Jamaica's National Leaders
(Lithonia, Geargia, USA)
QUESTION about: Jamaica's National Leaders
Good Day Wellesley,
Thank you for all you interesting articles. I have truly enjoyed them.
I would love to hear and learn more about our Jamaican National Leaders.
No one in particular. Anyone who has contributed to Jamaica in a positive way.
Thank you in advance,
ANSWER: by Keisha Stewart, Associate Writer, February 2018
Thanks for your question.
Jamaica has had a cadre of interesting individuals in leadership. Modern political leaders include former prime ministers:
- PJ Patterson,
- Edward Seaga,
- Bruce Golding
- Portia Simpson Miller
- and Hon. Andrew Holness, our present leader.
I will tell you about someone from our past though, Norman Washington Manley.
He was a suave and multi-talented, political activist, soldier, scholar, lawyer and sportsman. Manley was born in Roxborough, Manchester Jamaica in 1893.
He grew up on a cattle estate then went on to Beckford and Smith high school in St. Catherine. Later he moved on to Jamaica College where he excelled at academics and sports.
An innate leader, Norman Washington Manley captained the championship winning track team in 1912. A brilliant mind, he was declared the winner of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.
You know what's interesting, as he studied war broke out and enlisted for the British Army. He arrived in Jamaica as a barrister and international advocate in 1922.
Among his achievements:
- Founded of the People's National Party
- Holder of several athletic records at Boys Champs
- Founded what is now the Social Development Commission
- Helped to negotiate the 1944 Constitution. This gave full adult suffrage... everyone who is 21 years or older could vote.
I'm impressed that he even had the foresight to help forge personal independence by helping people to setup up cottage industries in their communities.
He wanted Jamaica to be a proud nation rather than be colonized by British government.
It takes a lot of guts to stand up for what you believe but he did.
I think that's pretty cool... isn't it?
I admire Norman Washington Manley for being the total package, athletic, heroic, socially aware and active, a statesman, humanitarian and all around great guy. Plus he is very easy on the eyes :-)
So proud he is a national hero.
P.S. Did you know that some of Norman Manley's athletic records stood for years and were broken by his son. Totally cool.
Keisha Stewart, Associate Writer