SHIELDS

Jamaica Gleaner - - OFC -

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.

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