Categorized | National News

Al Jarrett Dead At 69

The local financial industry is mourning the death of financial watchdog and veteran banker Al Jarrett, who passed away at his West Bay Street home early yesterday.

Jarrett reportedly suffered a heart attack.

He was 69.

During his career, which spanned over 40 years, Jarrett served as a senior manager at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the managing director of FINCO.

In 2002, he retired as the most senior Bahamian banker in the RBC Financial Group.

He also served as the executive chairman of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) and board member of the National Insurance Board (NIB) and the Bahamas Development Bank (BDB).

His other professional involvements included treasurer of the fundraising committee for the 2000 Olympic games, chairman of the prime minister’s quality service award and director of the Sir Lynden Pindling Foundation.

He was also a founding member of UNICOM and the Sunshine group in 1970.

Just this past Sunday, Prime Minister Perry Christie reappointed Jarrett to the post of chairman of the Bank of The Bahamas – a post he held during Mr. Christie’s first tenure in office.

Yesterday, the nation’s chief described Jarrett’s death as “shocking.”

“He was so steadfast in his understanding of the economy and articulating a defence for my administration during 2002 and 2007. You really would have thought that he had a personal stake in defending my tenure as prime minister,” Mr. Christie said.

“He was a true Bahamian. It was a great loss to us and now we have to go back to the drawing board to determine who will take his place as chairman of the Bank of The Bahamas and truly on behalf of my colleagues in government and this is a very sad time for us because a true friend has passed and one who really impacted his time.”

Deputy Prime Minister Philip ‘Brave’ Davis and Labour Minister Shane Gibson also sent their respective condolences.

“The Bahamas would have lost a great patriot and an individual who was truly committed to all things that was Bahamian. He truly understood our economy and truly had made contributions and we thought that he had a lot more to contribute,” Mr. Davis said.

“Al Jarrett was a friend of mine. He was very passionate when it came down to discussing anything Bahamian or in the financial service industry and anything to do with the Progressive Liberal Party. It is really sad what happened to him. I know he would have loved to be here for the Speech from the Throne and the opening of Parliament. He just lived for that moment,” Mr. Gibson said.

Yesterday, Jones Communications Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wendall Jones dedicated the entire “Issues of the Day” talk show to Mr. Jarrett.

“Jarrett was above all a man of integrity. Say what you like about Al Jarrett, he had a good name in banking and all around in the society. He was very proud of his legacy in banking and he guarded his integrity jealously. That is why he was able to speak his mind. He was able to speak truth to power. He didn’t have to count heads because he knew that all through his profession as a banker that he did the right thing,” said Mr. Jones, who is also a close friend.

“The country has lost a good man and I dare say that Al Jarrett was a national treasurer in The Bahamas.”

Jarrett is survived by his wife Linda and two sons Dr. Marco Jarrett and banker Lamont Jarrett, who live in Tennessee and New York respectively.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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