TRIBUTES IN LOVING MEMORY OFTHE RT REV. DR. ROBERT MCLEAN THOMPSON
AUGUST 08, 1948 – FEBRUARY 10, 2023
A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES
WE LOVE YOU, ALWAYS & FOREVER
(click images to view them larger)
for the Life of
THE RT. REV. DR. ROBERT MCLEAN THOMPSON
Retired Suffragan Bishop of Kingston
Hope Dawn Elizabeth Thompson (Sister)
Although during his lifetime, the Rt Reverend Dr. Robert Thompson achieved many esteemed qualifications and earned prestigious accolades, every time we spoke, he was always just my big brother Robert. That was in spite of which country he had just traveled to, or the latest recognition he had received. This humility of character was one of Robert’s most admired traits, and it allowed him to be the hands and feet of God, wherever he went. Robert lived by the mantra ‘we are blessed to be a blessing’ and the heartfelt outpouring of stories from those people whose lives he touched, is a testament that he practiced what he preached. Robert was truly blessed. The strong values his parents Elethia and James Snr. taught him, helped prepare him for a life in God’s service. He was also blessed with sons who filled his life with laughter, and a loving wife who shared many of the virtues instilled in him by his parents – a sincere love for God, and a deep love of family. Robert was also a blessing. As a son, brother, uncle, husband, and father, he has been such a blessing to our family, in ways too numerous to recount, and we will be eternally grateful, for every minute God shared with us the gift, that was Robert McLean Thompson. My brother, may your soul rest in eternal peace
Angella Thompson (Sister)
Robert is a brother that I proudly call …..my brother. He, who is there for me before I need him, and we both know each other’s needs. My Brother, a Man, a Friend, a Husband, our Families’ core strength because his strength was love!
Matthew Roxanne and Maliyah
On the 10th February 2023, so many lost a great love and source of inspiration. Uncle Robert’s life is a stellar example of how to live like Christ. I am grateful to have known his essence and am blessed to have added grandchildren to his life. We now look to the memories, stories and mementos to find comfort after this deep loss. From our family, Matthew, Maliyah, Savannah and Roxanne, we send love and thanks to all who have reached out. We pray for God to strengthen all our hearts during this time. To our beloved, may his soul rest in peace.
Robert and I met while as a student at UWI I was staying at the apartment of my lifetime friend, Charmaine when he came to take her on their very first date.The rest, is history. We had a different relationship. Robert and I were friends in the kitchen where we spent many happy moments making all kinds of dinners and meals; a time during which we developed our special bond and casually shared much of ourselves with each other in relaxed, unforced harmony. He loved my desserts and I enjoyed making them for him, Charmaine and the many others with whom we would break bread. Robert enjoyed a tasty, hearty meal. He was the consummate host in a home filled with welcoming warmth and overflowing with love. I will cherish the memories and will miss his dearly.
Mark J. Golding Leader of the Opposition – PNP
Robert Thompson CD, former Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, was an exemplary theologian with a powerful intellect, whose interests went beyond his role as a leading man of the cloth. He gave service to his country as a member of the Police Service Commission and President of the YMCA, and was a member of the Board of Kingston College for over thirty years. His passing is a personal loss to me, as he was always wishing me words of encouragement, and his wisdom was shared generously and was often a source of comfort and inspiration. Heartfelt condolences to his widow Charmaine, sons Joseph and Matthew, family and friends. May his soul Rest In Peace.
Rebecca Thompson – Niece, Toronto
Growing up closely knit to your family and moving abroad can sometimes create a void. The only way I was able to not fall into this void was recollecting all my childhood memories, memories that made me feel close to home and my loved ones. Much of those memories include my dear Uncle Robert. I often laugh at one in particular… I lied about going to church on Sunday once because I didn’t want to disappoint him. Although I was nervous for him to know the truth, he simply laughed and embraced me and said to me, “you don’t have to lie, you can be honest.” I still walk with those words to this day. Uncle Rob has always been a light in my life. Whether it was his wise counselling I received as a child or the love and guidance he continuously shared, his being always shone. He always spoke to me with warmth. I will forever miss my dear Uncle Rob. He was such a wonderful Uncle, he calmly corrected me rather than scolding me. He possessed much positivity and rationality. He inspired me to pursue my dreams, as he was deeply devoted to his passions and purpose. In my times of darkness, he helped pull me out of that pain with his words. He reminded me to hold onto my faith and strengthen my relationship with the most high. Anytime I feel myself beginning to sink, I am reminded of his message; so, I pick my head back up and I push onwards. Just like my two beautiful grandparents, I believe that he is now one of our angels shining down upon us. I will continue to see him in the sun’s rays and the flowers that bloom. He will also be embedded in my heart. May his beautiful and special spirit rest in peace, power, and eternal heaven.
Johannes Seoka, Retired Bishop of Pretoria, South Africa
May Bishop Robert’s soul rest in peace and rise in glory eternal. I have always had him in my thoughts and prayers. He was a good man and caring. He was very hospitable when we were there. We will pray at the Mass for his soul and for the comfort of his family. Timeya and I extend our condolences and wish to assure Charmaine of our love and prayerful support.
