Italians in Jamaica during World War II were kept in detention at Gibraltar Camp, because Mussolini was Hitler’s closet ally. The camp was a clean one and the inmates grew flowers. Their health was supervised by a visiting physician, a Jamaican of coincidentally German roots, Dr. Joseph Methuen Stockhausen, and accompanying him was his three-year-old son Joseph Paul Stockhausen. Paul Stockhausen was the first of two sons of Dr. Stockhausen and his wife Bertha, nee Bertram, of a Canadian descent. Paul was born on the 3rd of June 1938 in Ottawa, Canada.
Growing up in Jamaica, Paul attended St. Andrew Prep School from age five until he entered Munro in 1950 and was placed in Upper Third (now Second form) and installed in Farquharson House. In inter-house athletics he showed some “Bolt-like” promise by coming second in four class four events, namely the one hundred yards, two twenty yards, eighty yards and the long jump. This achievement helped Farquharson House to a close second to Calder House. Then, apparently fed up with too many second places, he hung up his spikes.
Model Planes and Flying
He had an intense interest in model planes, and all through break times, along with a few others in the school, he worked on their engines, which were attached to a piece of board fastened to their desks. When the engine work was completed, they would focus their attention on the exterior, which involved cladding the mechanical bird with light balsa wood, glue and wires.
We fast-forward to 1959 when he learned to fly an actual plane. He was taught by a black female Canadian instructor named Earsley Barnnett. When he came back to Jamaica with his Bachelor of Engineering degree from McGill University he joined the JDF Air Wing Reserve and served there for 14 years. He taught primary flying at the Jamaica Flying Club, training many who transitioned to fly for Air Jamaica. Flying, his first love, was just a diversion from his engineering career, and so on his return from school he also started at Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation, where he was Project Manager for frequency conversion of deep well pumping installations all over Jamaica. This was a highly specialized area in an all-island change from 40 to 50 hertz motors.
Paul moved on to Desnoes and Geddes Ltd. in 1962 and was plant engineer until 1967. He was promoted to Chief Engineer the next year and appointed to the board as Director of Engineering in 1976. In 1977 he went to the United States and was employed to Simplimatic Engineering Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, where he became Vice President of the company and Manager of their Florida Manufacturing Division.
More significantly he met and married Becky Sams. They have since raised two children and have four grandchildren. She had never met a Jamaican before, and after no doubt being attracted to his gentlemanly Munronian confidence, was also at first quite bemused by his sometimes loud voice, strange accent, and his very un-American insistence on spelling the word ‘labour’ properly with a ‘u.’On his part, he initially could not imagine that a sophisticated American beauty would be happy in early 1980’s Jamaica, but after the first visit, she fell in love with Jamaica even faster than she had fallen in love with him, and so in response to a series of job offers, he returned to Jamaica with Becky in 1981. Her mother believes Paul might just be the only man alive to promise a girl to marry her and take her to an exotic island and then actually do it!
Paul returned to Desnoes and Geddes as Director of Operations until 1986. In that same year he moved on to Appliance Traders Ltd. as Managing Director, and in 1994 he changed gear and became Director of Engineering and Projects at Sandals Resorts International until 1995, at which time he switched to the hardest taskmaster of all, becoming self-employed. In this capacity he has provided engineering and project management services for companies as diverse as J.Wray & Nephew Ltd. Air Jamaica, Port Authority of Jamaica, Worthy Park Estates and St. Lucia Distillers.
Paul Stockhausen was for 13 Years (1981-1994) Chairman of Caribbean Steel Co. Ltd, and when he left he was given an honorarium which he immediately used to fund the investigation of his brainchild- a wind turbine for Munro College. By this time he was the Deputy Chairman (1993-2002) of the Munro College Board of Governors under the chairmanship of the late Laurie Sharp, fellow Hall of Fame inductee. Together and with others they raised the funds to purchase and install the first wind turbine of that quality and capacity in Jamaica and indeed in the English-speaking Caribbean. It was commissioned into operation in 1997 by then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson. The arrangement provided that electricity was produced and sold to the JPS grid while Munro College paid JPS for the energy it consumed. Another old boy, fellow Hall of Fame inductee Derrick Dyer, was CEO at JPS at the time and was helpful in facilitating the arrangement.
As the Munro Board’s engineer, he had much to do with the final phase of the Richard B. Roper Auditorium which was officially opened by Sir Alistair McIntyre on the 6th May 2000. The parallel activity was a massive building program at Munro resulting in a new Harrison Memorial Library, a new administration block and the Stephen Harle Computer Laboratory.
A member of the Engineering Institute of Canada, he served the National Water Commission Board on three occasions, he was Deputy Chair of Carib Engineering Ltd. and served on the boards of Dyoll Insurance Co. Ltd., Caribbean Cement Co. Ltd., Golden Grove Sugar Co. Ltd. and the Norman Manley International Airport Projects Committee. Stockhausen was awarded the Musgrave Silver Medal in 1997 for service to science in recognition of his pioneering work on the wind turbine. The very modest Paul Stockhausen is perhaps better known these days as Becky’s husband, and maybe likes to keep it that way. For the aforementioned reasons and many others, Mr. Joseph Paul Stockhausen has been inducted into the Munro College Old Boys Association Hall of Fame.