KINGSTON, Jamaica - Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has expressed deepest condolences to Camille Needham, the executive director of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), and her family, on the passing of her husband, the late protocol and logistics expert Merrick Needham.
Needham died on Thursday at the University Hospital of the West Indies at the age of 89.
“On behalf of the ministry of tourism and its public bodies, I wish to share our deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved husband Merrick. He certainly was an icon and a true patriot. He was the consummate professional and this is a huge loss to Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.
“As a broadcaster, communicator par excellence, curator of protocols and an international diplomat, Merrick always showed class, decorum and efficiency in all his undertakings. I recall requesting his return to head the Jamaica 21 Secretariat when I was Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office and headed the planning and execution of the myriad of events and activities which constituted the celebrations,” the tourism minister reminisced.
He also noted that Needham’s execution of the logistics around the royal visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, culminating in the royal salute at the National Stadium in April 1983, remains the most lasting royal engagement since Jamaica’s independence in 1962.
“Jamaica will miss his melodious and rhythmic voice and more so the authority he wielded in the field of national protocols and ethical behaviour. I know for you he was a great husband, friend and confidante. Indeed, the love of your life. May God give you strength and endurance as you navigate this difficult hour, and grace and comfort for the years ahead,” expressed Bartlett.