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Golden aged standard-bearers target Gordon House

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMGary Spaulding
Phyllis Mitchell
Portia Simpson Miller
Mike Henry
Pearnel Charles
Karl Samuda
Derrick Smith
Robert Pickersgill
Dr Omar Davies
Derrick Kellier
Edmund Bartlett
Fenton Ferguson
Dr Peter Phillips

At 70, Phyllis Mitchell is attempting to make a comeback into representational politics.

While younger political aspirants are attempting to send political veterans, some of whom have long passed the legal retirement age of between 60 and 65, into retirement, Mitchell is trying to turn the tables on her younger rivals.

When Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller flies the gate signifying the precise date of the upcoming general election, it is not only incumbent legislators, believed to have overstayed their time in Gordon House, who will be seeking to extend their tenure.

Mitchell is a glaring exception.

The former parliamentarian, who was born on April 25, 1945, will attempt to recapture the North East St Catherine seat for the People's National Party (PNP).

Mitchell won the seat in 1993 before losing in a court challenge after the 1997 polls.

She will be attempting to join a throng of golden-age members of parliament, including Simpson Miller, who will be 70 in less than two months, having been born on December 12, 1945.



Henry the eldest at 80


The eldest in the slate of candidates to be fielded by both sides of the political divide promises to be the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Mike Henry, who turned 80 in June of this year.

The records show that Henry, who has been the member of parliament for Central Clarendon since 1980, was born on June 18, 1935.

Henry is followed by North Central Clarendon member of parliament Pearnel Charles, who is 79.

Charles, who served as MP for Eastern St Thomas for three terms, between 1980 and 1983, was born in 1936.

Eight-time member of parliament for North Central St Andrew Karl Samuda was born on February 2, 1942. That makes the man going for a ninth consecutive victory, 73 years old.

Samuda is a year older than Robert Pickersgill, the long-time PNP chairman, who is gunning for his seventh consecutive term as member of parliament for North West St Catherine.

Like Pickersgill, who was born on February 2, 1943, Derrick Smith, the seven-time member of parliament (six in North West St Andrew and one in West Central Kingston) is 72.

Smith, going for an eighth straight victory as an MP and seven in St Andrew North West, is a shade younger, with his date of birth being November 27, 1943.

Then there are Derrick Kellier, the member of parliament for St James South, and Dr Omar Davies, who has represented South St Andrew for the past 21 years, since winning a by-election in late 1993. Both men are 68.

Kellier, a six-term MP, was born on May 27, 1947 and Davies, a day later. Dr Peter Phillips, the member of parliament for East Central St Andrew, since 1994, has touched retirement age, at 65. He was born on December 28, 1949.

Having been born December 3, 1950, Edmund Bartlett a former three-term member of parliament for Eastern St Andrew, now representing St James East Central, is 64 years old.

The member of parliament for Eastern St Thomas, since 1993, Dr Fenton Ferguson, is approaching the legal retirement age at 64. He was born on June 18, 1951.

So is 63-year-old Audley Shaw, the member of parliament for Manchester North East, since 1993. Shaw was born on June 13, 1952.