THE chairman of a local housing association has been honoured by the Jamaican Government for 15 years of voluntary service to the Jamaican Diaspora, in England.
Sidney McFarlane, chairman of housing and care services provider L&H Homes, was presented the award by the country’s Governor General at the Ceremony of Investiture in Jamaica.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have received such a distinguished award. The nomination was completely unexpected and it means a lot that it is from my home country.”
“I’m really passionate about helping people achieve their full potential and believe that you should devote some of your life to helping others,” he added.
Sidney emigrated from the country to England in 1955.
He has been working with the Jamaican Diaspora since 1996 and is currently the Lincolnshire representative.
The movement helps Jamaicans who live or work abroad engage in the development of their home country as well as providing them with extra support.
Sidney’s role involves organising visits for the Jamaican High Commissioner’s tours of the UK and regularly attending meetings and conferences, giving motivational speeches at bi-annual meetings in London using his own experiences to encourage people to make the most of the opportunities that are available to them.
This is not the first time that Sidney has been recognised for his work; earlier this year he was presented with one of the highest honours awarded to a layperson in the Catholic Church – the Bene Merenti Medal – by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, for 20 years of voluntary work with the Lincolnshire Marriage Care Centre.
In 1999, Sidney was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the community and the Ministry of Defence following a 30-year career with the Royal Air Force, as well as his contribution to a paper on recruiting ethnic minorities to the defence services.