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Oriens Ex Occidente Lux: UCWI Pelican Donald J. Harris

Oriens Ex Occidente Lux: UCWI Pelican Donald J. Harris

As the light rises from the west so do the pelicans of the University (College) of the West Indies, glowing beyond geographical borders for all the world to see. Moulded and nurtured to profound intellectual maturity and equipped with the knowledge beyond typical academic proficiency. As Jamaicans rally with USA vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, we would like to pause and reflect on the early years of her father, Professor emeritus Donald J. Harris through this feature article on him from the UCWI 1960 Pelican Annual.

Photo from 1960 Pelican Annual

With the emergence of Party Politics on Campus, a personality also emerged. He was one who had always shown an interest in the Guild as the indispensable Advertising Manager of the Pelican, and one who was continually discussing student problems, or the complacency of the undergraduate body Donald, industrious, methodical, enthusiastic, at once become involved in Politics and was soon elected chairman of the Students Liberal Party.

In this capacity, Donald had the opportunity of playing the politician, and of making that ‘right’ impression on people which he attempts unceasingly to do. His other passion is Economics. If as a debater his speeches appear dry, it is because they are loaded with those details of West Indian Economics which seem so significant to him if not to his audience. An active member of the Debating Society, he has represented the college on several occasions, whilst his appetite for discussion has made of him an ‘institution’ at the Background Courses, on the W U.S. Seminar, and in the proverbial Block ‘S.T’

During his three years, Donald has been President of the Economics Society, Member of the Inter-Club and Guild Publications Committees.

He has also represented Taylor Hall on the Hockey field. Suave, reserved, and confident, Donald has a bright future ahead of him as politician or Economist, perhaps both.

R.G. [Feature by Ramon Gordon, published in the 1960 Pelican Annual]

As you can see from the article “chip nuh fly fur from di block [Chip does not fly far from the block – children often have similar attributes to their parents]”. Like her father, Senator Kamala Harris is also a leader, an activist who works towards building a more equitable society.


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