Mike Douglas a multi-faceted politician – Lennox Honychurch

Photo from 'The Dominica Story" by Lennox Honychurch

It’s generally agreed that Michael Douglas was a great orator – many who remember him tend to focus on that aspect of his contribution to Dominican politics and development.

However historian Dr Lennox Honychurch also remembers “Mike” as a complex, multi-faceted politician, very much aware of his constituents in relation to the national picture.

“He knew he had a strong political base and could afford to be outspoken,” Honychurch recalled of the former Portsmouth MP.

The historian says, however, that speaking his mind on a national level got Mike into trouble with the Labour Party and others, including the period that he fell out of favor with then Prime Minister Patrick John.

“Mike had a way with words,” Honychurch says.

He remembers Douglas as “operating at many different levels”, trying to stay on top of the situation at the time.

His humorous take on things is another trait of Mike Douglas that many remember.

There was no trace of humor however more than 20 years ago when he called from a US hospital, confirming to then Voice of the Islands radio that the rumors that had been circulating about him suffering from cancer were in fact true.

It was a sad day for Dominica, and there were many more when he returned as he continued to struggle with the disease until his death.

For those who saw him “do his thing” on Dominica’s political stage, Mike will forever remain ”the politician’s  politician”.

Mike Douglas brings a halt to an inauguration of the Portsmouth Town Council in the 1980s when he felt that the mayor had been undemocratically selected by the ruling Dominica Freedom Party.

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38 Comments

  1. patriot
    May 1, 2012

    GOOD OLD DAYS!!!

    WHAT IS NEEDED TODAY IS FIRM LEADERSHIP AND WE HAVE THAT.

    THANK GOD FOR SKERRIT A PRODUCT OF THE GOOD OLD DAYS.

  2. Jayson
    May 1, 2012

    Depending on what year you went to PSS that area was used as 3rd form, 5th form and 4th form. I see the asbestos tiles are still in one piece in the ceiling. Must be early 80’s.

    Ian is a people person, very approachable and receptive. He’s just a little politically lazy, but still a nice guy.

  3. xdacop nyc
    May 1, 2012

    My dad had great admiration for him,even though they had different political vriews.He was a true proven hero.

  4. May 1, 2012

    MIKE WAS SO POWERFULL THAT HE WAS IN CONTROL OF PARLIMENT IF HE WANT THE HOUSE OF PARLIMENT TO LAST FOR ONE DAY HE WOULD JUST STAY QUIET IF HE WANTS IT TO LAST FOR TWO WEEKS HE WOULD JUST SAY SOMETHING ABUT ALL MEMBERS OF THE DFP AND THE WAR STARTS . BY THE WAY MR HONYCHURCH. DID NOT DO ARE GOOD JOB WITH THAT ARTICLE I REMEMBER THE LATE MR BANNIS OF CA/BRUCE IN THE HOUSE ONE TIME SAID MR SPEAKER THIS LADY AND HER LITTLE WHITE BOY THE SPEAKER SAID MR BANNIS TAKE THAT BACK MR BANNIS SAY NO I WILL SAY IT AGAIN THIS LADY AND HER LITTLE WHITE BOY HE WAS TALKING ABUT MISS CHARELS AND LENNOX HONEYCHURCH.THATS WERE THE GOOD OLD DAYS. DAVE STEPHEN

  5. Sout Man
    April 30, 2012

    I remember joining SPA on a walk through liberty Estate in Bellevue Chopin during the heightened activities for land reform during PM O.J. Seraphin’s administration. Weeks later, the Edward Shillingford estate was earmarked for a playing field and housing lots.

    We need more land reform to jump start the agricultural sector. Ten thousand acres for 5000 young farmers born in the nature isle; (Yes I’m bias; in the tradition of Premier Edward Oliver Leblanc.) We can start with the idle Hampstead Estate which Roosie Douglas wanted his father, RBD, to distribute to the workers who helped them get rich.

    The Douglas brothers, Roosie and Mike, pushed for land reform at Geneva, (Grand Bay), Picard, (Portsmouth), Liberty Estate, (Bellevue Chopin), and Castle Bruce, among others. Now that the Douglases estate, Hampstead, is idle and non-productive, it’s about time that PM Roosevelt Skerrit put his mark on land reform. Not because it’s pay back for the Douglases, but it’s the right thing to do for the economic development of Dominica and the key to full employment, sustainable growth and self-sufficiency.

