KINGSTON, Jamaica - Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie has expressed shock and grief at the unexpected passing of councillor for the Seaforth Division in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation, Joan Spencer.
Councillor Spencer died at her home Tuesday afternoon.
“I am totally shocked and devastated. This is a thunderbolt out of nowhere. I know that Councillor Spencer was not feeling well recently, and had spent the last few days in hospital. She was discharged from the hospital this afternoon and had returned home. Shortly after that, she felt unwell and suddenly passed away there. Her departure was completely unexpected. We are not yet able to mourn, because everyone who knew her is still trying to come to terms with this news,” McKenzie said.
“When I reflect on the quality of the service given by Councillor Spencer, words such as dependable, reliable and thorough come to mind. She had the best attendance rate at Council meetings, both in terms of presence and punctuality. Her exceptional flexibility and hard work resulted in her being in constant demand, to sit on as many committees as possible,” he added.
Recalling that Spencer was no ordinary councillor, McKenzie further stated that “she carried loyalty and devotion to her Division, to the Municipal Corporation and to the people of St Thomas, to a higher level.”
McKenzie noted that Soencer gave 25 years of unbroken service to the people of the Seaforth Division, having first been victorious in the Local Government elections of 1998.
"In 2003, we were both called to higher Parochial service as Mayors of our then Parish Councils, and she served as Mayor of Morant Bay until 2007.”
Councillor Spencer is the second Jamaica Labour Party Councillor to have died within a year, as well as the second former Mayor of Morant Bay to have passed on, following the death of former Mayor Lenworth Rawle in October last year.
“I will miss her. I extend heartfelt condolences to her family, to the St Thomas Municipal Corporation and to her vast circle of friends and well-wishers who were touched by her many years of devoted service. She helped many, many people as she passed along. Her living was not in vain,” McKenzie stated.