Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor
It has been said 'to whom much is given, much is expected'. So it is of political protégé and burgeoning political lion, Phillip Paulwell. A lawyer by profession, who was invited to join the People's National Party (PNP) in order to give back to his community and country, the young Phillip Paulwell is credited for the liberalisation of the Jamaican telecommunications marketplace, which heralded the introduction of new players in the market and thus put an end to the stranglehold the then Cable and Wireless had on the telecommunications sector, and the attendant deleterious effect that monopoly had on the Jamaican consumer.
Indeed, while once seen as the shining star of the P.J. Patterson-led PNP administration, his inclusive approach, where he embraced his opponents and their concerns and some policies, led to some questioning his competence and led to the prime ministerial defence of his stewardship which immortalised the phrase youthful exuberance in the Jamaican body politic.
Today, Phillip Paulwell has long redeemed himself. He has demonstrated a capacity for positive and innovative thinking outside of the box, which stands him in good stead in and outside of the hallowed halls of our Houses of Parliament, while simultaneously displaying an understanding of the grass-roots issues.
Over the years, he has displayed a penchant for a problem-solving approach to governance, as against the defeatist attitude adopted by many of his colleagues.
Indeed, he is also known to enjoy and good party, so on the eve of his 50th birthday, it came as no surprise that the minister would celebrate his milestone with anything less that a rip-roaring shindig!
And so it was, that on the eve of the 50th birthday celebration for the MP of East Kingston and Port Royal, all eyes were on Port Royal as it was to this famed Jamaican international landmark that guests were invited.
To begin with, Port Royal a picturesque fishing village, which once boasted the Police Training Academy and the headquarters of the Jamaican Coast Guard, and a number of celebrated seafood restaurants, lost some of its sheen and popularity when the Police Academy was removed to its present site over there in Twickenham Park, St Catherine.
Ever hopeful, however, Phillip Paulwell decided to stage his pre-birthday birthday celebrations in the old city as a means of not just focusing national attention, but to rekindle interest and awareness in this yet-to-be mined, very rich gold mine!
Well dears, if you missed this party, truth be well told, y'all missed a simply fabulous shindig, as the organising team made it a show-stopper of an event and nothing but. Not only were the world and his wife out in celebratory numbers, Fort Charles and Port Royal have not looked so good since Henry Morgan made it his Caribbean port of call and headquarters in the heyday of piracy.
And in keeping with the spirit of the Fort, 'Pirate and Wenches' were out and about and frolicking to the latest contemporary arias drawn from the world of reggae and international pop music and dears, it made for a simply marvellous milieu!
Luvs, that was how it was and then some, but what a party!
No grandstanding or ceremony here, just an acknowledgement of the occasion; the cutting of the cake, the honours he shared with his party leader, and then it was all about enjoying the party, the richness and beauty of Fort Charles and Port Royal, and luvs, the guests needed no prompting and so, party they did!
Among those out sharing in the celebrations were Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller; Drs Wykeham McNeill and Fenton Ferguson; Anthony Hylton; Noel Arscott; Lisa Hanna and companion Richard Lake; Julian Robinson; Damion Crawford; Colin Fagan; Mikael Phillips; Raymond Pryce; André Hylton; Marjorie Taylor; Elinor Felix; Indian HE Pratap Singh; Yuri Gala Lopez; Norma Clarke; Sameer and Leila Younis; Evan Duggan; Dr Wesley Hughes; Eran and Tina Spiro; Professor Henry Lowe; Steve Ashley; Kingsley Cooper and the fab Romae Gordon; Dr Franklyn Johnston; the fab Pamela Redwood, Ancile Brewster; Brian Williams and wife Dr Lanie Oakley-Williams; Dr Margaret Sylvester; Don Wehby and Dr Ronald Robinson; Basil Waite; Marilyn Bennett; Fae Ellington, plus a number of others!
But luvs, on the social Richter scale - a definite tenner!