Letters to the Editor

Give Seaga a school

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The late Prime Minister Edward Phillip George Seaga left behind a legacy. He is one of the best prime ministers the nation has seen.

My earliest recount of Seaga was during my teenage years when Hurricane Gilbert stuck the island in September 1988. The entire infrastructure was destroyed. There were no electricity for months and Jamaica was isolated from the rest of the world as there were no means of communication. I recall from the media that the late prime minister approached the international community for aid and in December of that year the entire island which had at once been totally engulfed in darkness was back on its feet and businesses were in full swing that Christmas.

I also remember that the rate of exchange was held constant $5.50 to US$1 for three and a half consecutive years while he was also finance minister, and I was amazed up to this day how he was able to accomplish such a feat.

I met Seaga in 1995 while pursuing my bachelor's degree at The University of The West Indies. I was taking the course Introduction to Politics, which was being taught by Dr Trevor Munroe of the Department of Government. Dr Munroe taught us the semantics of structural adjustment — which was controversial in some quarters — and he arranged for the politics class he was lecturing to meet with Seaga at his New Kingston office. He gave us an overview of the world economy and then he redefined the concepts of structural adjustments, which was quite enlightening based on my limited understanding at the time.

I can recall a third encounter when I attended a function at The University of West Indies and Seaga had been the guest speaker. A man stood up in the audience whose mode of attire was regarded as not suitable for the occasion to pose a question. Some people in the audience (including his bodyguards) were preventing him from posing the question and Seaga firmly resisted their attempts to do so. Everyone was quite amazed, as he posed the most articulate question compared to the rest of the audience, which included fellow students. Seaga taught a vital lesson that fateful day I will never forget: He said to the audience, “Let this be a learning experience to all who are gathered here… never judge a book by its cover.”

I must recall that Seaga also contributed significantly to the building of many institutions, among them the HEART Trust/National Training Agency (among numerous others) of which I am a proud graduate.

I recommend that the nation should have a learning institution named after Edward Phillip George Seaga based on his cultural assertions. It should be named the Edward Seaga Institute for Cultural Affairs.

Daniel Morgan


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