Today we celebrate the birthday of one of our National Heroes, The Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley, M.M., and Q.C. Manley who was born on the 4th of July 1893 and left us on the 2nd of September 1969. Manley was an articulate speaker and a brilliant advocate in the field of law. He was an outstanding schoolboy athlete, excellent horseman and a marksman. He was educated at Jamaica College and at Jesus College Oxford. He later became a Rhodes scholar and distinguished himself and Jamaica at Oxford. While at Oxford he gained the Certificate of Honour and received the Lee Prizeman Award. In 1921 he was called to the bar at Gray’s Inn. He was admitted to the Jamaican Bar in 1922.
Norman Manley also served in the First World War in the British Army in the Artillery Regiment and was awarded a Military Medal. Throughout his life remained a very modest man. He quietly went about his duties without any fanfare and refused all honours. He was an intellectual and did not suffer fools gladly. He loved his country very much and gave his all. Sadly he had many disappointments but this never fazed him as he went on to render yeoman service to his country.
In 1938 Manley worked with the late O. T. Farclough to start Peoples National Party. He remained a member until his death. He became the first and only Premier of Jamaica from July 1959 to July 1962 when the island got independence. He and his cousin Sir Alexander Bustamante were integrally involved in negotiating Jamaica’s independence from the British. Norman Manley has left his mark on this country and Jamaicans owe him a great deal for what he accomplished on our behalf.
Source of Information: JIS