Sun | Sep 19, 2021
Our Jamaica

Young Maroon Chief brings national attention to normally quiet process

Published:Tuesday | February 23, 2021 | 8:27 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Contributed Richard Currie, the youngest chief elected to lead the Accompong Maroons in the modern era.

The elections of the Accompong Maroons rarely grab national interest, with the small community usually going about its business with the rest of the country none the wiser. However, 2021 has seen the rise of Chief Richard Currie, who at just 40 years old, is the youngest Colonel in the community’s history. With that youth has come the interest of a nation.

Revolution cry!

Accompong’s youngest chief has big agenda for Maroons

SEVENTY-TWO HOURS after defeating a colonel who spent 11 years at the helm, Chief Richard Currie of the Accompong Maroons says he wants to leverage the rich natural resources and technical capacity in the quasi-sovereign territory to construct an economically independent state.

The 40-year-old has set his sights on an economic revolution, infrastructure development, improved water systems, expanded entrepreneurial skills, as well as family-oriented education.

The MBA graduate of Mona School of Business, whose background spans 15 years in finance, marketing, and communications, has hit the ground running since his election last Thursday, asserting that he will forge ties with local and international partners and achieve his ambitious agenda.

Currie argued that the Maroons have sat on their 283-year treaty without doing much.

“We have suffered at the hands of our own leadership, our own people, and their misunderstanding of what we have, and as a result, have become vulnerable to the interference we have witnessed for decades,” he told The Gleaner on Sunday.

Currently, he is calculating how he will structure governance and support systems to facilitate investment in the sprawling Maroon community.

Wary of those who come bearing gifts, the new chief is anxious to introduce greater structure and planning.

“We always have people coming to present things that are wonderful as a community, but when the action should begin, we often fall apart, and when you go in and investigate, you find it is the structure, the planning,” currie said.

“No one reads the fine print, nobody understands.”

An avowed democrat, Currie, who stakes the claim as the

youngest chief to lead the Accompong Maroons, said he organised an open-mic session after his thumping victory over the incumbent, Fearon Williams.

Healing the wounds after a five-man political battle will be a priority of Currie’s.

The new Maroon chief warned that“nobody wants to do business with unstructured or disorganised entities”.

Currie said that he originally had no intention of engaging in representational politics but was impelled by a desire for service.

“I would never consider myself a politician, never wanted to be seen in that light, but what drew me was witnessing the atrocities that were being carried out against the culture, against the people,” he told The Gleaner.

The former Munro High School student, who gained his first degree in accounting and international business at the University of Technology, brings vast experience to the post, having worked with Pricewaterhousecoopers as an internal auditor and DB&G as an investment analyst.

An expert in fast-moving consumer goods, Currie has worked with a number of multinational companies, including Diageo, Wray & Nephew, Consumer Brands, and Lascelles deMercado.