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From as early as 1864, the concept of the Building Society was introduced to Jamaica to assist working and middle class people to realize their dream to own their own homes. I
n the ensuing years, a number of Building Societies sprung to life and in the year 1865, an Act for the Regulation and Encouragement of Benefit Building Societies was passed.
The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) is the product of a series of mergers pioneered by the Westmoreland Building Society. Today, Jamaica National is ranked among Jamaica’s largest financial institutions offering a blend of financial services and mortgage plans to customers living in Jamaica, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada and The Cayman Islands.
In this article, we trace its roots, beginning with the Westmoreland Building Society from which it evolved. On Thursday, August 13, 1874, the Westmoreland Building Society held its first Directors’ Meeting. The Reverend Henry Clarke, Founder and first Chairman, presided. In 1967, the Society entered a period of expansion by absorbing the Manchester Mutual Benefit Society, building new offices in Savanna-la-Mar and establishing branches in Santa Cruz, Mandeville, May Pen and Kingston, linking them all by radiotelephone.
The Westmoreland Building Society stands as a pioneer in Building Society mergers in Jamaica, beginning with its merger with the Manchester Mutual, and followed by its merge with the St. James Benefit, the St. Ann Benefit and the Brown’s Town Benefit Building Societies.
The St. James Benefit Building Society, founded in 1874 but incorporated in 1901, began modestly as a penny savings bank for members of the congregation of the Reverend Cork, its founder.
The Brown’s Town Benefit Building Society was the “baby” of the merging societies, having been founded only 74 years before in 1896. Its founder, Mr. A. H. Allwood, a solicitor by profession, started the Society with a desk in his own office where people, including little children, encouraged to save, came to deposit their pennies.
Following this early spate of mergers, which culminated in the formation of the JNBS in December 1970, the St. Thomas Mutual Building Society, founded in 1897, formally merged its assets with that of the JNBS in September 1976. The Jamaica Permanent Building Society established in 1878, merged with the JNBS in 1977 and finally in 1983, the St. Mary’s Benefit Building Society established in 1915, merged with the JNBS. The final two acquisitions were Hanover Benefit Building Society in 1996 and Jamaica Savings and Loans Building Society in 2001.
During the past 140 years, steady growth has led the JNBS to be the entity it is today and its success can be attributed to the people of caliber who, over the years, were prepared to see beyond parochialism towards the creation of a Society, better able to compete to fulfill its obligations. Read more......Read less
Pauline M. Brown Rose is an honors graduate of the Faculty of Arts (Mona Campus) and the Faculty of Law (Cave Hill Campus) of the University of the West Indies. She obtained h
er Legal Education Certificate at the Norman Manley Law School and was called to the Jamaican Bar in November 2002.
Having also served as Legal Adviser to the UGI Group of Companies and an Associate in the law firm of Chen, Green and Company, Mrs. Brown Rose brings to her practice a wealth of knowledge and experience which spans a wide variety of areas, including personal injury litigation and negotiation, commercial litigation, criminal and civil litigation, insurance defense to include employers' liability, product liability, professional indemnity and public liability. She also practices in the areas of Commercial law, Family law, Probate and administration of Estates and Real Estate law.
Pauline M. Brown Rose is one of the leading personal injury / insurance litigation Attorneys in Jamaica. She is the former Senior Legal Counsel of JN General Insurance Company Ltd. (formerly NEM Insurance Company (JA) Ltd) where she managed the organisation's litigation portfolio as well as provided legal advice to the Company.
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