JC Foundation dedicates building to Danny Williams

R Danny Williams and his wife of 67 years Shirley smiles with the gift of a self- portrait given to him by Jamaica College.

On Saturday, Jamaica College (JC) and the Jamaica College Foundation paid homage to one of the school's most appreciated and recognised alumnus, Dr. The Hon. R. Danvers Williams.

 

Williams, affectionately known simply as Danny, is the founder of the country’s first Jamaican-owned life insurance company, Life of Jamaica, now Sagicor Life Jamaica. He currently serves on the boards of several major Jamaican companies, organisations and foundations, including various Sagicor Group Jamaica member companies. 

 

The shared sentiment among family members, peers, and other alumni present at the event was that this has been a long time coming for the philanthropist and business mogul.  

 

Described by many as “the light that Jamaica College needed in a dark time of their history”, Williams is accredited with being the catalyst of change for not only the students, but also the teachers who serve the institution.

 From left Wayne Robinson Principal Jamaica College, Michael Bernard Chairman Peak Bottling Company, R. Danny Williams, Craig Hendrickson Director of Sales and Marketing at National Baking Company, and Lance Hylton, JC Foundation Vice Chairman, revealing the plaque on the newly name R Danny Williams Building.

"For a man that has pulled on his resources and raised over a billion Jamaican dollars for JC, this dedication ceremony is the least we can do to show him how much we respect him and appreciate his dedication to our school and our country,” Lance Hylton, vice chairman of the Jamaica College school board remarked.

 

Speaking on behalf of his father Butch Hendrickson - another JC alumni, Craig Hendrickson indicated, “Mr Danny Williams, or to me, just Uncle Danny, is an example of a person who has never forgotten where he is coming from and has given his time and resources to help the underserved and underprivileged selflessly. A Jamaican who hasn't tried to make a difference, a Jamaican that has made a difference”.

Craig Hendrickson of the National Baking Company shares remarks on behalf of his father Gary “Butch” Hendrickson on the impeccable work R Danny Williams has done over the years.  

“If we look around us today on this campus, we see the fruits of his labour. A proud Jamaica College old boy - but then again, aren't they all? - he has played his part in various capacities to give bright and promising young men the opportunities to go out in the world and make a difference,” he continued. 

 

In 1972 Williams was awarded the National Honour of Commander of the Order of Distinction and in 1993 was conferred with the Order of Jamaica for voluntary service to his community. He also served the Government of Jamaica for three years, from 1977 to 1979 as a Senator, Minister of State and Minister of Industry and Commerce, respectively. 

Richard Byles, Bank Of Jamaica Governor (Left) poses with, Joseph Matalon, JC Foundation Board Member(centre), and the guest of honour Dr. the Hon. R. Danny Williams (right).   

Williams was conferred twice with the degree of Doctor of Law by the University of Technology in 2005 and by the University of the West Indies, Mona in 2013. 

Also noteworthy, Williams has donated all proceeds from the sale of his biography  I Tried to Make a Difference to the Jamaica College Foundation R. Danny Williams Scholarship Endowment Fund. With some 3,500 copies of the book sold, over $22 million has been donated to the fund. 

The biography which was launched in 2019 is written by veteran journalist Sandy McIntosh.

 

Williams, who was taken aback by the dedication, was at loss for words but expressed his sincere gratitude to the organisers as well as to his family, who he credits for  shaping the man he is today.

 

He is the man who has committed to doing more work on behalf of his beloved school and on behalf of the boys of Jamaica College who he described as the leaders of tomorrow. 

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