Tue | Oct 20, 2020

Patterson: DK was a master field marshal

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:05 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson signs the condolence book for the late D.K. Duncan at the People’s National Party headquarters on Tuesday.
Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson signs the condolence book for the late D.K. Duncan at the People’s National Party headquarters on Tuesday.

D.K. Duncan, the former People’s National Party (PNP) member of parliament (MP) and government minister, was a “master field marshal”, according to former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

Patterson, who was a contemporary of Duncan’s, remembered him as someone who sacrificed his dental practice to become party general secretary at a vital moment for the PNP, which at that time was being led by Michael Manley.

His organisational skills have been legendary and it was his input that spurred the PNP to electoral victory in the 1972 general election.

“DK joined the front lines of the team which led the People’s National Party. He was a master field marshal, and you knew always that when he was out there, he was working with his people for equity, for freedom and justice,” Patterson said, shortly after signing the condolence book at party headquarters on Old Hope Road on Tuesday.

Duncan, one of the legendary generals of the PNP who steered it during the tumultuous upheaval of the 1970s, died last Thursday age 80, at The University Hospital of the West Indies.

Patterson said Duncan never faltered and that his enthusiasm “never dimmed”.

“Even after he had given such distinguished service to St Andrew East Central, the people of Hanover Eastern recognised that he was a jewel. I have noted with particular satisfaction the expressions that have come from that constituency, which is the parish to which I belong. He was always there for the oppressed and for the poor,” the former prime minister noted.

“His body has passed, but his spirit will always serve to inspire those of who are still alive in building the People’s National Party in fulfilling its historic mission.”

Duncan represented the Hanover Eastern constituency from 2007 to 2016, and before that served as the member of parliament for St Andrew East Central from 1976 to 1980.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com