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‘Babsy’ hails researcher Troy Caine

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‘Babsy’ hails researcher Troy Caine

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior staff reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 13, 2019

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Troy Caine’s passing the Jamaican who built his reputation on an enviable wealth of knowledge about Jamaica’s political history, has been hailed by his ‘good friend’ Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange as a sad loss to Jamaica.

Caine was pronounced dead at Medical Associates hospital in St Andrew after his health deteriorated on Thursday at his Corporate Area home.

Often referred to as “the go-to guy for political facts”, Caine was the local media’s most valuable repository for historical data on local politics, including the politicians and the elections. And, although he was regarded as a supporter of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), he was seen as a columnist and commentator who did not shroud his facts in his ideology or political sympathies.

Grange, who is credited with urging him on with his political research projects after he left his job at the former advertising giant, LNCK, said she was sad that he was unable to complete a book on his research on the two main political parties — the JLP and the People’s National Party (PNP).

“I remember I got his first article published for him in the press, and I really wanted him to compile his data on the two political parties because it would have been a very important and critical contribution to Jamaica’s political history, and it would have been a legacy project,” she stated.

Grange, who had appointed him to the board of the National Library of Jamaica (NLJ), under the Bruce Golding as well as the current Andrew Holness administrations, said that because of those interactions they had become “very good friends”.

Prime Minister Holness described Caine, a Jamaica Observer contributor, as an affable, humble man who was knowledgeable about Jamaica’s political history.

“Troy was a reservoir of political historic knowledge. He was able to easily relate information on Jamaica’s political history seamlessly and, in many cases, had his own first-hand anecdotal perspectives. In addition, he distinguished himself in the area of journalism in researching the politics and culture of Jamaica, often appearing in the print and electronic media as a commentator on current and political issues,” Holness said.

He recalled that in 2011, the Jamaican Government conferred him with the Order of Distinction (Officer class), for his contribution to journalism in the field of political history, culture and Jamaican literature.

“Troy was also a very talented man. He was an artist, studio manager, advertising copywriter, and also designed and produced calligraphic citations. This is a special art, and Troy did many excellent ones including that for the late Nelson Mandela, when he visited Jamaica in 1991. Jamaica has lost one of its finest citizens who made his contribution to our nation,” Holness said.

A tearful Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw told the Sunday Observer on Friday that “the interesting thing is that he always told the political history factually, although he was a JLP supporter”.

Member of Parliament for St Andrew West Rural, Juliet Cuthbert- Flynn said she was deeply saddened to hear of his death, and also expressed condolences to his widow and family.

“Mr Caine gave me a proper history lesson on West Rural (St Andrew) once I was named the candidate, and I will be forever grateful,” she said.

The staff, board and management of the NLJ also joined the chorus of tributes, noting that he had made valuable contributions as a board member and was known as an authority on Jamaican political affairs and general history.

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