Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Three generations in Parliament

Published:Sunday | January 22, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Julian Robinson, member of parliament for South East St Andrew, is among a handful of third-generation politicians, but he is not the first, noted political historian Troy Caine.

The Robinsons are the third such family that seems set to create a parliamentary dynasty. Before Julian Robinson, it was his aunt, Heather Robinson, and preceding her was her father, Rudolph (Julian's grandfather).

Caine, however, pointed out that the Gallimores on the Jamaica Labour Party side and McNeills on the PNP side, brought the first sets of third-generation members to Gordon House.

Wykeham McNeill became a third-generation politician when he was elected in Western Westmoreland in 1997 and Andrew Gallimore in 2002 in West Rural St Andrew.

The Gallimores comprise father, Aabuthnott; son, Neville; and grandson, Andrew, while the McNeills consist of Eustace, the father; Kenneth, the son; and Wykeham, the grandson.

Wykeham, who bears the same first name as his father, but publicly uses his middle name, inherited the strong Western Westmoreland seat from the senior McNeill.

Caine said Wykeham missed out on this piece of history to the younger Gallimore because his grandfather (Eustace McNeill) lost to the JLP's George Henry in the 1944 general election in Western St Catherine when he ran as an independent candidate.

"Eustace was the last member of the legislative council for the Western St Catherine seat, but he was elected in the new political system (post-independence)," Caine disclosed.

first political grandson

However, Caine noted that Aabuthnott Gallimore was elected in the first election in 1944.

"This made Andrew the first political grandson of Jamaica, in terms of a continuous family dynasty."

The constituency of Western Westmoreland where the second generation (Dr Kenneth) McNeill started a political reign also featured in the Robinson dynasty.

Caine noted that the first-generation Robinson (Rudolph) started his reign in 1959 when he defeated Clifford Campbell in that constituency, reversing the JLP dominance in this area.

Robinson was defeated in 1962 by the JLP's C.W. Swaby, but his daughter Heather took up where he left off by copping the old South Central St Catherine seat for the PNP more than a generation later, in 1993.

There was another gap before the third-generation Robinson retrieved the political mantle his grandfather Rudolph had won when he defeated the JLP's Dwight Nelson, and in so doing etched his name in the history books.