FT. LAUDERDALE – Jamaica’s Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Ambassador the Hon. Dudley Joseph Thompson, OJ, QC
Ambassador Thompson died Friday morning (Jan.20) one day after his 95th birthday.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the Hon. Dudley Thompson, an outstanding Jamaican politician, diplomat and statesman, and a personal and dear friend for more than four decades. His passing is exceptionally painful for me, as it was only recently after my electoral victory, that he called with a most heart-warming congratulation,” the Prime Minister said. “A man of firm convictions, articulate, sharp on his feet and witty, Dudley Thompson loved his country with a passion and served it with honour and distinction. I wish to express profound condolences to his widow Cecile, children, grandchildren, and great grandchild, and pray that they find comfort in this time of grief,” the Prime Minister said.
Born in Panama on January 19, 1917 to Daniel and Ruby Thompson, The Hon Dudley Thompson was a life member of the People’s National Party (PNP), and was elected Chairman of the PNP in 1979.
He was a PNP Senator in the years 1962- 1978, and was leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives in 1978. He served as Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western in 1978 to 1983; Minister of National Security in 1978; Minister of Mining and Natural Resources from 1977 to 1978 and Minister of State, with the responsibility for Foreign Affairs from 1972-1975.
The Hon Dudley Thompson was Jamaica’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Namibia. He was Jamaica’s chief representative in the conference on the Law of the Sea and played a leading role in securing Jamaica as the permanent headquarters for the International Seabed Authority. He also introduced the Office of the Ombudsman to Jamaica.
Ambassador Thompson practised law in Jamaica, East Africa, Dominica, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, and served as president of the Jamaica Bar Association. He received his early education at the Mico Teacher Training College, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in 1947, and later called to the bar at Gray’s Inn (London).
A freedom fighter and Pan Africanist, he was a leading member of the team of lawyers who represented the former leader of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, in the 1950s.
At the time of his death, The Honourable Dudley Thompson was the President of the World Africa Diaspora Union.