Tue | Jul 7, 2020

He was a patriot!

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2020 | 12:17 AM
Gary Allen
Gary Allen

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 of his friend and fellow media stalwart J. A. Lester Spaulding a month earlier. Mr Clarke served as chairman until April 30, 2019, when he demitted office but remained as a director up to the time of his passing.

He had a passion for media which he insisted was what keeps our democracy strong. He was fearless, strident and articulate on the points he raised and pursued for media rights, freedom and independence. Oliver was kind and thoughtful, but he was also firm and impatient of folly.

He was a patriot! Oliver loved Jamaica without qualification. He was never shy 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 The Gleaner 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.

Gary Allen

Chief Executive Officer

RJRGLEANER Communications Group