishop Charles Dufour.
Bishop McPherson pledged to continue the good work and promised that he would be relentless in ensuring the new medical centre being built on the grounds of the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral to further expand medical services to the poor, would be completed soon.
Chairman of the Good Shepherd Foundation Jeanne Robinson-Foster thanked Nelson for being such a dynamic and committed person during his tenure, and for being so supportive of all the various projects of the foundation even in his retirement.
Nelson was appointed to the position of Custos on February 1, 1996, and was formally installed on March 22, that same year.
In 1968 Nelson was appointed a Justice of the Peace and was awarded the Sam Sharpe Award for excellence in Agriculture in 1993.
Married with four children, and a senior elder at the St Paul's United Church, Nelson gave almost 34 years of service to the island's Banana Board.
Over the years, he served in the capacities of area and regional manager, as well as the director of production from 1966-1982. He was also a director of the Coffee Industry Board.