The best is yet to come


AT THE ten­der age of 22 years, I as­sumed the po­si­tion of statis­ti­cian I in the Cen­tral Sta­tis­ti­cal Of­fice in Trinidad and Tobago and was im­me­di­ately made aware of the high stan­dards that were char­ac­ter­is­tic of the lead­ing na­tional sta­tis­ti­cal of­fices in the An­glo­phone Caribbean re­gion. Many of the lead statis­ti­cians had been trained in metropoli­tan cen­tres and/or men­tored by ex­pa­tri­ates who would have had such train­ing. Those were the days when per­son­al­i­ties such as Mr Leo Pu­jadas, the late Mr J.E. Ter­tul­lien and the late Mrs Car­men McFarlane reigned supreme among of­fi­cial statis­ti­cians in the re­gion. Though I never met her, the late Mrs McFarlane ap­peared to have been an in­di­vid­ual with a pro­found in­flu­ence on the preser­va­tion of high qual­ity na­tional sta­tis­tics in Ja­maica. Not sur­pris­ingly, ev­i­dence of high-cal­i­bre sta­tis­ti­cal pur­suits pre­vailed and flour­ished upon the es­tab­lish­ment of STATIN (for­merly the Bureau of Sta­tis­tics and the De­part­ment of Sta­tis­tics) in 1984. Such pur­suits were fur­ther strength­ened by a strong spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion dat­ing back to its in­cep­tion and even be­fore, and in­volv­ing PIOJ and The Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies.

To­day, STATIN con­tin­ues to thrive and build upon a legacy es­tab­lished in­de­pen­dently and col­lec­tively by its for­mer Di­rec­tors, cen­sus and sur­vey ad­min­is­tra­tors such as Mrs Va­lerie Nam and Mr Dou­glas Forbes and a pro­gres­sive cadre of well-trained pro­fes­sional, technical and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cers travers­ing ev­ery do­main of of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics. To­day, as STATIN cel­e­brates its 70th an­niver­sary, Ms Carol Coy serves as the di­rec­tor gen­eral, charged with the man­date of ful­fill­ing the vi­sion and mis­sion of this au­gust in­sti­tu­tion.


For al­most 20 years, I have had the plea­sure of re­ceiv­ing out­stand­ing pro­fes­sional ser­vices from the staff of STATIN though with spe­cial ref­er­ence to the staff of the De­mog­ra­phy Unit and the Li­brary. STATIN has set lofty and ad­mirable stan­dards for other re­gional en­ti­ties to em­brace and fol­low and I sin­cerely wish to share in the ap­plause that it richly de­serves for all its wor­thy deeds. I have al­ways sung the praises for the work of STATIN and shall con­tinue to do so.

On its 70th an­niver­sary, I wish to ex­press my hearti­est con­grat­u­la­tions to STATIN for its for­mi­da­ble con­tri­bu­tion to Ja­maica, Jamaican so­ci­ety and the Caribbean re­gion as a whole and look for­ward to a fu­ture when STATIN, hav­ing sus­tained the best prod­ucts and ser­vices it could have ever de­liv­ered, con­tin­ues to af­firm that the best is yet to come. DR GOD­FREY ST BERNARD Se­nior Fel­low The Sir Arthur Lewis In­sti­tute of So­cial and Eco­nomic Stud­ies The Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies St Au­gus­tine

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