Research Shows Young Jamaican Crusader Joe Issa Shared 19th C-old Beliefs Of Writer of Famous Line: ‘It was a dark and stormy night’
St. Ann civic leader, business mogul and philanthropist Joe Issa, who is said to be the 11th Crusader in his family, is believed to have shared similar beliefs with those of early-nineteen century writer and politician, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, when he attended the prestigious College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, USA.
Research shows he was born Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton PC (25 May 1803–18 January 1873), and that he was an English novelist, poet, playwright, and politician, in particular, a conservative party whip.
Writer of “a stream of bestselling novels which earned him a considerable fortune”, according to Wikipedia, Bulwer-Lytton coined the phrases: “the great unwashed”, “pursuit of the almighty dollar”, “the pen is mightier than the sword”, “dweller on the threshold”, and the well-known opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night”, a line Issa would refer to later.
In his valedictorian speech on behalf of his class of 88 and in the presence of families, professors and other officials, Issa, who was urging his colleagues, as educated men and women, to do something about inequality in society, including tyranny and oppression invoked Bulwer-Lytton and his famous line in the presentation.
“Edward Bulwer-Lytton, most famous for having written the line ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ was also an early advocate of universal education. Last year, I read words of his which summed up what I do believe.
“He said that ‘where intelligence is equalized and flows harmonious and harmonizing through all society, then one man’, and I would add one woman, ‘can possess no bleeding and dangerous power over the minds of another’,” Issa said.
In his wide-ranging 13-minute speech, Issa advised “we must now use instead, the powers of our minds and talents, to harmonize, not tyrannize,” stating, “We are ready at least, to try.” And tried he did, based on newspaper reports and Wikipedia.
Since leaving College of the Holy Cross, Issa has formed several charities under his Cool Group subsidiary — Cool Charities — to continue to give towards the education of under-privileged Jamaican children, including scholarships for them to study at his alma mater, cording to the Jamaica Observer.
The Holy Cross/Joe Issa Scholarship Fund, which was launched on May 26, 2001, was well received.
Dr Doreen Falkner, Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education at the time, is said to have “expressed her approval of the fund and the role it will play in giving the disadvantaged youths an opportunity to get a first class education,” the newspaper article said.
It added that Dr. Robert Chen of Superplus Food Stores presented a $100,000-cheque to the scholarship fund.