Family, friends say goodbye to Troy Caine

Family, friends say goodbye to Troy Caine

Senior staff reporter

Sunday, February 03, 2019

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Family members and friends joined political associates, including Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday in saying farewell, to the late graphic artist and political analyst, Troy Caine during a thanksgiving service held at the Holy Cross Church in St Andrew.

Caine, who was recognised as the “go-to guy” for political facts and figures, was often called upon across the local media landscape for expert reflection on political matters, including general elections.

He died on Thursday, January 10, after a long illness which, however, did not keep him from his research, revelations, nor his duties on the board of the National Library of Jamaica.

Speaking at yesterday's thanksgiving service, Prime Minister Holness recalled first meeting Caine during the period leading up to the 1997 general election, when he made his entry representational politics in West Central St Andrew.

Holness said that after being devastated by Caine's negative analysis that he would not be able to turn around a 4,000 voting deficit for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), which was the legacy of the former MP AJ Nicholson, he was eventually motivated by the challenge of the prediction. He said that the event helped him to concretise his determination to win the seat on his first attempt, which he did.

“I made the point because in the back of my mind, I was saying that Troy, who was so close to the Jamaica Labour Party; how could he do that? But, I think the important point that we should take away from it was that, even though he was a known supporter of the JLP, Troy was not a tribalist,” the prime minister remarked.

He credited Caine with being true to his work and an analyst who paid attention to the facts, which was all that could be asked of a historian. He also noted that Caine would, eventually, credit him with being one of the most effective ministers of education that Jamaica had ever seen.

“We are the less for not having Troy around. His incisive commentary and analysis, his guidance, which was not just recognised by the Jamaica Labour Party, as all political parties recognised his skills…he was truly a great Jamaican,” Holness added.

He said that on behalf of the people of Jamaica, and the members of JLP he was paying respect and tribute to a great Jamaican.

Also paying tribute were Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange; former JLP senator and current representative for Jamaica at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Arthur Williams and former Mayor of Black River Jeremy Palmer, both of whom shared memories of Caine's high school experience at Munro College in St Elizabeth.

Grange noted that he was a talented graphic artist who was often called upon to prepare citations, which is how he started his career at the former advertising giant, Lindo, Norman, Craig and Kummel (LNCK).

She said that Caine also made an invaluable contribution as a member of the board of the National Library of Jamaica, and noted that, despite his political preference, his political analysis was always to the point, fair and balanced.

Palmer, who currently represents the Pedro Plains division of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, recalled a friendship of 50 years starting at the Ballards Valley Elementary School in St Elizabeth.

“When I met Troy, I immediately realised that we had something in common — a great passion for politics and political events. Local, yes, but also international, as Troy was a keen student of geography and politics,” Palmer said.

“Troy's commitment to true scholarship was not diminished. He carefully compiled his research over many decades. He knew the figures from each election, whether they were national or local. He had a profile of winners, but he recorded the names of the also ran, as well,” Palmer noted.

“I have lost a friend, an intellectual soul mate, a fellow traveller, and a passionate believer in a system of values,” he added.

In his tribute Williams recalled that Caine was among a small group of boys who turned up at Munro College, for the start of their high school years, on the first Monday in 1960, as the first set of daytime boys to attend the previously all-boarding school.

He noted that Caine was the only student from Ballards Valley Primary to gain a free place at Munro in 1959. Among the boys who travelled with him were Branford Gayle, who would later return to the school as its headmaster, and Milverton Reynolds, the current head of the Development Bank of Jamaica.

“I am told that on the way to and from school there were often spirited discussions about politics. Troy was so stout in his support of the JLP that he was immediately nicknamed 'Busta'. That nickname, however, stuck with him among his fellow travellers, but it didn't seem to have taken root in the wider school,” Williams noted.

He said he knew Caine not only as a political historian, but also as a historian on music in general, and Jamaican music in particular, and as a historian, particularly on Boys' Champs.

“I had been urging Troy for some time now to write a book about Jamaican politics. The last discussion I had with him on that subject was in July last year. He assured me then that he would be getting around to it. I respectfully suggest to Denise (his wife) and the girls that putting together a compilation of all his work would be a fitting tribute to his memory,” Williams noted.

Janella Precius of Television Jamaica (TVJ) remembered Caine as “the Jamaica Google”; Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw, thrilled the mourners with a song, “Only remember what We have done”; while the eulogy was read by Caine's daughter, Dr Shoshoni Droz.

Officiating were Rev Father Arokiadas “Francis” Arumainatah, who offered the homily; organist was Clyde Walters; and the cantor was Darcy Tulloch.

His body was buried at the Dovecot Memorial Park, St Catherine.

— See related photos on Page18

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