Tue | Mar 20, 2018

The Burkes create political history

Published:Tuesday | September 23, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Paul Burke and his wife, Angela. FILE

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

AS A couple, Paul Burke and his wife, Angela Brown Burke, always looked as if they were wedded to the People's National Party (PNP), taking the marriage mantra 'til death do us part' literally to new political heights.

It may have been such that the two were brought together by a seemingly fabled brand of comradeship forged by their common love for their party, but it has also kept the couple solidly wedded.

Burke and Brown Burke have created a bit of history way beyond the pale of the comradely confines of their Old Hope Road-based political sanctum.

Even as the two became one in the marital arena, Burke and Brown Burke have become a major force with which to be reckoned on the political landscape.


From the gruelling husting on her political stomping ground of Norman Gardens, Brown Burke, the young woman whose political foray started as a teen, was elected councillor for the division.

That was merely the first rung on the political ladder for Burke's bride.

It was not long before the Cuba-trained linguist debated her way to the position of mayor of Kingston, before copping an enviable senatorial position.

But the coup de grace came when her hard work as a party loyalist came about when she was elected vice-president to the PNP.

Like his wife, Burke is a loyalist of the current leader of the Portia Simpson Miller-led administration.

It did not come as a surprise then that the former youth political organiser, who led the PNP and later took on the mantle of leader of the powerful PNP Region Three, was handpicked by Simpson Miller to be the party's general secretary.

This means that Burke has been placed around the steering wheel of the PNP's organisational vehicle to secure another election victory for the party in which the couple has spent the bulk of their lives.

Former PNP President P.J. Patterson, the patriarch, has given his blessings to Burke.

More significantly, the couple has etched their names in the annals of political history as one of the first political couples to hold such preeminent positions in a major political party.