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Mullings was people's champ - P.J.

Published:Thursday | October 10, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Former Deputy Prime Minister Seymour Mullings in 1995.

Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

Seymour Mullings, the quiet, affable political giant, who served in a range of prominent positions and managed several ministerial portfolios in People's National Party (PNP) administrations between 1969 and 2004, is being hailed as an extraordinary public servant.

Mullings who served as deputy prime minister to P.J. Patterson in the 1990s; finance minister in the Michael Manley administration in 1989 and Jamaica's ambassador to the United States 2001-2004, yielded to a protracted illness early yesterday.

The former PNP vice-president was 82 at the time of his passing.

Shortly after his death was announced, the PNP lowered the party's flag to half mast in acknowledgement of the "tremendous contributions" of Mulling to the nation as well as the party.

"Known affectionately as 'Foggy', he has long toiled for this country having chosen to provide national service through political representation as a member of the People's National Party," said a statement from the PNP headquarters.

For his part, Patterson, who is in the Eastern Caribbean, spoke highly of the support he received from Mullings as Deputy Prime Minister and described him as a tireless worker.

"We have lost a genuine champion of the people and an exemplary politician who served our nation well," asserted Patterson.

Excellent politician

He added that Mullings was an excellent political representative who was statesman like in his approach to ministerial and ambassadorial duties.

The former prime minister applauded his stout defence of the policies of his Government and his single-minded approach to securing benefits for his constituents.

Mullings also had a second love - his piano. An accomplished player, Mullings created melodious notes in music akin to the harmonious chord he struck with his political cohorts. He was a life member of the Jamaica Federations of Musicians.

A parliamentarian who was well-respected by members on both sides of the political divide, Mullings served as Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives in the early 1990s.

The career politician who made South East St Ann into a conformable "home" for the PNP after he first won the seat in 1972, also held the ministerial portfolios of foreign affairs, health, local government and agriculture.

Late last year, the St Ann Parish Council passed a resolution calling for a road in South East St Ann to be named the Seymour Mulling Boulevard.

In a statement yesterday, the current Member of Parliament, Lisa Hanna, described Mullings as a fine exemplar of selfless representation and of high quality community and national service.