Jamaica Gleaner : 2020-05-28

OFC : 68 : E4


P | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | E4 THE GLEANER, THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020 A owerful media and business icon I T IS with deep shock that I learned of the passing of the Honourable Oliver Clarke, OJ. have had the honour of working under his leadership and I found him to be honourable, trustworth­y, conscienti­ous and confidenti­al. In my early years writing in when people were attacking me and quite disbelievi­ng, Oliver Clarke stood up for me and insisted that I should be left alone because he had good reason to believe in my credibilit­y. I can recall that a certain editor of confided in me th at in a particular meeting, Mr Clarke declared, “leave Reverend Dumas alone”. I will never forget his kindness and sensitivit­y. He was a very wise and helpful individual and an astute and powerful media and business icon. There were times when I visited The Gleaner and even if I did not see Mr Clarke he would hail me. Although he was an extremely busy profession­al, he was never too busy to stop and speak to me. Mr Clarke has assisted me personally in different ways and was an excellent role model for so many whom he led and with whom he came into contact. I greatly admired him and I will always cherish the fact that I knew him personally. I send condolence­s to his dear wife and child and all his relatives. May the good Lord be pleased to watch over his soul. THE STAR, The Gleaner E REV DR AARON DUMAS He njoyed life to the fullest I HAD the privilege of knowing and working with Oliver Clarke for over 15 years. For this entire time, he always seemed to have a twinkle in his eyes. He enjoyed life to the fullest – whether he was running the JN annual general meeting or discussing the latest Gleaner survey results, or just talking with you in his office. He was humble and unassuming. He would immediatel­y correct someone who referred to him as Mr Clarke and tell them to please call him Oliver. Several times I was fortunate to have had dinner with him in London with some friends from his school days in the UK. Each was a memorable experience as they regaled each other with their schoolboy exploits. It was obvious that this son of Westmorela­nd was the leader of the pack. After dinner, he would often drive me back to my hotel in a ‘hot’ Volvo that had been the company car of one of the former JN workers in London. He drove this car through the streets of London like a teenager with his first car. He enjoyed challengin­g you to support your beliefs. Despite his traditiona­l education in accounting, I frequently wondered whether he wished he had been a prosecutor (after being expertly cross-examined by him myself, or watching the same occur with others). But once you gained his respect, he was your friend for life. He was frank – rather than talk in circles he would just tell you ‘no’. No matter how powerful he was, he would always answer your call, and when he told you he would do something, he did it. Some might say he was old-fashioned. I guess he was old-fashioned in many respects – and in the best of ways. It’s a shame that more of us aren’t as oldfashion­ed as he was. BILL JOHNSON billjohnso­npollster@gmail.com The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Progressiv­e Grocers of Jamaica Limited celebrate the life, work and achievemen­t of an exemplary media pioneer, the late Honourable Oliver Frederick Clarke, O.J. Mr. Clarke was a visionary and business icon who had an indomitabl­e drive for success. His unwavering commitment and sound business acumen contribute­d immensely to the fight for press freedom and media independen­ce. Mr. Clarke was one of the founders of the Private Sector Organizati­on of Jamaica (PSOJ) and served as the Chairman of the board for organizati­ons such as the RJR Gleaner Communicat­ions Group, Jamaica National Building Society, JN Bank and the Jamaica National Group. We honour the vision and enduring legacy of this stalwart who has made an invaluable contributi­on to the growth of Jamaica’s media and national developmen­t. He has left an indelible mark on his business associates, the media fraternity and all those with whom he interacted. The Progressiv­e Grocers Group is privileged and honoured to have been associated with such a consummate business icon of great integrity and character. We extend our deepest condolence­s to his bereaved family, friends, the RJR Gleaner Communicat­ions Group, business associates in the private and public sectors and the global media community.

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