Tuesday, 6 February 2018

BOOK OF THE MOMENT: A new Arnold Foote biography salutes his indomitable spirit and impressive accomplishments

PAGE TURNER: The bio, divided into six parts, also delivers a selection of Foote's speeches.

“START reading the book with this question in mind: How does an individual from a small island attain the position of President of the World Federation of Consuls?” Professor Kenneth Hall, former Governor General of Jamaica, has long been an admirer of Arnold Foote, whose biography, The Making of a Global Visionary, captures the eventful life of a Jamaican man who made the journey from humble beginnings to the rank of a global leader, inspiring countless people along the way. 

Penned by quality management consultant and education specialist Angela Ramsay (whose 17 books include five published by UNESCO), the thick hardcover volume comes in six parts exploring a life well lived in the service of country and fellow man. The reader not only gets a solid sample of the journey Arnold Foote has made – the Jamaica College years, venturing into North America, entering the consular corps, not to mention “the joys and tribulations of building a career and a business” – but also the strategies that helped him prevail when the going got really tough.

The bio is subtitled “A Journey through Love, Faith, Injustice and Vindication,” so the reader is bound to come across passages riddled with revealing anecdotes that make for a real page-turning experience. How did he overcome the events of 1974? As the publishers point out, Foote was all set to have “a glorious future” until the events of that year threatened to thwart all that, “yet his strength and fixity of purpose became even more apparent, and he lives a more fulfilling life than he ever imagined possible.” In other words, a fine example of spirit indomitable.

Meanwhile, in addition to establishing and leading several organizations, Foote is the recipient of the ultra-rare Emmanuel Nobel and Sir John Balchin medals and is a member of the Order of Jamaica (OJ). Hall hails Foote as “one of Jamaica’s most accomplished individuals with impressive achievements in business, diplomacy and sports.”

Professor Michael Nobel and other esteemed colleagues also sing his praises. “I cannot think of any other man who so richly deserves the awards that he has gained, and doing so on his own merit,” says Nobel. In the words of Lord Lingfield, “[Foote] has worked tirelessly and selflessly around the world and will leave an incredibly positive, lasting legacy as an outstanding man of vision of his time.” 

Foote’s meteoric from-nothing-to-something rise is what has most impressed his son Arnold Foote III. “He was not gifted with a ready-made future. He was simply gifted. He is gifted with resilience, intelligence, compassion, humour and creativity,” the younger Foote says. “Having those traits is one thing but knowing what to do with them is another.” 

Arnold Foote: The Making of a Global Visionary was published by Admark Advertising and Marketing Ltd, in partnership with China’s Regent Publishers.







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