Popular lawyer Ernest ‘Ernie’ Smith passed away late Wednesday (August 18) in hospital in Kingston.
According to reports from those close to Smith, he had been ailing for some time, having had a stroke and earlier this year having been involved in a motor vehicle collision.
Condolences have been pouring following Smith’s passing with many of his former constituents taking to social media to remember the “energetic lawyer”.
Smith a St. Ann native was also fondly remembered by his former York Castle High School who also used social media to send condolences to the family of a man they affectionately called “Manoff”.
“From our days at York Castle together I knew he was cut out to be a lawyer. No one could match him on the debating team….even though our political views crossed paths, we have always been good friends to this day. Pity you left us so soon but your work lives on,” said one former school mate online.
“Are you serious Ernie left us?Omg this is a shocker the many battles that we had in the court house in st Ann and our political differences we remain friends so sad SIEP my friend condolences to the family and friends,” added another.
Among those to share condolences for Smith and his family were senior members of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), including party leader Andrew Holness.
Holness in a post on social media early Thursday (August 19) lauded Smith for his contribution to the party as well as his service to the South West St. Ann constituency, where he served for two consecutive terms between 2002 and 2011.
“I am saddened to learn, of the passing of former Member of Parliament for South West St. Ann, Ernest ‘Ernie’ Smith, this morning,” said Holness in a post.
“I express heartfelt condolences to his wife, children, “ added Holness.
Smith’s daughter , Marsha Smith, is the current Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann and the State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.