    • Mike From the Grave.
      May 1, 2012

      So this is how you repay me? By going after my family? On this day? Ebeh weh!!

      • Sout Man
        May 1, 2012

        ALL SHALL EAT!!

    • Mike From the Grave.
      May 1, 2012

      and when you take Hampstead, are you going to move my resting place? Why don’t you just let me rest in peace? :twisted:

      • Sout Man
        May 1, 2012

        That spot will be reserved for family burial and monuments for Mike and Roosie. Country first!! Ask Roosie.

  6. corecter
    April 30, 2012

    For correction, Mike boycotted parliament after the 1985 electionfor so long that his colleague, Eden Durand crossed the floor and went to join the DFP. it was when their salary was denied for several months that they returned to the house. There is nothing new under the sun and Dominica is under it too.

    • richard
      April 30, 2012

      Just some information with respect to the boycott of parliament by labour parliamentarians led by Mike after the 1985 election. It was the decision of the then Freedom Party Government to discontinue live broadcast of parliamentary proceedings that influenced Mike and his colleagues to boycott parliament. After having to deal with Mike for 5 years between 1980-85, Eugenia now had to deal with Mike, Rosie and Patrick John in parliament after the 1985 election, hence the decision to stop carrying the House of Assembly live. And worse Parry Bellot was used to play what he wanted the public to hear in a highlights package.

      Richard.

  7. Porssie Jetty boy
    April 30, 2012

    Mike said once that Alleyne Carbon decease was trying to speak good English and he refered to a Valiwa ( A fish) as Veray.

    The joke about the short pants is that he said Alleyne carbon wore a short pants to a government function when Marrie Davis chastised him he said it was a Long Short Pants. That was Mike and people tunned in to hear those comedy.

    One guy in Portsmouth who was running for the town council election against the Labor party team in Portsmouth and it was until Mike call him out as the man always carrying something wrapped in a plastic bag under his arm. It wasn’t until Mike said that that it really hit home. The guy always had a plastic bag under his arm. I was no fan of Mike but man he could move a crowd.

    There was a woman heckling Mike while he was on the platform- Mike stop and he called her name “ NAME I took your virginity”- Name disappear.

    The best stories about involve Go Go Karam and Girad – those I can’t say on DNO. I leave those for when I meet Ian Douglas or Sean.

  8. Anonymous
    April 30, 2012

    Wow check out mr mills AKA beard.

  9. Asterix
    April 30, 2012

    That peice by Mr. Honeychurch seemed unprepared and just a reaction to Angelo Alleyne’s commentary this morning where he claimed that after 20 years of Mikes passing, that nothing was being done or said by the powers that be in honour of Mikes memory. Angelo remarked that not even his son Ian the minister of tourism and legal affairs has said anything in memory of his father. For the stalwart that Mike was that is the best that Honeychurch can come up with? My 9 year old daughter would have done a better tribute.

    • Meeee
      April 30, 2012

      Why give so much credit to Angello Alleyne? He was reading the original article by Sean Douglas from DNO which was published around 6:30. Plus the Chronicle had the article over the weekend. So he wasn’t the one who started this whole Mike Douglas ‘remembrance.’ Alleyne always take his material from other people anyway…..he has nothing original.

      • Asterix
        April 30, 2012

        I wasn’t giving Angelo any credit but your obvious dislike for Angelo is noted. Angelo did not write any story he just gave commentary on the issue this morning. Why didn’t you see the emptiness in Honeychurch’s peice which was what I was commenting on instead of trying to focus on Angelo

  10. Asterix
    April 30, 2012

    That peice by Mr. Honeychurch seemed unprepared and just a reaction to Angelo Alleyne’s commentary this morning where he claimed that after 20 years of Mikes passing, that nothing was being done or said by the powers that be in honour of Mikes memory. Angelo remarked that not even his son Ian the minister of tourism. For the stalwart that Mike was that is the best that Honeychurch can come up with? My 9 year old daughter would have done a better tribute.

  11. sphynx
    April 30, 2012

    he used simple language that the grassroots understand better than grammatical words that fall on deaf ears.north we come from

  12. April 30, 2012

    yes indeed, is mike we like, even school children say so, is mike we like, even the wole of Roseau, is mike we like, yes indeed he was the man. may his sole rest in peace.

  13. remember
    April 30, 2012

    Remeber, it was the DFP who gave Mike horrors like what. In the House of Assembly as well as out of the House, Mike was chastised, ridiculed to the Max. The historian was a strong suppoter and member of the DFP at the time. Never forget.

