Why P.J Patterson Is Jamaica’s Superhero

P.J Patterson
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The world may have known him as a Prime Minister, lawyer, or member of the Queen’s Council. For me, and many Jamaicans, P.JPatterson was the Jamaican Superhero who changed our lives.

Although his parents named him Percival Noel James Patterson, we just called him PJ. Somehow the world knew since the day he was born (April 10, 1935), that he was meant to change our lives forever. When he was only eight years old, he was already hoping that one day we would be an independent nation. A concept then that I never understood.

Notably, most people only got to see one of the three characters that joined to make him PJ.  These powers made him a formidable foe, an endearing brother, and the longest-reigning leader Jamaica has known.

  • Team player
  • Persistency
  • Silent power

What Makes P.J Patterson the Jamaican Superhero

P.J Patterson

During his early years, PJ learned the patience of farming from his father, Henry, and the insight of leading from his mother Ina who was a primary school teacher. He studied at three prestigious universities including the University of the West Indies and the London School of Economics.  While the world saw these titles, very few saw his influence on his classmates, and most of them became leaders throughout the Caribbean.

PJ the Team Player

One of the most valuable characteristics of Patterson is his ability to work within a team. Even though he had all the features to be a leader, PU was satisfied to follow. He joined the Peoples National Party in 1958 and later became its youngest Vice President. Later, in 1969, he was appointed as an opposition Member of Parliament by opposition leader, Norman Manley.

That same year, Michael Manley (son of Norman Manley) chose PJ as his campaign leader. The partnership would last for 23 years. The following year, in 1970, PJ was elected as MP for Westmoreland, retaining it for the next ten years.

Patterson – The Persistent Politician

Another ability shown by this hidden superhero was his unyielding quest to establish political freedom in Jamaica. During the early years of Jamaican politics, the country was plagued by violent elections including deaths, destruction of property, and voter intimidation.

This was worsened by the economic climate that strained the country’s relationship with the US and British markets. Then Prime Minister, Michael Manley, sought an alliance with Cuba and eventually the USSR. This threatened the young democracy.

In an attempt to change the political system to a communist market platform, Michael Manley lost the elections. Even at this point, PJ remained loyal and granted his full support to Manley.

The Silent Power of PJ

P. J Patterson

Interestingly, the newly elected government abandoned all relations with Cuba and the USSR, strengthening economic ties with the US and the UK. The country nonetheless, suffered from a brain drain created by the earlier push to communism. This made it difficult to implement the economic aspirations of Prime Minister Edward Seaga.

In addition, the violence continued during elections and when Seaga took a machistic approach, he lost his female base. this led to raptures in his party and a landslide victory under the campaign leadership of Patterson.

In 1992, Priminister Michael Manley retired and endowed the premiership to Patterson. He became the first political leader to have won four consecutive terms as Prime Minister. I can still recall the campaign slogan ”We Say PJ” That changed everything we knew.

Moreover, PJ “led to Jamaica’s greatest period of investment in tourism, mining, ICT, and energy since the 1960s. He also ended Jamaica’s 18-year borrowing relationship with the International Monetary Fund’.’ Thanks to Patterson, we voted on Christmas Eve in peace and love. I was so proud to see two political parties campaigning on opposite sides of the same street.

Percival Noel James Patterson, father, brother, and superhero is one of the world’s hidden people.





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