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