Derrick Smith recalls Troy Caine's talent as a graphic artist

Senior Staff Reporter

Sunday, January 20, 2019

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The late political researcher and commentator, Troy Caine, is best known as a political commentator and researcher, whose extensive knowledge of the Jamaican political landscape and history made him a favourite of local media.

However, Caine's specialty was really as a graphic artist, who started his career as a teenager at former advertising giant, Lindo, Norman, Craig and Kummel Limited (LNCK) in Kingston, whose clients then included the then foreign-owned municipal bus company, the Jamaica Omnibus Company (JOS) Limited.

Caine developed his artistic skills at Munro College, where he was president of the art club and the “go-to-guy” for art work. He worked as an advertising executive, copywriter and studio manager at LNCK, where he designed a number of logos for local companies, as well, for many years.

He also designed and produced calligraphic scrolls for citations for not only graduates, but also visitors to Jamaica, like Nelson Mandela. However, when he was honoured by the Government with the Order of Distinction (OD) in 2011, it was not for his artistry but for his journalism because, by then, he had already developed his ascendancy in providing data from political history especially as it related to local elections.

One of the politicians who was so excited by his talents as both statistician and artist was former Cabinet minister and Leader of the House of Representatives, Derrick Smith, who hired him as part of his campaign team for his first attempt at representational politics during the Opposition-boycotted general election of 1983.

“I first met him in the late seventies when we were both part of Ed Bartlett's campaign team in Eastern St Andrew, and when I entered representational politics, he became a member of my team,” Smith said.

When Smith shifted to North West St Andrew in 1989, where he remained the MP until he retired last year from representational politics, Caine became a member of his team also.

“Troy was unmatched in terms of his knowledge of political history dating from 1944. He had hundreds of handwritten notes on political history and the constituency, as well as divisional statistics and I know that it was his long-term intention to compile all of this into a book, eventually,” he said.

Smith added that he was disappointed that Caine was not able to complete the process and produce his book which he said would have been invaluable to the Jamaican political process.

He said that he didn't know that Caine was that seriously ill, however, as the political commentator kept in touch with his son, Duane Smith, who currently represents the Chancery Hall division in St Andrew North-Western without complaining about his health.

“The last contact was when he called Duane to confirm the date of my resignation from Parliament, in the first week of January,” Smith noted, pointing out Caine did not even inform them that he was ill as he kept working on his notes.

“I want to offer the condolences from my family to his family, for his contribution to our success, as well as his contribution to the nation. May his soul rest in peace,” Smith said.

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