The Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment (MALHE) on Wednesday morning hosted the unveiling of portraits of the former ministers who served.
The portraits of the 13 former MALHE ministers and that of the current minister, Crenston Buffonge are now hanging in the foyer of the ministry’s building in Brades.
During the ceremony MC’d by Head of the Veterinary department. Dr. Selwyn Maloney. highlights of the significant milestones that occurred during the ministers’ tenure were read.
Premier Joseph Farrell, who served as minister of agriculture from 2009 to 2014 commended the ministry for the initiative. Farrell said that portraits would help to educate students and future generations about the people who have contributed to the island’s growth.
In his remarks, Minister Buffonge said he aims to continue the strong legacy left by the previous ministers. He singled out the sole female minister, the late Margaret “Annie” Dyer-Howe OE, who was also the longest serving minister of agriculture. He said Dyer-Howe was a transformative leader and set an example for other women to follow in the field of agriculture which has been dominated by men.
During Dyer-Howe’s tenure, she initiated the first Breadfruit Festival in 2007. She also ensured that the recipes lived on in a book “Breadfruit Recipes from the Emerald Isle”, so they could be available for future generations. She worked hard to champion policies for import substitution and backyard gardening. The housing project at Lookout and Drummonds were developed during her time in office.
After the portraits were unveiled by the current minister of agriculture, Pastor Luis blessed a new truck and a generator, which will power the MALHE complex, in case of electricity outages.
The former ministers of agriculture are:
- John A. Osborne – 1970 – 1972 (Deceased)
- William H. Ryan – 1972 – 1978
- Franklyn Margetson – 1978 – 1982 (Deceased)
- Noel Tuitt – 1982 – 1983, 1987 – 1991 (Deceased)
- Joseph Chalmers -1983 – 1987 (Deceased)
- Charles T. Kirnon – 1991 – 1996
- Reuben T. Meade – 1996 – 1997, 2006 – 2009
- P. Austin Bramble – 1997 – 1999
- Brunel Meade – 1999 – 2001 (Deceased)
- Margaret Dyer-Howe – 2001 – 2008 (Deceased)
- Joseph E. Farrell – 2009 – 2014
- Claude Hogan – Sept 2014 – Sept 2017, May – Nov 2019
- David Osborne – Sept 2017 – May 2019