Tuesday 17 September, 2019

House pays tribute to former PNP St Catherine MP, Ruddy Lawson

File photo of the House of Representatives.

File photo of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday observed a minute’s silence in tribute to the later former Member of Parliament (MP) for South West St Catherine, Rudyard Errol Lawson.

Lawson died on Saturday at age 80.

He represented the People’s National Party (PNP) in the St Catherine seat for two terms, from 1976 to 1980 and from 1993 to 1997.

Having beaten the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Bruce Golding in 1976, Lawson was in turn defeated by Everald Warmington, the current holder of the seat in the 1980 polls which the JLP won in a landslide.

Warmington said although they were from two different political parties, his family had a close relationship with Lawson, whom they met when he was an insurance salesman. He said they remained friends long after Lawson left politics and settled in Portland, where he went into farming.

For his part, Opposition Leader, Dr Peter Phillips, said Lawson, who was a former state minister, was a lifelong party stalwart who helped to rebuild the PNP’s organisational structure.

Phillips said the party was deeply saddened by Lawson’s passing.

He hailed Lawson for the role he played in fixing some of Jamaica’s water problems when he served as a junior minister in the Ministry of Water and Transport between 1993 and 1995. He said Lawson developed modern projects that brought potable water to many communities for the first time.

“He will be missed by the entire party, especially the Comrades in St Catherine and Portland, where he settled and became a banana farmer after his retirement,” Phillips said.

Lawson was born in Oracabessa, St Mary, on October 15, 1938. He was educated at Brown’s Hall School and later Kingston College. He was a career life underwriter with North American Life and Life of Jamaica insurance companies before entering politics in the early 1970s.

He was married to Yvonne Bogues, and they had five children - three sons and two daughters.

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