Pioneering Rasta elder who sought repatriation to Africa passes

elder, Brother Douglas Mack, an early leader of the Jamaican religious movement that sought repatriation to Ethiopia, and who met late Emperor Haile Selassie, has passed, his family announced.

Elder Mack was one of the four Rastafari brethren who travelled on the first Government-sponsored Mission to Africa in 1961 to investigate the possibility of repatriation, and was welcomed in several African nations, including Ethiopia.

He was a member of the second Mission to Africa, which was by Emperor Haile Selassie for several weeks in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.

Mack was among a group of Rastafarians living in Wareika Hill, east Kingston, including griot Sam Clayton and Philmore Alvaranga who also were members of the Mission to Africa delegations, and Nyahbinghi drummer Count Ossie, leader of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.

He was also one of the 12 Rastafarians whom the Emperor presented with gold medals during his historic visit to Jamaica in 1966.

Mack wrote about his travels in the well-known book From Babylon to Rastafari. He moved to the USA and lived out his last years with his family in Philadelphia.

In a post on her Facebook page, his daughter Charmaine wrote:

“On Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023, Douglas Roy Aiken Mack left this Earth to greet in the spiritual world his friends, family and all the people whose lives he touched and who moved on before him.

“What a celebration of life! The teacher, writer, philosopher, poet, humanitarian, Rasta, father, and husband has done his work here and has finally moved on. Though we miss you, we knew you belonged to so many, we couldn’t keep you forever.

“Peace and love, selah!”

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