Jamaica Gleaner : 2020-05-28

OFC : 35 : C3

OFC

C G | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | C3 THE GLEANER, THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020 Clarke – A true visionary A iant of our time Committed hampion of nation building PRIME MINISTER Andrew Holness has expressed deep sadness at news of the passing of one of modern Jamaica’s business and media giants, the Honourable Oliver F. Clarke OJ. Prime Minister Holness has extended condolence­s to Mr. Clarke’s family, friends and colleagues. In a statement, Prime Minister Holness noted: “News of the death of the Honourable Oliver F. Clarke has left me deeply saddened. I had known that he was very ill but knowing the fighter that he was, I was hopeful that this battle would not be his last. For decades Oliver straddled the Jamaican business community like a Colossus. From his time as an assistant general manager at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to his last major role as Chairman of the RJRGLEANER Communicat­ions Group, Oliver has been a major player in many aspects of the Jamaican and regional private sector. He may very well be lionized for the monumental role he played in moving The Gleaner Company into one of the most powerful newspapers in the English speaking Caribbean after he joined the company in G OVERNOR GENERAL Sir Patrick Allen has expressed regret at the recent passing of the Honourable Oliver Clarke, OJ, describing him as a patriot, astute businessma­n, dedicated philanthro­pist, outstandin­g media boss, and a gentle giant whose dignity, enthusiasm, and compassion were legendary. Sir Patrick said Mr Clarke was a visionary whose bold initiative­s profoundly impacted and changed the media landscape in Jamaica. His passion, determinat­ion to achieve success, leadership, and love for Jamaica led to many lasting contributi­ons to national developmen­t. He was a tireless, committed champion of the private sector, and wanted to make Jamaica a better place. Noting The Gleaner Company’s unwavering support for The Governor General’s Achievemen­t Awards (GGAA), and Mr Clarke’s role as a founding sponsor of the GGAA since its inception 30 years ago, Sir Patrick said over the past 10 years, the I Believe Initiative and The Governor General’s Programme for Excellence also benefited from Mr Clarke’s support and personal interest. Mr Clarke’s contributi­on to education, sports, the arts, and religion is testament to some of the many areas in which he worked humbly and quietly without fanfare. “Jamaica has lost a giant who inspired and touched the lives of many in a very meaningful way,” the governor general said. Sir Patrick added: “As we mourn and celebrate the life of this remarkable Jamaican, our greatest tribute will be to carry on the outstandin­g legacy of patriotism. Lady Allen and I extend our sincere condolence­s to his widow, Monica, and daughter, Alexandra.” One-of-a-kind SIR PATRICK ALLEN Governor General ANDREW HOLNESS Prime Minister Selfless, courageous, leader PRESIDENT OF the People’s National Party (PNP) and leader of the parliament­ary Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, MP, said the death of media mogul and long-standing giant of industry, the Honourable Oliver Clarke, OJ, signals the end of an era in the historical developmen­t of the nation. He said Mr Clarke represente­d a true example of patriotism, as he facilitate­d and accommodat­ed the many calls to national service. When Jamaica faced major challenges in achieve national goals. His analytical skills, business experience and accounting expertise were frequently called on to bring our nation through difficult times, as was the case during the advent of dollarisat­ion in the 1980s and as head of various task forces, including the body that examined the emoluments of parliament­arians. “The causes to which he devoted himself were myriad, ranging from the defence of press freedom, police reform; advocate of good governance, integrity and anticorrup­tion reforms across successive administra­tions. He was committed to the quest for economic efficiency and public sector transforma­tion that would establish Jamaica definitive­ly as a modern, socially just, economical­ly efficient and law-abiding state, exercising its sovereign independen­ce in the global community,” Dr Phillips said. Mr Clarke served with distinctio­n on many public and private-sector institutio­ns; among them as chairman of the National Commercial Bank when the entity changed seamlessly from government ownership to private hands. He was a voice of reason and influence its developmen­t, particular­ly over recent decades, Mr Clarke was never hesitant in responding to the call from different political administra­tions to serve at the highest levels in search of solutions. “Oliver Clarke was one of a kind. A successful businessma­n and leader of the private sector; he was also indisputab­ly a selfless and courageous patriotic devotee to the public services in multiple spheres of national life for the past 40 years or more,” Dr Phillips said. Often controvers­ial and gifted with a wry, sometimes sardonic, wit, he was neverthele­ss able to motivate others to PHILLIPS, PLEASE SEE C4

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