A J's political record

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Commendation is appropriately due to A J Nicholson for having been elevated to 'officer emeritus' in the People's National Party (PNP) for his many years of service to the party as reported in the Daily Observer of Friday, July 7, 2017.

An indefatigable party man, Nicholson's record of service in both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament is well documented as one of the most energetic and colourful Members to grace Gordon House.

However, his political genesis as a PNP torch-bearer did not originate with electoral success in St Andrew West Central in 1989 (as stated). It actually started in his hometown constituency of Clarendon North Central 13 years earlier in the 1976 General Election when he was trounced by Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) incumbent Dr Percival Broderick by some 5,035 votes. With that kind of political baptism, it was hardly surprising that he later sought to embrace the haven of Corporate Area garrison representation and then opted out in the late 90s when the tide started to turn in William Seivright's former bastion.

In spite of his illustrious political exploits in later years, Nicholson's role as the victorious PNP candidate against JLP incumbent Ferdie Yap in the 1989 St Andrew West Central contest is an unforgettable event largely marred by political thugs who reportedly locked up the JLP candidate all day on election day, and he was only released after polls closed at 5:00 pm that evening. As a result, not much was left to the imagination regarding his victory margin of over 2,600 votes.

Interestingly, A J Nicholson became the second of two prominent legal eagles who hail from Rock River in Clarendon and were elected to Parliament only after initially tasting defeat. The other was former JLP Chairman Eugene C L Parkinson (Hector Wynter's stepfather) who lost to Norman Manley in St Andrew East Urban & Suburban in 1959 and to Vernon Arnett in St Andrew Central in 1962, before clobbering Arnett in the then newly created St Andrew Southern seat in 1967, and became the seventh Speaker of the House, 1967-1972.

Troy Caine





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