Tue | May 26, 2020

Devon Dick launches third book, ‘Enduring Advocacy for a Better Jamaica’

Published:Wednesday | October 9, 2019 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Rev’d Dr Devon Dick gives a copy of his latest book, ‘Enduring Advocacy for a Better Jamaica’, to his mother, Cynthia Dick, at the official book launch on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at the Boulevard Baptist Church in Kingston.
Rev’d Dr Devon Dick (seated), supported by his wife Mary (right), signs a copy of his latest book, ‘Enduring Advocacy For A Better Jamaica’, for Shirley Daley at the official book launch on Sunday, October 6, 2019, at the Boulevard Baptist Church in Kingston.

Several of Jamaica’s dignitaries, including former Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall, and politicians from both sides of the political divide were among a packed audience at the Boulevard Baptist Church on Sunday for the launch of Reverend Dr Devon Dick’s third book, titled Enduring Advocacy for a Better Jamaica … A Collection of Conversations.

Dick had previously published Rebellion To Riot in 2005, as well as The Cross and the Machete, both in paperback, in 2010.

The long-awaited third book draws on his knowledge of issues facing the Jamaican society and is a compilation of his columns written for The Gleaner over a period exceeding more than a decade.

Among a plethora of subject areas tackled by Dick, his ‘collection of conversations’ takes readers through his thoughts on parenting, justice, politics, education, religion, sports and economics.

In the foreword by Ambassador Stephen Vasciannie, president of the University of Technology, he describes the piece as “a joy from start to finish”.

Reverend Dick dedicated the 188-page book to his late father Willard, who, he said, fought for a free world in World War II, and to his mother, Cynthia Dick, a renowned dressmaker and shopkeeper from Bath, St Thomas, who fought for a better Jamaica.

It was both his parents, said Dick, who made sure that he, as well as his other siblings, received tertiary education and thus becoming the success they have been.

“Both parents together did not spend two months in high school, nevertheless, they made sure all five of us benefited from tertiary education,” Dick told the expectant audience during a session of the launch dubbed ‘Conversations with the author’.

Dick’s 24 unbroken years as a Gleaner columnist allowed him the latitude to express himself in clear, meaningful ways on several issues. Take, for example, the titles of several of his work, to include In Praise of Mama, which was published in his column on January 15, 2002 and replenished in Chapter One of this book under the heading ‘It’s Personal’.

In it, the author explained succinctly the adoration and respect he has for his “mama”.

“… Mama was also a disciplinarian; while my father applied the strap once, she believed that one should not spare the rod and spoil the child.”

He continued: “Boys love their mothers.” In another paragraph he said, “Some men cry just at the thought of their mother’s possible death”, and again, “Say anything about dad but don’t touch mama. In fact, blood thicker than water and some men are closer to their mothers than their wives or baby mothers”.

Vasciannie said in a speech, read in his absence by Vivian Crawford, that Dick’s first two books were primarily about the role of the Church in Jamaica’s history, works that set the stage for this third effort.

“Specifically, it is the advocacy of the book that is enduring. The title does not imply that those reading the book will have to endure the advocacy. Far from that; this is a highly stimulating, thoughtful book, which may be read as a whole over a few sittings.

“Alternatively, given the high degree of organisation in the book, you may dip into different parts for Reverend Dick’s reflections on practically any issue from time to time. When you read this book, you will be enjoying the advocacy for a better Jamaica, as you will find the advocacy enduring,” stated Vasciannie.