Jamaica Gleaner : 2020-05-28

OFC : 46 : C14


| www.jamaica-gleaner.com | C14 THE GLEANER, THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020 Clarke – The mentor Selfless Clarke was kind and to those he guided “H E HAD a heart of gold. He was a great mentor who genuinely cared about people. He was kind and selfless,” declared Kaysia Johnson Vaughan, a graduate of The University of the West Indies and a mentee of Oliver Clarke. She related how every year Clarke would invite the team of mentees, which numbered nearly 20, for a meal at his home or at a restaurant. Moreover, he would ensure that a resource person was at those meetings to help chart them in the right direction. “He was committed to the mentorship programme. He even took on persons outside of the programme. If he can help, he will and if he can’t, he will connect you to key persons who can. He never left you stranded. He was always finding a solution. He had many values that you would want to emulate,” she maintained. “What I admired about him was that he cared a great deal about young people. He took the time to understand people and offer advice. He was probing; he would ask about your life, the plans you have for your life, and he would hold you accountabl­e. He always wants you to do want you said you would do.” One of the major impacts that Johnson Vaughan said that Clarke had on her life was guiding her in her career choice. “I remember when I discussed with him that I couldn’t decide whether to pursue law or marketing or communicat­ion, he arranged for me to meet with persons in both fields. As a result, I was able to make a decision.” Long after she had graduated from university and establishe­d herself in the corporate world, Clarke still maintained the connection and took interest in her family. “He would ask me about Victoria [her young daughter]. One day, he sent a huge teddy bear to my office for her,” she said. Beyond his philanthro­py, Johnson Vaughan remembers Clarke as being stern and having a dry humour. “You have to laugh when you are with him. He was down to earth and real.” Mentees remember Oliver Clarke HE GAVE lessons in confidence, exuded passion for country, and was a visionary. That is how media mogul Oliver Clarke, who passed on Saturday at his St Andrew home, is remembered by a few of his mentees. Twenty-three-year-old Shanakay Dyer was mentored by Clarke during the 2018-19 academic year at The University of the West Indies, Mona. She found it “very admirable” that he contacted her to set up their first appointmen­t as it was customary for the mentee to do so. “He gave me the amazing opportunit­y of interning at TVJ, which was something that I always wanted to do, and he gave me many lessons in confidence,” said the Sagicor Bank account maintenanc­e representa­tive. “He would say, ‘When you’re meeting a group of people, it is important for you to look them in the face and never break their stare. It will show that you’re confident and that you’re well deserving of whatever opportunit­y they’re going to give you.’ He had an entire session with me looking him dead in the face,” she said with a chuckle. Tyrone Wilson had “never met someone more witty than Institute. For digital marketer Sandor Panton, he was a visionary. “He saw where media was going, and was not going to be left behind,” Panton said. Clarke oversaw him being hired in 1999 as the ‘webmaster’ for Gleaner Online, which had been set up a few years prior. Their offices were on the same floor, and Panton would often be called in for a chat. “He was a very influentia­l person, and I never felt overwhelme­d when I was in his company. He really just wanted to get our take on what was going on and how things were going on the Internet,” he said. The Gleaner’s Youthlink The Gleaner The Gleaner, judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com

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