Thomas Phillip Lecky , Ph.D., O. B. E, O. M. (1904 - 1994) - The National Library of Jamaica

Thomas Phillip Lecky , Ph.D., O. B. E, O. M. (1904 - 1994)

Dr. Thomas Phillip (T.P.) Lecky, pioneer Jamaican Scientist, was born on December 31, 1904. He was the twelfth of thirteen children and grew up in Swift River, Portland. Lecky was introduced to agriculture at an early age, as his father was a farmer and as a young man he took an interest in livestock.

Lecky started his education at the Swift River Primary School. He later studied agriculture at the Government Farm School (later Jamaica School of Agriculture) where he received a diploma. He graduated from the MacDonald College at McGill University, Canada in 1930 with a Diploma in Agriculture.

Lecky continued his studies at the Toronto University reading for his Bachelor of Science Degree for which he was awarded an honours degree. Several years later, Lecky read for his Ph.D. at Edinburgh University, Scotland. Lecky’s research throughout his educational and professional careers focused on cattle. In 1951 Lecky’s extensive research resulted in the first breed of indigenous Jamaican cattle, the Jamaican Hope, which he used as the basis for his Ph.D. thesis. Further research resulted in the Jamaican Red, Jamaican Brahman and Jamaican Black cattle breeds. Lecky also contributed to the field of agriculture in Jamaica through the numerous professional posts he held throughout his career. He served as:

  • Bench Chemist
  • Foreman at a Farm School
  • Farm Supervisor
  • Farmer
  • Teacher at Holmwood Technical High School
  • Livestock Inspector
  • Livestock Field Officer
  • Junior Agricultural Officer
  • Agricultural Officer
  • Livestock Officer (Senior and Chief)
  • Director of Animal Husbandry
  • Director of Livestock Research
  • Consultant

Lecky also has several publications to his credit. He published an autobiography in 1994, titled Cattle and I. He also wrote several papers that have been delivered at international conferences. Lecky was also the recipient of several honors and awards, these being:

  • 1959 – Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E) “for meritorious and devoted service to agriculture”
  • 1970 – First recipient of the Norman Manley Award for Excellence
  • 1971 – Doctor of Science (Honoris causa), University of the West Indies
  • 1978 – Order of Merit, Government of Jamaica “for work of national and international importance”
  • 1987 – The Mutual Security Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 1989 – Fellow of the Jamaican Society for Agricultural Sciences
  • 1992 – Induction into the Professional Societies Association in Jamaica

Dr. Lecky still remains a role model for many Jamaican scientists. He died in 1994 at the age of 90.


B/N (Biographical Notes) file – National Library of Jamaica– Lecky, Thomas Phillip (Dr.)

Lecky, T. P. Cattle and I. Kingston: Ian Randle, 1996.