the people of Jamaica. Throughout my tenure, Oliver supported me and became my mentor and my friend. Within a short period of time I grew to admire his wisdom and ability to see through any challenge or difficulty I faced, always coming up with options to overcome any problem that I may not have considered. He had the ability to listen carefully, he would always take notes and either make an immediate call to somebody that could help or just give his guidance.
Apart from many one-toone meetings at his office at The Gleaner or at his home, I soon learnt that Oliver was an excellent facilitator, instinctively knowing how individuals from different walks of life could be brought together with the primary objective of making Jamaica a better place. His invitations were either for breakfast meetings at The Gleaner or dinner parties at his home. Oliver and his wife, Monica, were great hosts, always making people feel welcome and at ease. Oliver skilfully guided the direction of conversations, and through his charm and wit managed to ask the most incisive questions and ensured that nobody around the table felt sidelined, and ensuring that he brought everyone into the conversation.
I can recall that he would frequently put me on the spot when halfway through a dinner he would ask, ‘So young Shields, what are you going to do about this crime problem?’
Oliver never wasted words, he spoke and wrote succinctly and to the point, he listened, gave a view, and made recommendations that were intelligent and persuasive but never dictatorial. Whatever the problem, Oliver was always calm, charming, and measured in his delivery, and his advice was always insightful and profound.
Oliver was an honourable man, he was trustworthy, loyal, and extremely modest. He did not seek praise or accolades from others but would quietly and diligently use his influence and reputation behind the scenes to get things done.
Over the 17 years, I had the pleasure of knowing Oliver Clarke, I saw the love he had for life, his family, and the people around him. He worked hard until the end and never stopped fighting the disease that tragically ravaged his body. I recall the last time I visited Oliver at his home in February, despite the toll the cancer had taken, he remained upbeat, positive, and keen to know how my family and I were getting on.
The last time I saw Oliver was at Silver Sands in Trelawny. He was out for an evening walk with Monica, and despite his physical frailty he seemed as determined as ever not to give up the fight. He retained his good spirit, his sharp wit and an absolute determination to fight the disease that eventually took his life.
I have so much to be grateful to Oliver Clarke for. I thank him for his friendship, his kindness to me and my family, his loyalty, his guidance, and his support. I will miss him very much.
My prayers and sincere condolences to his wife Monica, daughter Alex and other family and friends.
Rest in peace, Oliver. MARK SHIELDS Managing Director Shields Crime and Security
AOLIVER WAS a great guy, I thought. As head of The Gleaner, I think he did a wonderful job over the period when he ran it.
He was just a wonderful person to be with. We had many lunches together down at The Gleaner and I found him to be a wonderful host.
He was just a gentleman overall, and while we were not close enough for me to share a specific memory, I can say that when he hosted those lunches, I enjoyed his company and he seemed to enjoy mine.