The keenly contest US Presidential race captured worldwide attention for weeks, if not months, as everyone waited with bated breath to see if it would be a case of ‘making America great again’ or ‘making it right again’.
Indeed we were so focused on the US political atmosphere that we almost forgot that we had our own race unfolding locally as the opposition People’s National Party (PNP) top slot was up for grabs and two candidates had stepped up and offered themselves for the position of party president.
After the initial fuss, it was whittled down to comrades Lisa Hanna and Mark Golding, and everyone – from party members to even artistes and local celebrities – threw their support behind their candidate of choice.
In the end, when the smoke cleared, the delegates spoke and decided to “go with Golding”. And on Tuesday, November 10, Mark Golding was sworn in as the new PNP President, inheriting all the power, prestige and privilege, as well as the problems, plights and potholes of party unification. He will also try to overcome the ‘backsiding’ they got in the recent general election.
More than qualified
He has been an executive member, former treasurer, senator and Minister of Justice, so we figure that Golding is more than qualified for the job. However, the average Jamaican knows very little about him. Who really is Mark J. Golding?
Well, we put together a list of fun facts about the man of the hour that prove interesting.
1. He formed his own record label and is a music producer who has worked with artistes such as Della Manley, Mickey Hanson and even the late Toots Hibberts.
2. A founding director of Dehring, Bunting and Golding (DB&G), one of the first private sector investment banks.
3. His Father Sir John Golding was the first Professor of Orthopaedics at the University of the West Indies.
4. A doctor, Sir John served in the British forces in WWII and moved to Jamaica where he was instrumental in ending the island’s polio epidemic. He later established the Mona Rehabilitation Centre, a charity organisation for people with physical disabilities.
5. He is a corporate lawyer by profession.
6. With a masters degree in intellectual property law, he has represented several local artistes in their legal proceedings.
7. Was instrumental in the decriminalisation of marijuana in small amounts in 2015.
8. Has been married for more than 30 years and is the father of three.
9. Co-founded Proven Investments in 2010.
10. Is an avid cricket and football fan, having played both as a schoolboy. Currently, he is the chairman of the Arnett Gardens Football Club.