Rudyard Errol ‘Ruddy’ Lawson
Former State Minister, Jamaica
Rudyard Errol Lawson was a Jamaican politician and former Member of Parliament.
Early life and education
Rudyard Errol ‘Ruddy’ Lawson was born in Oracabessa, St Mary, Jamaica on 15 October 1938 to Bryan T. Lawson, a teacher, and Winona Lawson, a dressmaker. He was educated at Brown’s Hall School and later Kingston College. He was a career life underwriter with North American Life and Life of Jamaica insurance companies before entering politics in the early 1970s.
Starting his career as a Life Underwriter with North American Life and Life of Jamaica Insurance Companies, Lawson earned his political stripes in the turbulent 1970s, which marked an ideological divide between democratic socialism and capitalism. A councillor in the St Catherine Parish Council, Lawson was appointed mayor of Spanish Town from 1974-76.
Lawson represented the People’s National Party (PNP) in the St Catherine seat for three terms, from 1976 to 1980, 1989 to 1993, and from 1993 to 1997.
Having beaten the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Bruce Golding in 1976, Lawson was in turn defeated by Everald Warmington, the current holder of the seat in the 1980 polls which the JLP won in a landslide.
He served as Minister of State from 1976 to 1980. He later returned as Minister of State under the Manley administration, first in the Ministry of Agriculture from 1989-93 and then the Ministry of Water and Transport from 1993-1995.
Lawson was married to wife Yvonne Bogues, and they had five children - three sons and two daughters.
Lawson died on 8 June 2019 at the Port Antonio Hospital, Jamaica after a prolonged illness. He was 80. His funeral service was held on 28 June 2019 at the Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St Andrew, Jamaica.