In the Author's Own Words
I started writing short stories, articles, movie reviews, stage show reviews, news reports, and articles, at the age of 17 in the Gleaner, and later The Star. I was encouraged by four persons at the time – T.E. Sealy, Vic Reid, Roy Coverley and Joe Lewis.
Some of these short stories were broadcast by the BBC. One was published in the “Independence Anthology of Jamaican Literature” with authors such as Vic Reid, Roger Mais, and John Hearne. It was also published in an English text book, “Strange Stories” for Hunter College of the New York City University. Other writers in this book included Dorothy Sawyers and Ray Bradbury.
I was invited by Hal Glave and A.E.T. Henry to join the staff of the Government Public Relations Office, the precursor of the Jamaica Information Service, when it was formed in 1956. Two years later I was assigned as Press Officer to Norman Manley, writing briefs, messages, news releases, and arranging News Conferences, etc.
In 1965, Donald Sangster became Acting Prime Minister. Leslie Bennett from the JIS was assigned to him as Press Officer while he was Deputy Prime Minister. Just then he had to take a long vacation leave and Sangster requested that I should become his Press Secretary. When he died, Hugh Shearer asked me to continue in this office.
During the time I was with the JIS, I stopped writing for the Gleaner as I felt there could be a conflict of interest in writing for one news medium yet having to serve others – Jamaica Times, Public Opinion, West Indian Economist, Spotlight, Newday, Radio Jamaica, JBC, etc.
I resumed writing for the Gleaner when I retired from the public service in 1981 and have been doing so since then except for a break of nine years while I was Communications Consultant to the People’s National Party, and subsequently Special Adviser (Communications) to Prime Minister Michael Manley, as well as his Press Secretary.
I have also written the biographies of Hugh Shearer and Donald Sangster.