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Tribute to Malcolm Jones

Mr. Malcolm Anthony Jones, B.Sc., M.Sc,
Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad
and Tobago (Petrotrin)

Tribute to Mr. Jones on his being awarded NAEAP Achievement of Excellence Award at the Andre Kamperveen Hall, Center of Excellence, Tunapuna, Trinidad, on July 31, 2008.

When the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin) announced a profit of 1.3 billion dollars for the first six months of this fiscal year (2007-08) most Trinidadians and Tobagonians took it for granted. We conveniently forgot that Petrotrin also declared a profit of 1.3 billion dollars for the entire fiscal year 2006-07. It was almost as though they expected our petroleum company to post these figures without any sweat and with an understanding that the architect of this miracle would remain quietly in the background. His name would not even be mentioned for what has become a consistently superb performance. For those who do not know, the man responsible for this miracle is Malcolm Anthony Jones. In keeping with a persona that prefers to be quietly efficient; modest but proficient; and outstandingly forward-looking, this gifted man continues to serve Trinidad and Tobago as he enshrines his name in the annals of energy production in the contemporary world.

Malcolm Jones is one of the distinguished sons of the soil who wants the world to know that he was born on Drayton St., San Fernando, Trinidad. He even boasts that he was born at home; not in the hospital. Hence the pride he takes in his southern heritage is understandably. It is surpassed only by the feelings of veneration in which he holds his country. A graduate of Presentation College-it seems as though several of our outstanding citizens come from that southern academic enclave-Jones proceeded to the University of the West Indies where he received a B.Sc (Hons) in Chemical Engineering in June 1965. Thereafter, he worked at Texaco Trinidad as a Process Engineer (1965-68) before he proceeded to Queen's University in Canada where he received an M.Sc in Chemical Engineering in 1970.

After he graduated from Queen's University, Mr. Jones proceeded to leave his distinctive mark on the energy sector of Trinidad and Tobago. From 1971 to 1975 he joined the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines where he acted in various capacities: Chemical Engineer, Development Engineer, Project Process Engineer, and Associate Project Manager. Fortified with such experiences, he became the president of Trinidad Nitrogen Company Limited in 1971 and served there until 1980. From 1981 to 1983 he was the head of the methanol and urea division of the National Energy Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago. Such was his ability that he became general manager (1984-88) and Managing Director from 1988 to 1996. In the latter capacity, he managed the total operations of the company which bought, transported and sold natural gas to the country's power generation company, petrochemical companies, and other heavy and light manufacturing companies.

One would have thought that such wide-ranging experiences were sufficient. After all, the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago brings in annual revenues of US$320 million and employs approximately 320 persons. But, as they say, "you can't keep a good man down." Mr. Jones kept rising to eminence in his chosen profession and continued to affix his mark on the national stage. In 1996 he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of Titan Methanol Company until 2002 where he was snatched away by one of the highest officers of the land (a person who shall remain nameless) to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Petrotrin, a company that produces over 60,000 BPD of crude oil, refines and market products circa 160,000 BPD of crude processed. The revenue of this company is in the order of US$3.20 billion and has a staff of about 5,000 employees. So when one says that Mr. Jones is one of the most gifted men of Trinidad and Tobago no one should wonder why.

What we have to wonder is why his achievements remain one of the best kept secrets of Trinidad and Tobago? Just to rub some salt into our eyes, Mr. Jones involves himself in community activities. Where he finds the time, one does not know. He is an active member of the Advisory Board of Habitat for Humanity (Trinidad and Tobago), an organization of which former President Jimmy Carter of the United States is one of the most prominent volunteers. He was also the president of the Halfway House, a non-profit organization for battered women and abused children.

Mr. Jones has also received several awards and distinctions. He was awarded a Samaan Tree Award by UWI Alumni Association (Trinidad and Tobago Chapter) in 2004; the Chaconia Gold in the same year; and an honorary doctorate from the University of Trinidad and Tobago in 2007. He holds several directorships on State Enterprises Boards and is a fellow of several associations: the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago; the British Institute of Chemical Engineers (IchemE); and the Institute of Energy (UK).

Words cannot describe adequately the measure of this distinguished son of the soil who carries himself with a dignity that bespeaks of a Trini assuredness; an African self-confidence; and an undeniable conviction that says, as John Milton reminded us, "He also serves who stands and waits." The National Association for the Empowerment of African People is proud to honor this distinguished brother. We hope that he accepts our award in the spirit of reverence in which it is being offered.

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