The Most Hon. Edward Seaga: Four Decades of Distinguished Public Service

Photo: JIS Photographer

The Most Honourable Edward Philip George Seaga, ON is a former Jamaican politician and Jamaica’s fifth Prime Minister. His tenure lasted from November 04, 1980 to February 13, 1989. Additionally, he served as the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party for over 30 years, from 1974 to 2005.

 

Career

During his four (4) decades as a politician, Mr. Seaga served as leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (1974 – 1977), as well as:

  • Prime Minister of Jamaica (1980 – 1989)
  • Opposition Leader (1974 – 1980 and 1989 – 1988)
  • Minister of Finance and Planning (1967 – 1974), and
  • Minister of Development and Welfare (1962 – 1967)

Mr. Seaga entered politics in 1959; he was 29 years old. His mission was to do what he could to transform people’s lives.

In April 1962, Mr. Seaga was elected Member of Parliament for West Kingston; a position he held for 43 years. Mr. Seaga contributed to the social and economic development of Jamaica throughout his political career. He supported or spearheaded social programmes that provided assistance to the poor and vulnerable, such as the National School Feeding Programme (1971), and the Food Stamp Programme for the elderly poor and lactating mothers (1984). He also influenced the establishment of several educational and training institutions, such as the Institute of Mass Communication (1974) now Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), and the Human Employment & Resource Training Programme (HEART) in 1982.

He also led the development of organisations that promoted economic growth. Among them are the Jamaica Citizens Bank (1967), the Jamaica Unit Trust (1971), and the Export-Import Bank (1986).

In 2005, Mr. Seaga accepted the call to serve as Honorary Distinguished Fellow at the Professorial level in the School for Graduate Studies and Research at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Since 2007, he has been serving as chancellor of the University of Technology (UTech).

Awards

For his contribution to national development, Mr. Seaga has been awarded several honours, including:

  • The Consular Corps of Jamaica Global Achievement Award (January 2017)
  • Jamaica’s second highest honour, the Order of the Nation (2002)
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award (1984)
  • Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II’s Privy Council (1981)
  • The Gleaner Honour Awards: Man of the Year award (1980)

 

Family

Mr. Seaga has four children – Christopher, Andrew, Anabella and Gabrielle. He is married to Carla Vendryes.

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