MR. CLARENCE GORDON FOSTER
Clarence Gordon Foster was born on June 28, 1941 in the district of Ballynure, Manchester. The eighth of nine children born to Mr. & Mrs. Hubert Foster, young Clarence was considered “too bright” to remain in rural Jamaica, and was taken to Spanish Town at age four to live with his uncle.
Despite a very modest home, his uncle ensured that Clarence went to school and church on a regular basis. He first attended the Life Line Missionary Basic School, and then Barracks Primary School in Spanish Town. It was during his latter years at Barracks Primary School that he was exposed to cabinet making, metal work and technical drawing. He excelled in all three areas, and started dreaming of a profession as a Furniture Manufacturer.
A disciplined child at school, he was given various responsibilities including planning, and organizing Sports Day activities for the school, and serving as a school Monitor. One of the dedicated members of the Spanish Town Methodist Church Boys' Scout Troop, and an ardent Sunday school member, he grew in character and developed a sense of goodwill for his fellowmen.
On completing primary school, he had to seek employment, as his uncle was not in a position to pay for him to pursue further education. He was employed as an apprentice at McPhails' Furniture Establishment in Spanish Town, and after three years he became proficient in woodworking and developed the skill of designing his own furniture for sale.
Anxious to improve his skills and experience as a furniture manufacturer, he migrated to the United States of America where he spent 11 years and gained a wealth of experience and knowledge in furniture manufacturing.
With the objective of returning to Jamaica and setting up his own business, Clarence Foster purchased the most modern woodworking machines available at the time and shipped them home to Jamaica. On his return, he bought premises in Spanish Town and started his business, “Homemakers Woodcraft.”
He currently designs and manufactures a wide range of fine household furniture, kitchen cabinets, and commercial furniture and fixtures, which he sells locally and island-wide to a number of furniture companies and to individuals.
Always willing to share his knowledge and skills with others, over the years, he has trained many apprentices, as well as students from the HEART Programme, and provided employment to a number of skilled and unskilled persons.
Despite the hard work of managing his business, Mr. Foster finds time to engage in numerous other activities and associations both in his community and the wider society. He is a Justice of the Peace and Lay Magistrate, and sits at the Juvenile and Petty Session Courts and conducts identification parades, among other duties.
He has been actively involved in a number of associations and has served in various capacities in the Lay Magistrates’ Association of Jamaica, Friends of the Spanish Town Hospital, the St. Jago Preparatory School Board, and has been Chief Coordinator of the Greendale/Twickenham Gardens Neighbourhood Watch Association.
A man with a zeal to care, Clarence Foster devotes much of his time visiting the sick and shut-ins in the community and those in the hospital. He also devotes much of his time interacting with the young people in the community, and also assists the St. Catherine Police in raising funds to repair the patrol motorcycles, and provides other amenities to the police station, and the St. Catherine Lock-ups. He is currently involved in assisting to construct the Greendale/Twickenham Gardens Citizens' Association Community Centre. Previously, as the sitting President, he had organized a number of successful fundraising ventures to raise funds to assist with the building.
Married to Jennifer Abrahams Foster for over 20 years, and with one child, Clarence speaks glowingly of the excellent support he receives in particular, from his wife, and other family members.
Clarence Gordon Foster, your strong determination and indomitable effort to achieve your goals, and your commitment towards the development of young people and many other less fortunate persons in your community have earned you the commendation of your peers. You are, indeed, a worthy recipient of the Governor-General’s Achievement Award for the Parish of St. Catherine in the year 2005.