Thu | Oct 21, 2021

Martin Henry, an appreciation

Published:Friday | May 31, 2019 | 12:22 AM


I first met Martin Henry through his writings as a Gleaner columnist and later as one of the editors who received his columns for The Sunday Gleaner circa 2009 to 2012. He was a disciplined contributor, usually the first to send his articles well ahead of the stipulated Thursday afternoon submission deadline.

As a public affairs writer, his was not an easy read for those who preferred a more populist, entertainment-focused, or combative style. Indeed, his plodding, methodical analyses were sometimes dismissed as boring. Yet, his careful scrutiny and commentary on the political, cultural, and social issues of the day revealed a mind that was given to deep thought and an appreciation of world history. He sometimes would wryly point to the late Morris Cargill’s summary: “Martin Henry thinks too much!”

His offerings were shaped not only by his formal education, but also by his rural roots in St Thomas and his coming to Kingston as a young man and experiencing the gritty inner-city life of Greenwich Town, in what is now the South West St Andrew constituency with its ugly political under-belly. His views were somewhat conservative and decidedly right of centre, but he was no rabid ideologue.

As a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA), Martin did not wear his religion on his sleeve nor did he seem driven to convince others publicly that his sense of righteousness was still intact. Yet, there was a clear perspective on morality and religion that often undergirded his writings. Indeed, in an unusual overt reference to his SDA affiliation, his column of last Sunday, May 26, analysed Theresa May’s Brexit/European Union conundrum in the light of SDA teachings on a prophetic unfolding of world history.

As a reader and one of his former editors, I certainly appreciated many of his going-against-the-grain analyses. As an older colleague with whom I sometimes exchanged emails on public affairs and media developments, I will miss him.

Walk good, Sir Martin.