Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Viceregal Profile: Sir Howard Cooke
Sir Howard Cooke was a longtime member of the Freemasons and a lay pastor of the United Church of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. One of his special concerns, as mentioned earlier, was the youth and he was always most proud of the title of “teacher”. He was a longtime supporter of the St. Andrew Boys’ Scout Association, enjoyed cricket and football and build numerous community centers in his hometown to improve the welfare of children, to keep them from taking self-destructive paths in life. He was a key figure in the political development of Jamaica, extremely influential in the educational sphere and proved to be such a respected and adept Governor-General that he was actually entrusted with additional duties and responsibilities that most others in viceregal positions would never have because he was held in such high regard by all parties.
Sir Howard Cooke could be thankful these changes came after he had left the political scene and, it should be pointed out, once he did so, firmly embraced the idea of political impartiality in his role as Governor-General. His ability to stand apart from politics, to be totally impartial and bi-partisan no doubt contributed to his status as such a widely respected figure across the Jamaican political spectrum. Sir Howard Cooke died on July 11, 2014 at the age of 98 in Kingston.