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Jew Appointed to Highest Civil Office in Jamaica

July 12, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Altamont E. Da Costa, former president of the synagogue in Kingston, Jamaica, and an active worker in the Jewish community, has been appointed by His Excellency the Governor to be Custos Rotulorum for Kingston. Mr. Da Costa, who has served three terms as Mayor of Kingston, thus receives the honor of appointment to the highest position in the colony of Jamaica.

The office of Custos Rostulorum is an old and ancient dignity. The Custos in the keeper of the English country records and by virtue of the office is the highest civil officer in the country. Until 1545 the appointment lay with the Lord Chancellor, but it is now excercised by the Crown and is usually held by a person of rank, most frequently the Lord Lieutenant. He is responsible to the Governor for the due preservation of law and order.

Mr. Da Costa has been identified for more than twenty years with the public life of Jamaica. There is hardly a public body on which he has not served. He has also been vice-president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. During his term of office as Mayor of Kingston he received the Duke and Duchess of York on their official visit to Jamaica.

Since the death of the last Custos of Kingston, the late Colonel C. J. Ward, the Senior Magistrates have functioned in his place and in 1923 the office of Custos was merged with that of Mayor. It was, however, found advisable to restore the office of Custos and the law has been amended.

The new Commission of Peace for Kingston appointed by the Governor to be associated with the Custos in his work includes a number of Jews: Eugene Finzj, Joseph Lewis Ashenheim. Reginald Ernest Henriques Melhado, Lionel de Mercado. Moses Mortimer Alexander. Philip Stern, Leonard de Cordova, Frederick Cohen Henrioues. Horace Victor Myers. Alfred Horace D’Acosta. Ellis Levy. Authur Granville Solomon. Owen Karl Henrioues. Alan Edgar Delgrado. Solomon Rodriques Reuben, and Benjamin Alberga.

The will of the late Ely Rosenberg was filed in the Surrogate’s Court. Mr. Roseberg, died June 23 leaving an estate estimated in the petition for probate merely as “over $20,000.”

A sister. Annie R. Morris was bequeathed the residuary estate after $4,500 in charitable beguests had been disposed of Legacies of $1,000 each went to the New York University Law School. the Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, the Consumptive Home at Denver and the Trudeau Sanitarium, Saranac, N. Y. The Talmud Torah of the Washington Heights Congregation received $500.

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