Former Prime Minister of Jamaica P.J. Patterson signing a copy of his book My Political Journey: Jamaica’s Sixth Prime Minister for Ambassador at Large and Plenipotentiary, Dame Billie Miller, at yesterday’s launch at The University of the West Indies. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P.J. Patterson, has been described as an “inspiration” who has served with distinction and put the region first.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley expressed this view last night as she addressed the launch of Mr. Patterson’s book – My Political Journey: Jamaica’s Sixth Prime Minister,at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, the University of the West Indies.

Ms. Mottley told her audience: “In spite of his brilliance as an attorney-at-law, throughout this book is the simple and humble passion to serve and to make our societies a better place in which to live…. P.J. Patterson represents for me that preeminent Caribbean statesman who has mastered every aspect of political life – ability of purpose, the gentility of man, the calmness of expression and simply a gentleman in all respects….

“There is no more consummate political practitioner in the post-independence Caribbean than Percival Noel James Patterson. His exploits, tactics and strategies are legendary and for all who have been a student of politics, you will do well to recognize that this book is worth reading.”

The Prime Minister urged all young Caribbean people who cared about the region to take the time and read the book, saying there were many lessons to be gleaned from it.

She pointed out that he was adept at working with all different types of persons to assist in the transformation of the nation.

She added that he was also a master of public policy who was committed to excellence in the quality of service he rendered as a public official and nation builder.

Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; and Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Shridath Ramphal, chatting at the launch of former Jamaica Prime Minister P.J. Patterson’s book at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, The UWI. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Ms. Mottley noted that Mr. Patterson was committed to putting the region first. A prime example of this, she said, was his taking on responsibility for hosting Cricket World Cup 2007 in this region.

According to her, he led the effort with the Cricket Council to ensure the region went after this major sporting event aggressively.

“That we were a collection of islands did not matter to him, what mattered was for us to host these games in magnificent style,” she stated.

My Political Journey: Jamaica’s Sixth Prime Minister is an account of Mr. Patterson’s time as an active and successful participant in the political and social development of Jamaica and the Caribbean from the mid-1950s into the early 2000s.

He is widely regarded as a master political strategist and universally acknowledged as an astute negotiator.

It is said that the 84-year-old “led his country with distinction, implementing policies and programmes to foster social renewal and the development of a modern Jamaica that was prepared to face the challenges of the new millennium”.

Former Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Shridath Ramphal, said the book will “influence generations of West Indians beyond the present to know that the best is attainable still”.

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