Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Holness makes sympathy call at The Gleaner

Published:Friday | June 10, 2016 | 6:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness signs the condolence books for Gleaner journalists Gary Spaulding and Glenroy Sinclair at The Gleaner's North Street, Kingston offices yesterday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness' note in the condolence book for Glenroy Sinclair.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness' comments in the condolence book for Gary Spaulding.
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 It was a heart-rending moment for the family, friends, and colleagues of Glenroy Sinclair and Gary Spaulding as they solemnly listened to the words of Prime Minister Andrew Holness in paying tribute to the two fallen journalists.

Yesterday afternoon, Holness made a sympathy call on The Gleaner at its North Street, Kingston, office to pay his respects to Sinclair, 49, and Spaulding, 52, who both died suddenly on the weekend within hours of each other.

Holness said that on Monday when he got the news about Sinclair's passing, he was shocked, only to hear about an hour later about Spaulding's death, which was another shock.

"It was only a few days ago that I was sitting being interviewed by Gary, and strangely, he said, 'I don't have a picture with you, you know PM. Let's take a picture together'. It's not normal that a journalist asks you to take a private, personal picture, and I thought it was a great compliment because we have come a far way," he said.

Holness encouraged the staff to remain strong and to celebrate the contributions of both journalists.

"Their work will live after them, so for all of us, we have to make sure that what we do with the time we have becomes a testament to our lives," he said.

Speaking of Sinclair, the prime minister said, "he was not superficial in dealing with the issues", recounting an encounter with him as a young politician dealing with the matter of crime in the community of Olympic Gardens in his St Andrew West Central constituency several years ago.

During his visit, he signed the condolence books in memory of the media veterans.

The prime minister also met privately with Spaulding's children.

Also paying their respects at The Gleaner were ministers Ruel Reid and Dr Horace Chang.