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Remember the Meet the People programme? Thank Frank Pringle

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Remember the Meet the People programme? Thank Frank Pringle

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 28, 2019

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ROSE HALL, St James — Former Tourism Minister Captain Donald Frank McKenzie Pringle has been credited for playing a pivotal role in the shaping of the island’s flourishing tourism industry.

Ambassador Pringle, who died on December 10 last year, at the age of 88, had served as the minister of tourism between 1989 and 1992 under the then Michael Manley-led People’s National Party administration. He later served as ambassador of tourism.

Former Prime Minister PJ Patterson in his tribute at the official funeral service for Pringle held at the Half Moon Hotel Conference Centre in Rose Hall, St James, on Saturday, noted that during Pringle’s stint as the tourism minister, he insisted that the industry be developed in a suitable social environment.

“I would, as a colleague member of the Cabinet at that time, draw to attention his insistence that, in the development of the industry, we would have to ensure that it was done in a suitable social environment. Also, that it was an industry that would have to encompass people in many fields.

And certainly the owners of small hotels, cottages; those involved in the transport area; in the crafts, the production and the sale; the musicians and the entertainers should never be forgotten,” Patterson stated.

“He was also in the Cabinet which introduced gratuity exemption from income tax. Those who received tips were no longer required to pay income tax on that portion. Frank was the one who pushed the then prime minister and the then minister of finance to ensure that it became a reality.”

The former prime minister said that, “of great importance, Pringle recognised that those who owned tourism properties in Jamaica, like at Tryall, at Round Hill [both in Hanover] or at Half Moon [located in St James], were not only investors, but ought to become ambassadors for Jamaica in spreading the good word as to its investment suitability.” “And, it is a role that he discharged no matter what administration was in office,” Patterson stressed.

He also credited Pringle for his influence in ensuring that international golf tournaments were held in Jamaica, which, he said, resulted in world golfers at the highest rank playing at Tryall.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in his tribute read by David Dobson, senior director, technical services in the Ministry of Tourism, said Ambassador Pringle should be remembered for the effort that went into breaking the first barrier for one million stop — over arrivals, adding that the late tourism minister would be heartened at the 4.3 million visitors that the island welcomed last year.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang described Pringle as a distinguished son of the western region, who was always committed to serving his country.

“He was not only a committed member of the People’s National Party, but he was one with whom you could always have a very objective discussion about Jamaicans and its people’s welfare. There was not an iota of pettiness or partisanship in Frank Pringle,” Dr Chang stated.

In 1998, and again in 2002, Pringle was named Tourism Man of the Year, and was placed on the national honours list as a recipient of the Order of Distinction, commander class. He also received the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2008.

Pringle is also credited for playing a role in the development of the Round Hill Hotel and the Tryall Golf and Country Club, which both he and John Pringle started. He was also instrumental in the start-up of the Meet the People programme in 1963.

The former tourism minister’s name was widely associated with Jamaica Product Exchange (JPEX), World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and Air Jamaica, and was the first president of the Jamaica Association of Villas and Apartments Limited (JAVA).

Pringle leaves behind daughter Kerstin, grandchildren Israel Pringle and Isobel Whittaker, and a host of relatives and friends.

The thanksgiving service was attended by a number of PNP stalwarts from western Jamaica led by their leader, Dr Peter Phillips, who read the second lesson, as well a number of persons from the business community.

 

 

 

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