PJ's Political Journey gets warm welcome in New York

Friday, March 15, 2019

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Hundreds of guests braved the bitter cold in New York City on Friday, March 1, 2019, to share in the launch of former Prime Minister PJ Patterson's book, My Political Journey.

The event, held in association with City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center in Manhattan, was a celebration by Jamaicans, representatives of other Caribbean islands and their US colleagues, of the book described as “an epic narrative” by The University of the West Indies (UWI) Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.

My Political Journey paints a narrative of the enormity of Caribbean civilisation,” Sir Hilary told guests at the launch. “Few countries have had greater global impact than Jamaica — PJ Patterson, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. This is epic history — an epic narrative. You are the pride of Jamaica.”

Dr Elizabeth Nunes, professor at Hunter College, was equally complimentary, placing Patterson's work among celebrated writers like Nobel Peace Prize winner Derek Walcott.

Julia Wrigley, interim provost, CUNY Graduate Center, spoke of the deep association and collaboration between the university and Caribbean people and welcomed guests warmly to the centre.

Representing lead sponsor New Fortress Energy, Verona Carter, vice-president public affairs, called the book “a collector's item to be treasured and handed down from generation to generation, for information, education and a source of inspiration to us all”.

“For us at New Fortress Energy, we are proud of the transformational role that we are playing in helping to shape Jamaica's socio-economic future with the introduction of liquefied natural gas — thanks to the vision of our CEO and founder Wes Edens,” Carter said.

“We're therefore delighted to be here this evening to celebrate a book that aptly chronicles another very important period in Jamaica's overall growth and transformation.”

Dr Luz Longsworth, pro vice chancellor and principal UWI Open Campus and chair UWI Press — publishers of the book — said the “book has brought us to near commercial levels which is very unusual for a small university press. Thank you, for putting your faith in us, Mr Patterson”.

A highlight of the book launch was an onstage “interview” in which Jamaican-born actress Sheryl Lee Ralph “grilled” Patterson on the circumstance of his birth, his upbringing and the vision and mission of the book.

He delighted his audience with snippets of his “journey” and later autographed copies at a Caribbean-style reception complete with steel pan music by Mustafa Alexander.

Other sponsors of the book launch included GK Money Services, Western Union, RIU Hotels, Caribbean Airlines and Golden Krust Bakery.

The third stop on a tour which has already included Kingston and Montego Bay, the New York launch was blessed by Rev Dr Samuel Vassel, district superintendent Metro New York District, Church of the Nazarene.

Publication of the book was sponsored by Heis Consults and the Chase Fund, and Patterson has committed the total proceeds of sales to The UWI to assist in the payment of tuition fees for needy students and the interchange of students to and from the Mona campus to other campuses for specified periods, thus promoting regional integration.

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