Influential St Elizabeth politician Donald Horne dead at 98

South/Central Bureau

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth — Donald Horne, who served for 25 years as parish councillor representing the People's National Party (PNP) in the Junction Division during the 1970s, 1990s and early 2000s, died on July 25 at age 98, family members have confirmed.

His son, businessman and former politician Norman Horne, told the Jamaica Observer that a thanksgiving service for his father's life will be held at Munro College Auditorium on Sunday, August 20, with interment to follow at the family plot in Junction, south-east St Elizabeth.

The St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation has opened a condolence book at its offices in Black River.

Donald Horne was born in Buff Bay, Portland in 1918, serving as a young man at a British military camp in World War Two during the early 1940s, before returning to Jamaica. He eventually migrated to St Elizabeth in the late 1950s, starting a family, working in the then fast-growing bauxite industry, an organiser for the PNP and the National Workers Union (NWU).

Such was Horne's admiration for the founding leader of the PNP, National Hero Norman Washington Manley, that he named two of his sons 'Norman Washington' and 'Manley'.

Former Jamaican Prime Minister and PNP President P J Patterson, who as a young political organiser worked closely with Horne in south St Elizabeth in the 1960s, told the Sunday Observer by telephone that Horne had been a valued “colleague in the struggle”.

Patterson remembered him as a “fervent nationalist… formidable political tactician, and a strong believer in local government” who committed himself to community work.

“He served with distinction as councillor for the Junction Division and worked with (Derrick) Rochester (late former MP for St Elizabeth South Eastern) to transform Junction from a sleepy community to the thriving urban community it now is,” said Patterson.

On his 95th birthday in 2013, at a function to rename the Junction market in his honour, Horne was described by the late Cabinet Minister Roger Clarke as the “epitome of what a politician should be”.

“He was the quintessential politician. He was not the rambunctious type, not the bellicose type, not the pushy type; he was cool, calm and calculating,” Clarke, who died a year later in August 2014, said.

At that function in honour of Horne, Rochester hailed him for greatly influencing his own political career.

“Donald Horne taught me politics,” Rochester, a five-term parliamentarian who died in April 2016, said.




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