Former Prime Minister the Most Honorable Edward Philip George Seaga, ON, PC, was one of the principal architects of Jamaica’s post-Independence governmental structure. His long list of achievements in national and political leadership, enlightened policy development, and efficient implementation, marked him as a strategic thinker and man of action.
Mr. Seaga evoked strong responses from various categories of persons, however, even his detractors respected him, and his admirers demonstrated a special brand of loyalty combined with unquestioned love and deep respect. His love and passion for Jamaica was a guiding force in his life and he always wanted what was best for the country.
Mr. Seaga demonstrated his intellectual acumen early in life, and developed his skills of organization, persuasion, and encouraging, guiding, and directing people. He was always very decisive, firm, and clear on where he wanted to go, and how he intended to take people with him.
The late Prime Minister distinguished himself not only by the quality of his service to Jamaica, but by its length and variety. He was the political representative, the Head of the Government, an internationally recognized figure, and a scholar, and he kept working up to the very end.
Mr. Seaga’s later years represented a very impactful period of his service because he was able to communicate with the intellectual community through the University of Technology where he was Chancellor, and with the public at large in his weekly columns. There is no question that his longevity, and the quality of his service, have contributed significantly to Jamaica’s development.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Sir Florizel Glasspole presented Mr. Seaga with his Instrument of Appointment when Her Majesty The Queen made him a member of the Privy Council in 1981. The Most Honourable Sir Howard Cooke was The Governor-General during Mr Saga’s tenure as Leader of the Opposition. In 2010, I had the pleasure of formally meeting Mr. Seaga when he visited me at King’s House on a Courtesy Call, and presented copies of his autobiographies, “Edward Seaga: My Life & Leadership: Clash of Ideologies, Vol 1” and “Edward Seaga: Shaping History: Hard Road to Travel, Vol 2”.
Mr. Seaga was an exceptional political leader. He leaves us a legacy of visionary leadership, sustainable institutional development, and a wealth of ideas and information. His formidable record of service will ensure the perpetuation of his contribution to the ongoing political maturing of our nation for years to come.
June 18, 2019