Where are they now : Desmond Leakey enjoying life as a beekeeper
It was at age 16 that Trelawny native Desmond Leakey became a member of the People's National Party (PNP).
Not long after his entry into politics, Leakey was elected as constituency secretary for North Trelawny. According to him, he and politics became bedfellows.
Leaky went to England to study accounting at age 20 and became a member of the Labour Party there. After five years in England, he returned to Jamaica and gained employment in the Hampden Sugar Estate's accounts department.
"There were two things my family was involved in. We were a cane and cattle-farming family. The politics is something that I grew to love, and that love is undying and so also my love for the People's National Party. I have wondered how one can be truly proud of joining another party in Jamaica," Leaky said.
After losing his first election by seven votes to the Jamaica Labour Party's Samuel Gordon when he contested the Hampden Division in parish council elections, Leaky stayed, dug deep, and reaped the rich results of a PNP dynasty in North Trelawny. The PNP never won the seat for the first time until Leakey's first victory in 1972. He served as MP for Northern Trelawny from 1972 to 1980 and again from 1989 to 1997.
The well-rounded Leakey has been a cane and cattle farmer, a life insurance agent, as well as a member of parliament and government minister.
PASSION AFTER POLITICS
These days, he has been making strides in agriculture as one of the parish's top beekeepers. Leakey says that he is tremendously pleased with his apiaries, which has become his new passion after politics.
"Apart from the honey we get from bees, which plays a very great part in earning millions of dollars in the export market, the bee is very important in pollination. Without them, farmers would not reap success. They pollinate fruits and vegetables. Imagine a farmer planting an acre of pumpkin - without the bees no pumpkins. Next time you see the bee flitting from flower to flower, you are watching one of God's miracles unfolding right before your very eyes," he said.