PAJ honours Cargill
Veteran Gleaner columnist, Morris Cargill (seated), receives his citation from Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) president, Desmond Allen and second vice-president, Donna Ortega, at his home yesterday. Mr. Cargill, who has been a columnist for 45 years was honoured at the association's Veteran's Luncheon.
"A veritable icon of the profession of journalism in Jamaica" is how veteran columnist Morris Cargill was described in a citation presented to him yesterday by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), which honoured him at this year's Veterans' Luncheon.
Mr. Cargill, who has been a regular writer for The Gleaner for the past 45 years, was unable to attend the luncheon held at J. Wray and Nephew's Hospitality Room on Spanish Town Road, Kingston, due to illness.
However, he displayed much of the candour, clarity and wit attributed to him in the citation, when members of the PAJ executive and other journalists visited his home after the luncheon.
Sharing a few of his memories, Mr. Cargill said he had become a columnist "quite by accident", when The Gleaner's sole columnist was fired by Gleaner editor-in-chief Theodore Sealy, and his father, who was offered the position, referred the editor to him.
Mr. Cargill said when he began writing, no one had dared ridicule the actions of Government officials and public figures, but added that he spared no one "from the Government down."
Despite the fact that his irreverent wit found a target almost anywhere, the veteran journalist said the newspaper did not lose any advertisers because of this, but gained a wider audience.
"I was very rude to practically everybody, but my readers liked it," he said.
Mr. Cargill, who was at various times, attorney-at-law, farmer, newspaper editor and politician, also gave a humorous account of his unexpected entry into politics as Member of Parliament for Federation, when he was himself opposed to federation.
At 84, Morris Cargill uses a wheelchair and laments the fact that he can no longer move around as much as he would like. His wit, however, remains razor sharp.