Adieu, Mr Simmons
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart headed a list of distinguished mourners today at the Western Light Church Of The Nazarene, West Terrace, St James, to bid farewell to retired Permanent Secretary Carston Simmons, who died on Boxing Day.
Also among the mourners were Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine Mc Clean, Attorney General Adrial Brathwaite, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education Harry Husbands, and Parliamentary Representative for St James North Edmund Hinkson.
A wide cross section of senior civil servants and trade unionists, including general secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Dennis Clarke, also made the trek to the St James church to pay their last respects to a civil servant who was described as scholarly, creative, helpful and family-oriented.
In a brief outline of his career in the Civil Service, retired parliamentary counsel
Shirley Bell told the packed church that Simmons entered the civil service in 1967
as a clerical officer and retired in January 2013 as the permanent secretary in the
Ministry of the Civil Service. He had also served as permanent secretary in the
Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Agriculture.
During his long career in the Civil Service, Simmons attended the University
of the West Indies (Mona Campus) where he gained a Certificate in Public
Administration; the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill Campus) where he
gained a Bachelor of Science degree first class honours in public administration;
and the University of Birmingham (Britain) where he gained a Master’s in
In his sermon, pastor in charge of the Westmoreland Nazarene Church where
Simmons worshipped, Reverend Dr John Yarde, recalled that he was a committed
family man who paid special interest in the education of his children.
Yarde further recalled that in his final days on earth Simmons displayed
“intrinsic fortitude when the storm clouds of life gathered”. (NC)