This Fervet group was elated to have Bishop Robert Thompson in our midst, not knowing that today was so close! Blessed Love to the Thompson family through this Valley of the Firmament and may Bishop Robert Rest in Peace and Love and Rise in Shikinah Light perpetua
Dr. Lucien Jones
I never wondered what to write about my schoolmate, pastor, bishop and friend, the Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson, retired Bishop of Kingston in the Anglican Church in Jamaica, when he died yesterday. The Lord provided me with an appropriate comment: “ So they asked him, “ Tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us( The raging storm)? What do you do? Where do you come from? Where is your country? From what people are you?” He ( Jonah) answered, “ I am Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven who made the sea and the land”. Jonah 1:8-9 Bishop Robert came to witness to the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land, and the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And now he is gone to his Father in heaven, safe in the hands of Jesus. Well done good and faithful servant awaits him! Soon it will be our turn. We would do well to follow his example to witness to the love and mercy of God. In Majestic Gardens, in the heart of the inner city, to the “ street boys”, in the heart of the city, and to the hearts of broken men and women in the privacy of his office. To grieving families when the rich and the powerful died, and equally to forgotten people of the society, when they too faced grief and pain. Walking with Bishops, and Archbishops and National Leaders, but always aware of the plight of the poor and the marginalized. Always imploring everyone in the communion ( and to me in private) to listen to the what others were saying, even when, and if you had , a disagreement on fundamental issues. Teaching all to follow the Ubuntu African philosophy – that we find only discover our true selves in relationship with others. Presiding at the Holy Eucharist, Baptisms, at weddings and at social functions…encouraging, listening, learning. Attending Bible Study sessions, and yet still nimble on his feet…from JC days.. he was quite a dancer. Spending quality time with church committee members on retreat in the hills, and journeying with fellow Christians to the Holy Land. Spending quality time with family, and enjoying the joys of being, first a dad, then a grandfather. And always a devoted and loving husband. Living in peace and solitude beyond the rush of city life, in his retirement, with his dear and faithful wife Charmaine by his side, in life and at the momen of death. All to the glory of God. A faithful witness he was! And certainly the most photogenic pastor, or Bishop, I had the privilege of capturing images of his witness to God
Mrs Elsie Aarons
A Personal Tribute
I recall with gratitude the fifteen years I spent working with Bishop Robert in an administrative capacity, first at the St Andrew Parish Church and then in the Office of the Bishop of Kingston. Coming, as I was, from the corporate world, adjusting to church operations was quite a transition. I needn’t have worried. Bishop Robert was open to new ideas and approaches. In fact, he welcomed them. I found this to be a hallmark with him as he constantly strove to open new doors and seek different ways of doing. He brought to his ministry the gift of an open mind and it was always his hope that others might catch a wider vision and perceive potential possibilities for Christian action lurking around any corner. The prospect for new approaches on “how to do ministry” excited him. Perhaps this is what inspired the topic of his doctoral thesis which was the basis of his book, “Redemption Song: reading the Scripture for social change”. The book not only embodied his vision for the ways in which the Anglican church could become more relevant to the society, but showed how the Church could find “ways to become reconnected to the agenda for social change, one that will bring equity and justice to the people of Jamaica”. He was kind to a fault – fearless and discerning. I recall him listening sympathetically to a dreadlocked fisherman, who knocked on the door seeking help after the unfortunate loss of his equipment. With the Bishop’s assistance and contacts, he was able to regain his source of income and get on with his life. Afterwards he was a frequent visitor to the office just to “hail him up”. It was a case of “this one” returning to give thanks. Here was how the Bishop’s personal intervention changed one person’s life. May the memories of his life and example be to us an inspiration to transform the lives of others. “Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom …….” Nuff respect. Rest in Peace dear friend. Elsie Aarons
Words quoted from a well-known hymn that was often quoted by the late Bishop as he prepared a sermon or lead a prayer. Bishop Robert Thompson came to the Chairmanship of the Diocesan Festival Choir following in the giant footsteps left by the Venerable Archdeacon, 11 Alvin Stone , then retired, who had given of himself tirelessly and ever willingly, to ensure that the Choir was ‘kept alive’. On assuming the Chair of the DFC, Bishop Thompson admitted that he was not a singer, so he was not sure why he was appointed to lead this august group and also he would not offer himself to face an audition for a place among the singers, but he promised that, by God’s grace, his leadership would try to improve the legacy of Archdeacon Alvin Stone and to restore the past glory of the choir, ensuring that we were among the household names when Jamaicans and especially, Anglicans, spoke about choirs. Under his chairmanship, the choir moved from the quiet, yet evangelical approach of Paul Ramsay, to the affable direction of Michael Sutherland, to the ‘new vision’ and direction of Geoffrey Shields and presently, the stern, no-nonsense, keen sense of musical tonality of Audley Davidson – all these leadership changes leading to the overall development of the choir. Bishop Thompson was visionary, lovable, affable and positive in his direction. He had big dreams for the choir and his first effort was to lead the choir to its 90th anniversary celebrations at the Grand Concert held at Kings House under the partonage of the Lord Bishop and the Governor General, which saw the Choir, ably supported by the orchestra, attain one of its most memorable moments. He loved and believed in the DFC and was present at most, if not all, our performances where, as Chairman, he lauded our qualities and so made it ‘well nigh impossible’ for us, not to make the effort to make him proud. Ably supporting him on his ministerial journey and in his leadership of the Choir, and too, in her own right, we applaud and recognize, Charmaine, his widow. We honour you and salute you on this day, as we have always done and we pray that God will give you the strength to face the days ahead as you grieve. To Matthew and Joseph and their families, we pledge our continued prayers, as so we continue to sing; Break forth my soul with joy and say, What wealth is come to me today My Saviour dwells within me now How blest am I, how good art Thou May the angels lead you to Paradise, our brother, friend, leader. Walk good………