Chairman of the St. James Municipal Corporation and Mayor Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams says with the passing of Charmaine Gillette Richards, the former Councillor for the Mount Salem Division, the people of St. James and in particular Mount Salem, have lost a gentle giant, a hard worker and a committed servant.
Charmaine Gillette Richards who served as Councillor for the Mount Salem Division from 1996 to 2003 died on Monday September 13, 2021, just months after going on pre-retirement leave after serving at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for a number of years.
Mayor Williams said “with the passing of former Councillor Gillette Richards, the people of St. James in general and those in the Mount Salem Division in particular, have lost a champion. She served the then St. James Parish Council with distinction and her record of service will stand the test of time. Former Councillor Gillette Richards was never afraid of standing up for her people and standing up for what is right. She was unrelenting in getting projects done, not just in her division, but across the parish as she believed that the citizens must be served by their political representatives regardless of which party is in power”.
Mayor Williams added “I want to express sincere condolences to all the family members and friends of former Councillor Gillette Richards and encourage them to be strong, even during this difficult time”.
Former Councillor Gillette Richards
Meanwhile, Minority Leader at the St. James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Michael Troupe disclosed that former Councillor Gillette Richards were elected Councillors at the same time (1996) and shared a special bond, not only because they support the same political party, but more so because of their vision to make their divisions better.
Councillor Troupe said “we were both elected Councillors at the same time and immediately we became good friends. We shared the common view that we were elected to serve and we must serve the people, regardless of which political party they support. Former Councillor Gillette Richards gave her all at the Council and before that she served as Parish Manager at the Transport Authority in St. James and only recently she went on pre-retirement leave after serving at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in St. James”.
He added that “she was a no-nonsense Councillor, who was passionate about her Division and the service which she gave. Former Councillor Gillette Richards was very jovial and although she was a native of St. Mary, she adopted St. James as her home and was loved by the citizens of this parish. We will miss her and I am sure her memories will live on”.