    Mike’s brother, Rosie, also faced the brunt of DFP’s assaults. Apart from all those harassments, the Leaders of DLP and DFP came together formed a coalition Govt. However,Collision followed soon after. Some of DFP and DLP people leaders and supporters, could not work together. Big crash. DFP was severely submerged and drowning.

    Those two parties were so diametrically opposed to each other for decades, that many Dominicans predicted rightly that the coalition would not last. So said, so done. That’s part of our history.

  14. CIA on the watch
    April 30, 2012

    I remember the day in Parliament under marie Davis Pierere watch he told decease Alleyne Carbon that he was weariong a long short pants to an official function, there and then the Hon Speaker had to call on him to withdraw that statement at the end he withdraw the statement but continued by telling the House it was indeed a long short pants he was wearing, its those little humors that made his speech interesting

    • PortsmouthSon
      May 1, 2012

      Alleyne Carbon showed up to Portsmouth National Day celebration is a short of a length long pants (ie. short long pants), and Mike felt that was disrespectful to the people of Portsmouth so he had to give Alleyne Carbon some blows :). It was one of the funniest House of Assemblies of all time. All joke aside though, Alleyne Carbon did step up his dressing after that :)..

  15. Morihei Ueshiba
    April 30, 2012

    Ian Douglas is mister son Magway Sah :twisted:

  16. burt dave
    April 30, 2012

    he was indeed a peoples person and it was not done for mere outside appearnce he was as real as it gets. I am happy to know that I was one of the few who stood up with Mike against the sales tax when it was first introduce by Dame Euginia,at that time we sttod up for what we believe was right even if we were few in numbers.We honour and revere his memory as we pay homeage to this great patriot and son of the soil

  17. tactical
    April 30, 2012

    Mike had a way of making his point and using sarcasism and humour.- the great memories of him in parliament against the might of the likes of Hon Eugenia Charles, Jenner Armour,and Brian Allyne, – Mike would say things like ” Madame Speaker the Government, Yes the Honorable Mary Eugenia Charles Government is taking from the needy to give to the greedy” refering to new taxation policies. The house will burst into laughter while the speaker tried to get control of Mike and he would turn around to the speaker and say ” Madame speaker doh get uptight she is my nenen you know”. Another favorite of his referring to the frequent blockouts of the 80’s he would say things like” the Good Lord said let there be light but DOMLEC only taking light”.

    May his soul rest in peace.

    • sphynx
      April 30, 2012

      thank you.you had me laughing to tears.

    • Reminiscing
      April 30, 2012

      :lol: Thanks for that – I had a good ole laugh. Mike’s signature smile is still very vivid in my mind :)

  18. C.Hamlet
    April 30, 2012

    One of a kind. Was very eloquent and classy.

  19. April 30, 2012

    I use to like when he is in the house telling the speaker of the house he is not done yet lolol RIP.

  20. W/PAK LORDS OF WI
    April 30, 2012

    IS MIKE WE LIKE

    SPA SUPER POLITICAL ACTION

    THE GREATEST AMONGST THEM ALL

  21. ron rainbow
    April 30, 2012

    mike represented real representation of a people and its constituency. The very outspoken mike would never boycott parliament ala UWP.

  22. OMG
    April 30, 2012

    He was a true politician and man for his people. Something that cant be said about his son.

  23. April 30, 2012

    I recall that event at the Portsmouth Secondary school when the the Prime Minister the late Eugenia Charles was very disrespectful to the people of Portsmouth. He stood up to her and Brian Alleyne and showed them what Portsmouth people stood for. That was a fighting politician. He stood for the people of Portsmouth and not for himself. Gone are the politician of the day. Oh how we miss those days. You are gone but will never be forgotten.

    • possie girl
      April 30, 2012

      I didn’t born yet but i checking that looking like pss eh in my days; in one of the the 4th forms.

      • miranda
        April 30, 2012

        if you are a secondary school student; then you should check your grammar!

  24. West Coast
    April 30, 2012

    Is Mike I like

  25. concerned
    April 30, 2012

    great guy. thanks Mr Honychurch

    • Ice
      May 1, 2012

      Wow Mike Douglas was a true hero. I was never into politics but Mike always had me running to the radio to listen to ‘House of assembly’ lol He was our Hero. Hard for anyone to walk in his shoes he was phenomenal ! :-D

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