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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Tribute to Dr. Frank G. Lindenfeld, Professor

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October 25, 2012
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J. Matthias Brown JP

J. Matthias Brown JP

Tribute to Dr. Frank G. Lindenfeld, Professor


Professor, when I got the news I cried and I cried

Not because you were taken away too soon but

Because I never got the chance to say my final goodbye.

I cried not because you have left but I cried because

I know I would never get the chance to see the twinkle

In your eyes or hear your soft spoken voice when you

Tell me many motivating stories.

Today I cried, not only for a life ended

But for one that brought many smiles and good encouragement

That warms my heart and my brothers and sisters.

Professor, thanks for your caring and teaching for me and the over

Five thousand sugar workers during the days of the co-operative.


Professor, most of the co-operative members have gone on before you. Also many of the staffs. The estate has changed many owners since then but your proposal to use the canes for ethanol that was never favored with the then SIA* have now finally been implemented. Professor, I smile because I know it was said years ago by you.

Professor, today I smile as I remember one of your famous quotations

“We must continue to advocate, sensitize, educate, train and develop”.

I remember you coming to us in 1979 and your various visits thereafter, but I could never forget when you had to go to the Frome Monymusk Land Company to retrieve the van given to us that was seized by them. You didn’t ask any questions, you serviced the vehicle and drove it straight out.

Professor, I remember how some of the staff used to hate, dread and were suspicious of the soft spoken man with the white beard. Did you know that some believed that you were a scientist who could do them evil if you were hurt? That was a secret I didn’t tell you. And we told them that your colleague Monica Frolander-Ulf had one of the highest degrees in black belt karate This is why I didn’t have a fear for your safety on that vast estate. We encouraged these beliefs as you gave us the courage to take on the staff on our own terms.

Professor, your book, A New Earth: The Jamaican Sugar Workers Co-operatives 1975 – 1981, is part of your legacy to this generation of sugar workers and the children of the former sugar co-operative members. I use it extensively to advocate, sensitize, educate, train and develop (A.S.E.T.D)

The sons and daughters of the sugar co-operative members have formed themselves into a strong community based organization called the Association of Clubs guided by this same principle (A.S.E.T.D).

We were the 2007 winner of the Michael Manley Award for Community Self – Reliance and numerous projects to educate the youths and the elders. These are the outputs of your Goals to A.S.E.T.D

Oh professor! I know one day I will meet you and I will not have to ask you, were there any bugs?

Because you will be at a place where patriots are waiting.

Professor, for me you have helped to raise my self-esteem. You keep telling me believe in yourself, set your goals and be focused. Your passing has given me more strength and I will continue to set the example and A.S.E.T.D

Professor, I couldn’t be here at your memorial because of visa restrictions but a great friend professor Monica Frolander-Ulf, one who have been a part of us, introduced to us by you, will take our message. In Jamaica we will be keeping a memorial tribute with the sons and daughters of the former sugar workers befitting of a great visionary.

Your loving memory will remain in our hearts and we hope that this memorial will bond this group that is here today to continue advocate, sensitize, educate, train and develop the less fortunate so that your work will continue.


* Sugar Industry Authority, a government agency.

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