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Key moments in Patterson's history detailed in document collection handed over to UWI

Published:Thursday | April 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Dr Paulette Kerr (left), campus librarian at UWI, Mona, and P.J. Patterson view pieces from his collection of works which he formally handed over to the university's Main Library on Tuesday.
From left: University Registrar C. William Iton, PJ.. Patterson and Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles sign to symbolise the official handover of the P.J. Patterson Collection to the Main Library at the UWI Regional Headquarters on Tuesday.

Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson handed over volumes of files that he gathered during his time in office to the University of the West Indies (UWI) at a ceremony on Tuesday, which pulled out people from across various sections of the society, including some of his closest confidantes.

It was an occasion that also brought together two political adversaries: Portia Simpson Miller and Bruce Golding.

The collection of more than 500 files includes documents on ganja, the International Monetary Fund, and details on a shooting incident that took place at Patterson's residence some time ago. Documents relating to the 'Spy Robinson' case of the 1980s are also said to be included in the collection, which is to be housed in the Main Library at the UWI, Mona campus.

Speaking during the handover at the UWI Regional Headquarters in Kingston, Patterson said that he was only the trustee and guardian of the documents and had a responsibility to ensure that they were preserved and made available to those who sought information.

"In writing an article for the Pelican as we celebrated our 60th anniversary, I said that this university had to take the lead in becoming the repository of our collective memories. I believe that this collection will assist in that process," the former prime minister contended.

Patterson quipped that what he had done in releasing the documents, Simpson Miller and Golding, who sat beside each other, would "do in due course".

Pointing to Golding's recent publication of a report on the Caribbean Community bloc, Patterson said that the regional university had an interest in the outcome of deliberations triggered by the report.

"Either we are going to go forward together, or we are going to drown separately in the turbulent world that we face to today," Patterson said on that matter.

Patterson thanked the university's librarian and the university's staff for handling the documents. He also specially mentioned Sir George Alleyne, chancellor emeritus, for his part in the ceremony.

At the ceremony, the P.J. Patterson Endowment Fund was launched with an undisclosed sum, fulfilling a promise the former prime minister made when he was asked by the university to be the patron of its homecoming exercise.