Police constable celebrating ‘Jamaica in 60 Letters’
Police Constable Hezekan Bolton is a man of many words who is dedicated to advocating for the voiceless in the society.
When he sits and examines the daily happenings in the country he calls home, and is often inspired to put pen to paper and call on the powers that be to effect positive change.
This sense of passion is captured in the publication of his second book, titled Jamaica in 60 Letters, which was released in May.
The title of the book – which is the first of a trilogy – was taken from Jamaica’s 2022 Diamond Jubilee commemoration of 60 years of Independence.
In it, Bolton collated letters he had submitted for publication in The Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer over a decade, spanning 2007 to 2017. They discuss a wide range of issues, including education, transportation, politics, religion, and crime and violence.
Bolton, who is stationed at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston, did not have a posh upbringing, but was raised in one of the many inner-city communities scattered across the capital city of Kingston, where he did not have the comfort of some basic amenities.
In an interview with The Gleaner, he reminisced on his family’s reliance on a coal stove for cooking, a home sweet home lamp for lighting, and detached sanitary convenience. But Bolton pointed to the teachings of his parents, who were from rural Jamaica, that kept him focused and grounded.
INTEREST IN CURRENT AFFAIRS
His interest in current affairs dates back to a time when his parents would keep up to date with the latest news via newspapers and in the electronic media.
Tuning into radio talk shows like ‘Hotline’, then hosted by Barbara Gloudon, and ‘Perkins On Line’, which was hosted by Wilmot ‘Motty’ Perkins, would help to open his eyes to issues affecting many Jamaicans as callers vent their frustrations on air.
Bolton said his mother soon noticed his interest in the news and would regularly take home newspapers for him to read.
Years later, he started to share his opinions in the Teen Herald after he was introduced to article writing in grade eight by his history teacher, Mr Collins, at Norman Manley Comprehensive High School.
“[My] writings are often evoked from the cries of the masses or to bring recognition to the silent stars called essential workers,” he said.
The cop told The Gleaner that he prides himself in being a hardworking and dedicated man.
As the country marks 61 years of Independence, Bolton said he is eager to witness Jamaica becoming the place of choice, to live, work, raise families and do business. He expressed hope that in another 61 years, it will become a First-World country, with 90 per cent of its roads rehabilitated and able to withstand the weather elements and daily use, as well as a major emphasis on caring for the less fortunate.
Bolton also wants Jamaicans must put away partisanship and actively work toward the country’s long-term strategic development plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.
“As a nation, we have come a far way since our Independence, but we can take valuable lessons from the past to make the future a better one for our children,” he said.
In an interview with The Gleaner last December, following the launch of his first book, Silhouette of Emotions: The Expressions of Intimacy, Bolton explained that he initially had no intention of becoming an author, but through encouragement from family and friends, he published his first body of work and had no plans to stop soon.
Bolton was recently acknowledged in a recent sitting of the Upper House by Senate President Tom Tavares-Finson for his admirable work and was encouraged to continue his pursuit.
“So, you see, in the midst of despair, there is always hope. Please keep it up and you come and visit us from time to time and when you have another volume, don’t hesitate to come and see us,” Tavares-Finson said.
Bolton is currently putting together Volume Two of the trilogy for publication in 2024.
Jamaica in 60 Letters can be purchased on Amazon or by contacting Bolton on social media, such as Instagram @Mikal_writes, TikTok @Mikal_writez or on Facebook @Michael Bolton.