Relentlessly S | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | C8 THE GLEANER, THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020 Clarke – The Gleaner man Clarke pursued the best for Jamaica He had a trong sense of history C A YEAR and two weeks ago, I had the awesome task of assuming the chairmanship of the board of The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited, GCML, replacing the Honourable Oliver F. Clarke, who had been leading the company for over 40 years. Today, it is with great sadness that on behalf of the board of directors and staff I stop to salute Oliver, who died on Saturday, May 16. A patriotic Jamaican, he had a strong sense of history and a solid sense of service to Jamaica and Jamaicans. He saw as an institution in the servic e of our country. Oliver challenged all of us to build and maintain a resilient institution that was constantly in support of our democracy. He was a kind man, giving of himself, his resources and his knowledge. He has made a tremendous difference to Jamaica in the many fields in which he operated. A giant in the media industry, we will miss his wit, his courage, his analytical mind and his iconic business skills, but we will never forget him. We stand in solidarity with his family and wish them peace at this challenging time. HAIRMAN OF the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, Joseph Matalon, has expressed sadness at the passing of Oliver Clarke OJ, who lost his battle with cancer on May 16. Matalon succeeded Clarke as chairman in May last year. “Always a fighter, Oliver gave this last battle his best effort and is now resting after a long, distinguished, and accomplished life of service. I served with Oliver on the board of The Gleaner Company (now 1834 Investments Limited) for 34 years, and on the board of The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited and the board of Radio Jamaica Limited, the parent company of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, up to the time of his passing,” Matalon said. He described Clarke as a friend and mentor to those he interacted with during his career. “There is no sharper mind, no more focused leader that you could find. You could neither find a tougher businessman, but equally, you would also never find a more generous and compassionate soul. Renowned for his ever-present sense of humour, he had a unique ability to speak truth to power in a manner that was always firm and yet respectful. His commitment to Jamaica is unquestioned and exemplary. He was relentless in his pursuit of what was best for the nation and always remained strongly of the view that and then the RJRGLEANER Group, have a responsibility to the country to always be fearless in support of what is best for all Jamaicans.” Matalon stated that it will be his duty to keep the RJRGLEANER Group strong in the lasting memory of Clarke and the rich legacy that he has left. The Gleaner, CARL DOMVILLE Chairman The Gleaner Company (Media) Ltd The Gleaner P JOSEPH MATALON Chairman, RJRGLEANER Communications Group A fearless and strident atriot WE ARE saddened at news of the death of former Gleaner and RJRGLEANER Chairman Oliver Frederick Clarke (OFC to us) on Saturday, May 16 at age 75. Our shareholders, directors, managers and staff will miss him dearly and assure his family of our continued love and support for them, and our commitment to guard the legacy left by OFC. Oliver was appointed chairman of the board of Radio Jamaica Limited, the parent company for the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, on December 11, 2017, following the death to push for what he saw as Jamaica’s best interest and he was unafraid of whom he was challenging. He always said his job is to make whoever in Jamaica uncomfortable as long as there is more to be done for Jamaica and Jamaicans. Oliver was unfazed by criticism. Of his critics, he always said they had a right to their views and they should be encouraged and facilitated to share it. Sometime in 2013 when and RJR started exploring the feasibility of an amalgamation of the media entities, Oliver was most concerned about their longevity as a profitable venture. Oliver was a hard-nosed businessman but he was a kind person mentoring dozens, helping scores and quietly doing a lot of good in the society. We will miss OFC, but we will never forget him and his constant instruction to “get on with it”. The RJRGLEANER family salutes our friend, our colleague and our former leader; we bid him farewell and wish him peace, even as we wish his family fond memories and God’s comfort and mercy at this time. The Gleaner T GARY ALLEN Chief Executive Officer RJRGLEANER Communications Group He was ough, yet fair and fiercely loyal THE LOSS of Oliver Clarke is an immeasurable one, not only for Jamaica, but for me, personally. I don’t think that there is a measure for the reach that this man had across the length and breadth of Jamaica. He touched many people individually and has always had the well-being of Jamaicans at the forefront of everything that he did, whether it was through Jamaica National or through an institution with which I have been associated for 13 years under his personal mentorship and tutelage. Through these two quintessential Jamaican brands, Oliver always had a focus on what was needed for Jamaica and Jamaicans to advance along the path of development and financial independence at any given time and in any different circumstance. His natural inquisitiveness placed him in good stead to be at the helm as this provided a credible vehicle through which all the right questions could be asked and answered, and for viewpoints to be put forward, without fear or favour, all for the benefit of Jamaica and Jamaicans. Oliver had very close friends and many acquaintances, but one of his greatest attributes was that even those who considered themselves his enemies had a seat at his table, where they were treated with the respect many a person would dig deep for, but would never be able to find. Using this impeccable tact and touch, Oliver was able to break through many deadlock situations, which resulted in forward movement on some very difficult issues for both the business and for the country. Here is a man who charted a path to the freedom of the press ranking that Jamaica, and the wider caribbean, enjoy now. Many of the benefits enjoyed by media now came at the hands of this amazing pioneer. He will be forever revered by those who understood and believed in his mission. I personally have lost a mentor and, quite frankly, someone who was family for me. I will greatly miss those invaluable moments of Oliver’s wit, Oliver’s dry humor and and his inability to accept no or it cannot be done as an answer. He was tough, yet fair and fiercely loyal. Oliver has played a significant role in the person that I am, both personally and professionally, and it is my sincere hope that I can do justice to the legacy that this man has left behind. He mentored and supported many like me and mingled equally with the privileged and the commoner with genuine interest and care for the well-being of all. This true Jamaican patriot will be sorely missed. I wish for his family strength in this time of sorrow and may his soul rest in eternal peace. The Gleaner The Gleaner, Champion CHRISTOPHER BARNES Chief Operating Officer RJRGLEANER Communcations Group A of media solidarity Oliver for many years. He had, in fact, been the one to have appointed me editor-in-chief of in 2001, and from then set me on a path to leadership. I got a university education from being under the tutelage of Oliver – the kind you don’t get in traditional studies. He was tough, but fair, all in service to this nation which he deeply cared about. under his leadership, has sought to liberate our society, impart wisdom and share resources about wealth building, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship in this country, and we owe a debt of gratitude to him for the foresight and willingness to have led such an important publication that has thrived for more than 185 years. We celebrate a great life that will live on through his very impressive and enduring legacy. The Gleaner I AM deeply saddened by the death of Oliver Clarke, a man who has spent much of his life fighting for press freedom and the people’s right to know in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the Americas. We at remember him as a self-sufficient human being full of love, humour, happiness and deeply possessed with a desire to see Jamaica and the world as better places for all humanity. His reach was boundless; his work a spectacle. He could walk with kings and yet had the common touch. That was our Oliver F. Clarke – our OFC. He relished the matching of wits, the rough and tumble that are inherent in life, not only as a businessman, but as a leader in media. Oliver was always a champion of media solidarity. It was Oliver’s far-sightedness and leadership which helped us not only as a country, but as a region to have a robust and fearless media landscape, evidenced in Jamaica’s continued high ranking in the World Press Freedom Index. Destiny willed it that he made his enduring mark and his business genius on our society through The Gleaner, The Gleaner The Gleaner, which he has served for over four decades. Oliver, while at the helm of The Gleaner, nurtured those under his wings to be meaningful contributors to the development of not only this nation but also to be torchbearers of truth and justice. He jealously guarded the gains made by our forefathers in the democratic dispensation of our society. I am fortunate to have known GARFIELD GRANDISON General Manager The Gleaner Company (Media) Limited
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