The Following is an extract from the Daily Gleaner of 1969, July 3rd


The People's National Party yesterday launched a Youth Organization.

The aim of he Organization, as outlined at a Press conference at Hotel Kingston by Senator P.J. Patterson, a vice President of the Party and shadow Minister for Youth, Sports and Community Development, will be to heighten the political and social awareness of the nation's youths.

Membership will be open to all Jamaicans between the ages of 15 and 25. This membership will also be equivalent to membership in the People's National Party so far as the Party's constitution permits.

Members would be afforded the opportunity of participating in the political life of the country and engaging actively in programmes of social action aimed at alleviating the needs of the community through self-help and communal co-operation, Senator Patterson said.

The organization hopes to achieve this by the following methods.

Working as a service corp which enables members to assist practically in remedying the needs of the community by developing the self-reliance of each individual member through technical and literacy education and cultural and leisure activities; by promoting greater understanding of the principles and programmes of the PNP through an organized programme of political education and helping the PNP, through close association, to have a greater understanding and appreciation of the problems and aspirations of youth and by encouraging participation in the affairs of the Party at all levels.


Activities planned for the organization so far are a series of youth rallies in Kingston, Savanna-la-Mar, Mandeville, Oracabessa, Spanish Town, Port Antonio, May Pen, Montego Bay, Santa Cruz, St. Ann's Bay and Morant Bay. The ally in Kingston will be held at the Excelsior High School on July 19. At the rallies talks will be by Senator Patterson.

For the future, the organization has hopes for an inauguration conference some time in June of next year.

Stating the background for the formation of the organization, Senator Patterson said that the PNP was convinced that the failure to evolve policies or implement programmes that could ease the heavy burdens of the young resulted largely from the absence of a youth organization that could express coherently the thinking of the young, or participate in a national dialogue or make its full weight felt in the political system.

Senator Patterson told the Press conference that the PNP would like to see the organization working in a practical way and dealing with some of the obvious problems of the community. He named as example participation in literacy training and community projects.

It was hoped, the Senator said, that through the Youth Organization members would develop confidence and self-reliance and thus benefit by opportunities of training in technical and cultural matters.

The work of the Youth Organization, Senator Patterson said, would include programmes of political education, planned with the young people in mind. This was intended to increase awareness of the nation's history in general, and the background and philosophy of the PNP; also to open a new dimension in political dialogue.

The constitution of the organization has not yet been settled as, Senator Patterson said, it was felt that the members of the organization should themselves participate in this. It was proposed; however, that the constitution should include provisions, which would enable all youth, groups to participate fully at the level in the work of each constituency.

For the purpose of the organization the PNP has employed a full-time Youth Organizer, Mr. Leroy Cooke.


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