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The UWI Mona Mourns the Passing of Former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga

The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus mourns the passing of one of our Distinguished Fellows, Former Prime Minister Edward Phillip George Seaga. The Mona community extends its condolences to his widow Carla, also a member of the university community, his children and the rest of his family; we also express condolences to his colleagues, constituency members, friends and well-wishers in their time of bereavement.
He served as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) from 1974 to 2005 and was the fifth Prime Minister of Jamaica, a country he loved unconditionally and served for more than 40 years. 
His commitment to building bridges between the haves and the have-nots is the hallmark of the trajectory of his life as a nation-builder and can be measured by his long list of achievements as the longest serving parliamentarian.
In addition to being the youngest member of the joint legislative team which crafted Jamaica’s Independence Constitution, he was the architect of the establishment of several institutions that transformed Jamaica’s potential for social and economic growth, and by extension, changed the lives of its people. These include, but are not limited to, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ); the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), The Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Jamaica Unit Trust (JUT).  He was integral in the establishment of the student revolving loan fund for higher education, now the Students’ Loan Bureau (SLB). His nation building efforts led to the establishment of social programmes and institutions such as The Golden Age Home for the Elderly, the National School Feeding Programme, and the Human Employment and Resource Training Centre (The Heart Trust/ NTA).
His involvement in music and culture predated Jamaica’s independence, as he was passionate about the promotion of the beauty and depth of our cultural and musical heritage across the globe. He established the West India Records Limited (WIRL), to give poor Jamaicans a way to experience their own musical productions in relation to listening and incorporating dance. As a politician he used his good office to preserve our rich cultural legacy with the establishment of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), their mandate being “To influence national development positively by creating opportunities that unearth, develop, preserve and promote the creative talents and cultural expressions of the Jamaican people, through a professional and dynamic team, thereby advancing brand Jamaica worldwide.”
Following his retirement from politics, he joined us at The UWI Mona as Honorary Distinguished Fellow and conducted extensive research on child development and revivalist cults. He had several publications related to these areas - Grenada Intervention: The Inside Story; Revelations: Beyond Political Boundaries, Lectures 2005-2009; Parent-Teacher Relationships, published by the Institute of Social and Economic Research, The UWI; and Revival Spirit Cults published in the Jamaica Journal, a publication for which he was integral in its conception. The Jamaica Journal is now an internationally acclaimed scholarly publication of the Institute of Jamaica. He has left an incredible legacy to Jamaica for many generations to come by donating his papers and memorabilia, housed here at the Mona library. 
A leader of strong conviction and purpose, his influence on the course of life in Jamaica is undeniable. He was a cultural icon, a strong leader a champion of the oppressed. He was a man of action, and most importantly, a man of the people who had unwavering confidence in the ability of Jamaicans to overcome “inhospitable and unlikely odds.”
We are eternally grateful that he chose to spend his life in service to Jamaica - all in an effort to build a nation of which its people can be proud. 
In light of his passing, the University flags will be raised at half-mast today and on the day he is laid to rest.
 Photo: nlj.gov.jm

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