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Salute to Lascelles Chin, OJ

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2023 | 12:52 AM
 Lascelles Chin, chairman of Lasco.
Lascelles Chin, chairman of Lasco.

Tributes continue to pour in for Jamaican business giant and founder of the LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, who died on Saturday, May 27. Excerpts are highlighted here.

‘Jamaica has lost a great Jamaican’ – governor General Sir Patrick Allen

“Jamaica has lost a great Jamaican who inspired and touched the lives of many in a very meaningful way,” the governor general said, noting that Mr Chin’s autobiography will be a source of inspiration to present and future generations.

“As we mourn and celebrate the life of this remarkable Jamaican and recall the vision he had for our country, our greatest tribute will be to carry on the outstanding legacy that he has left behind. Lady Allen and I and the staff at King’s House extend our sincere condolences to his widow, Eileen, other family members, the staff at the LASCO Affiliated Companies, colleagues and friends.”

‘He possessed an innate sense of generosity’ – PJ Patterson (former prime minister)

With the passing of Honourable Lascelles Chin, Jamaica has lost another of its great entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

He belonged to a family who instilled in him the craft of buying and selling, as well as the intuitive passion for attracting customers, while quietly helping those in need. This gentle giant grew up in a rural village where there was poverty and realised the only way forward was through honesty and diligent application.

His studies and social exposure at Wolmer’s Boys’ School, inculcated in him a burning desire to do and be one who excelled in whatever he wanted. Not surprisingly he chose commerce and steadily garnered the resources which would enable him to eventually become the owner of a huge corporate conglomerate and a powerful voice in the nation. He was a shrewd businessman who quietly and diligently built the Lasco brand to gain household acceptance.

As president of the Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) he was insistent that the National Industrial Policy be skewed to favour those business enterprises which were prepared to enter the competitive export markets.

He possessed an innate sense of generosity, which has featured in every stage of his remarkable corporate growth. He placed a radar on the critical areas of our national challenges health, education and security; rewarding the people on the front line and acknowledging the qualities of excellence and sacrifice by our nurses, teachers, and the police.

The Lasco Chin Foundation, which he established, has as its main purpose sustainable social and economic intervention for the youth in Jamaica. He invested not only his money, but also much of his time and creative energy.

We celebrate the life and national contribution of a visionary who had the courage to assist our youth to build a better Jamaica for all.

To his widow, children and the entire family, I extend profound sympathy at their irreparable loss.

‘One of our most distinguished sons’ – Jamaica Chamber of Commerce

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce joins countless Jamaicans in mourning the passing of the philanthropic business visionary Lascelles Chin. Mr Chin’s life story of progress from humble beginnings in Bog Walk, St. Catherine to the heights of business success is a well-known one. His unbowed determination in the face of adversity was legendary, as he could be counted on to always find the silver lining in every storm cloud. As was exemplified in his own life, Lascelles Chin believed very strongly in the resilience of the human spirit, and it was not surprising that as he built his portfolio of enterprises, he sought out opportunities to invest in his fellow Jamaicans. His initiatives for supporting at-risk youth to complete their education and to set up their own businesses, his annual recognition for outstanding teachers, nurses and members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and his support for a mentorship programme to encourage Jamaican achievers who were nurturing their own entrepreneurial dreams, were just a few of his efforts to elevate the everyday Jamaican and to “pay forward” his tremendous business success. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce extends its sincere condolences to the family, staff and the many impacted by the activities of the LASCO Affiliated Group of Companies and join them in mourning the departure of one of our most distinguished sons, even as we celebrate a life well lived.

A pioneering industrialist

– Northern Caribbean University

Dr Lascelles Chin, who headed the LASCO Affiliated Companies until his passing, was one of independent Jamaica’s most successful industrialists. He led the transformation of a small trading company to an integrated manufacturing and distribution conglomerate, including a wide variety of goods and services spanning pharmaceuticals to financial services. In the process, Lascelles Chin created a flagship brand, LASCO Foods, that has become a household name in Jamaica and the diaspora. Dr Chin takes his place among the select rank of local entrepreneurs who rose to the challenge, amidst odds, to advance the economic development of Jamaica after it gained political independence.

His philanthropy knew no bounds. Lasco’s recognition and support for the welfare of professional groups such as teachers, nurses, and the police, are testaments of Dr Chin’s investment in human capital development. In recognition of his contribution to national development, Northern Caribbean University conferred on him in 2016, the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.

In paying tribute, NCU President Professor Lincoln Edwards said it was “simply admirable” that the late businessman had institutionalised his philanthropy through the establishment of the Lascelles Chin Foundation. “We are confident that his legacy as a pioneering industrialist and philanthropist extraordinaire will live on for generations to come,” Professor Edwards said.

Northern Caribbean University extends deepest condolences to Dr Chin’s relatives and business associates. We pray God will grant comfort during this time of bereavement.