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Chairman emeritus! - Pickersgill to be honoured by party

Published:Monday | September 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Robert Pickersgill

The man the People's National Party (PNP) calls 'chairman for life' will be honoured by the party he served in that capacity for 25 years and will be named chairman emeritus.

General secretary of the PNP, Julian Robinson, said the party president, Dr Peter Phillips, recommended to the executive at its last meeting that Robert Pickersgill be bestowed with the title chairman emeritus and the suggestion was unanimously approved by the party.

Speaking on Monday at a press briefing to outline activities for the party's annual conference, which starts tomorrow, Robinson said at an appropriate occasion the PNP would pay its respects to Pickersgill, who held the position of chairman for a quarter of a century.

"I don't think his record of 25 years will ever be matched by anybody, but I would say it takes a particular type of individual to remain chairman for 25 years," he said.

Robinson noted that the chairman of the party has to be elected every year, noting that Pickersgill, over his tenure, has faced the National Executive Council annually.

In a Gleaner interview, Pickersgill said it was not by chance he held the post of chairman of the party for more than two decades, noting that his journey in the PNP started under the tutelage of the founder of the party, Norman Manley.

The outgoing chairman said he "sat at the feet of Michael Manley," and learned from his predecessors, Dudley Thompson, Sir Howard Cooke and P.J. Patterson.

Commenting on the new title to be conferred on him, Pickersgill said: "I am proud but at the same time one has to be careful, you don't want to interfere with the new chairman. Although I will guard it jealously and zealously, I will temper my presence because it could come across as attempting to overshadow, and I would not want that at all."

Later this month, St Catherine South Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson will go up against Anthony Hylton, St Andrew Western MP, for the chairmanship of the party.