Jamaica poorer for Mr James Moss-Solomon's passingWednesday, January 05, 2022
JAMAICA suffered a great loss early yesterday morning with the passing of Mr James Moss-Solomon, a man whose passion for and deep commitment to Jamaica were beyond question, and who was simply a very decent human being.
The tributes paid to “Jimmy”, as most people knew him, speak to the exemplary nature of the life he lived and the way he conducted himself throughout his career at GraceKennedy, during his tenure as Jamaica Chamber of Commerce president, or as vice-president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and over the time he served as chairman of the board at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
That he was conferred with the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) in 2012 was not surprising because Mr Moss-Solomon's contribution to the development of the country was significant, given that he was a founding member of both the GraceKennedy Foundation and the Grace Staff Foundation, served as a justice of the peace, and never thought twice about helping to mould young Jamaicans with whom he came into contact into responsible citizens.
We at this newspaper remember Mr Moss-Solomon particularly for his insightful and thought-provoking columns which we had the privilege to publish over many years and which he used to spur the country, especially its leaders, to build a nation that would make us all proud. In fact, in addition to these columns, he often shared his vision for the country in myriad phone conversations with us during which he offered praise where necessary and criticism when due.
We recall the frenzied national discussion he created in September 2010 when, frustrated and disappointed by the quality of the country's leadership, he resigned, with immediate effect, from several government boards.
When Mr Moss-Solomon was contacted by the media to offer an explanation for his action, he said, “[W]e come to a point in time where sometimes you have to stand for something… My resignation is due to my inability to accept the numerous incidents that impugn the credibility and honesty of those elected to serve the nation from both sides of Parliament.”
He added: “If you believe in something you need to stand up for it. If you don't stand up for something you will fall for anything.”
That, we hold, demonstrated the dignity and moral compass that guided Mr Moss-Solomon's life. And the fact that he was already blessed with those characteristics made him an excellent Freemason as he exemplified the three great principles of the craft — brotherly love, relief, and truth.
Jamaica is indeed poorer for Jimmy Moss-Solomon's passing, but his departure from this life should not mark the end of our recognition and, indeed, appreciation, of his contribution. Certainly, the country needs to find a way to preserve his legacy, especially as we mark our 60th anniversary of Independence this year.
We offer our deepest condolence to Mr Moss-Solomon's family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched and made better human beings.