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‘Cool ruler’ held in raid

FRONT PAGE: Reggae Star arrested

THE LATE international reggae singer Gregory Issacs hit the news 35 years ago for all the wrong reasons when he was arrested on gun charges under Jamaica’s touch Firearms Act at the time and The Voice ran with the story as its front page lead on May 21, 1983.

The Voice article written by editor Flip Fraser in its 36th edition revealed that Issacs, popularly referred to as the ‘Cool Ruler’, and his girlfriend June, were arrested after a police raid on the singer’s home in Kingston, Jamaica and a sizeable cache of arms were discovered. While June was granted bail, Issacs was remanded in the capital’s Gun Court to await trial.

Accompanied with a photograph of Issacs in his notorious wide-rimmed felt hat, right, the story went on to say that the singer’s lawyers were unhappy with the court proceedings and were trying to get a new judge to hear bail application as the current judge was biased against Issacs.

According to The Voice article, Issacs is the second reggae star to face charges under Jamaica’s touch Firearms Act. The year before, Robbie Shakespeare from Sly and Robbie fame, had escaped jail on a similar charge and a source close to the Jamaican government said the regime might be tempted to make an example out of a popular figure, only to show their determination to clamp down on the gun violence in the country.

Also featured on the front cover was a story that Linus Clovis of Catford, south London, was among a number of priests to be ordained by Pope John Paul at St Peter’s Basilica in June 1983. Under the head- line ‘From Catford to the Vatican’, the St Lucian-born Linus belonged to the legion of Mary in Brockley and will be saying his first mass at St Mary Magdelen church, before taking up a ministry in St Lucia.


PAGE TWO: Brent to monitor blacks

Over on page two, the lead story was headlined: ‘Brent to monitor blacks’ and reported that the council, in an attempt to eliminate racial discrimination against black applicants, was planning to keep records of the racial groups and the reasons for refusing them jobs.

A release from the council said: “Ethnic record-keeping is
designed to rm up a commitment to work towards a society where every group has an equal chance in jobs and services.”
Turning over to page three, the main story here carried the headline: ‘Race questions for Census’ which reveals that in a white paper published by the Home Affairs Committee, questions involving race are to be included in future Census forms.

Among the recommended questions to be included are: Are you white? Are you black? If so, are you British, West Indian, African or other?

The Voice said that while information without names and addresses are stored on a computer, the original Census forms are stored in secret for 100 years and some organisations are worried that a future government might repeal the Census Act and use the forms to identify individuals. This information could in turn be used for things like repatriation.

The Voice is celebrating its 35th birthday this year. Share your Voice memories, comments on social media, using the following hash tag: #Voice35Years. Each week we will be digging into The Voice archive and publish a front cover from its first year of publication.

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