award recipients : st andrew
Mr. Clinton McGann, an altruist and a lover of people, is the Governor-General's achievement awardee for the parish of St. Andrew. His name is well known, and it commands much respect when it is called within the agricultural sector from which he derives his livelihood and which he has served in various capacities since 1958.
Mr. McGann has served on the boards of the Forest Industries Development Corporation (FIDCO), the Jamaica Livestock Association, the Agricultural Credit Bank and the Agricultural Development Corporation; he is a foundation member of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation.
Outside of the agricultural field, he was served as an active Rotarian, as chairman of the board of the Mavis Bank Vocational and Secondary School and also as board member of the Mavis Bank Basic School.
`I have joined several organisations and I have never joined an organisation to think of what I can get out of it. I always think what I can put into it. I think with that I have found life very rewarding and very satisfying.` Mr. McGann said. He was born in Mt. Charles in the foothills of Mavis Bank to Robert McGann, a property manager, and Jerusha, a housewife. He was one of nine children.
He attended the Mt. Fletcher Elementary School and graduated at age 15. Thereafter he worked for a short while in an engineering firm before joining the British Army where he was assigned to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers until he returned to the island in 1947. On his return, he was re-employed to the engineering firm to which he was attached before going to England. It was not until 1958 that he made a decision to take farming seriously.
He was attracted to farming after listening to a radio programme promoting that sector. At the time, the Government was offering to give supervisory and financial assistance to would-be poultry farmers. And so it was that Clinton McGann Farms Ltd. was born. Not only did Mr. McGann enter farming, but he excelled therein, becoming in 1968 and 1969 the all-island champion farmer.
A warden at the St. Michael's Anglican Church in Mavis Bank, Mr. McGann concedes that he has been blessed by the Almighty. `I would say that I have had not much of a hard-luck story ... I have worked very hard, and I am always finding time to do something for somebody. And I have served the country and I have enjoyed it.` Married since 1963 to Merle, Mr. McGann is the father of seven children to whose stewardship he looks to handing over his business; at age 69 he has only recently begun to slow down from the fast pace to which he has been accustomed in the world of commerce and farming.
The Governor-General's Achievement Award is not the first honour bestowed on Mr. McGann. Just about every organisation that he has served has at some point given him a certificate of appreciation or some other token of its gratitude. `I am very proud and I am happy,` `to know that there are people out there who have been looking on and who see my usefulness to society,` he told The Gleaner. `I think that it is very rewarding to know that, at the end of a time, there can be appreciation, or somebody to say 'you have done well'.`
He attributes his success in business to his having worked hard and being honest each step of the way. Such a formula, he said, would serve Jamaicans better than the get-rich-quick syndrome.