'We are richer for having known them' - PAJ remembers veteran journalists
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) is offering sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of veteran journalists Glenroy Sinclair and Gary Spaulding who, within the past few days, passed away within hours of each other.
"The media community has been dealt a severe blow," says PAJ President Dionne Jackson Miller. "Media circles in Jamaica are relatively small, so many of us worked closely with, and were good friends of both Glenroy and Gary. Because of that, the sense of loss is really very severe right now."
Both Sinclair and Spaulding were working at The Gleaner at the time of their death. Spaulding had also worked previously at the RJR Communications Group, the Jamaica Observer, and the Jamaica Information Service.
"Our hearts go out to their families and friends, and especially to our colleagues at The Gleaner, who were still processing the reality of losing Glenroy, after he collapsed on the job on Friday, when they were hit with news of Gary's death," she says.
The PAJ says that both reporters were similar in many ways, especially in relation to their professionalism and dedication to their craft.
MASTER OF HIS CRAFT
In his decades in media, Sinclair mastered the difficult crime beat, with sources that were the envy of every reporter. Spaulding, on the other hand, after years spent covering Parliament and political affairs, was well known to politicians at every level, many of whom he could reach with a single phone call. In recent years, Spaulding had started to parlay his considerable expertise and writing skills into political commentary, at which he proved adept, leading to his copping the prestigious Press Association of Jamaica's Morris Cargill Award for Opinion Journalism in 2012.
"Gary was my friend and mentor," says PAJ Vice-President Karen Madden, who described herself as "heartbroken" and says Spaulding's encouragement and friendship were instrumental in her decision to pursue her dream of segueing from previously held administrative positions at the RJR Communications Group into journalism.
That encouragement, she says, was typical of Spaulding, who never lost an opportunity to mentor and assist younger journalists. Sinclair, similarly, could always be relied on to help guide reporters new on the scene.
"Every reporter on the crime beat liked and respected Glenroy," says PAJ secretary Rohan Powell. "He was usually a step or two in front of everybody else when it came to getting the scoop on any crime story. He was also a really nice person who got along with everybody, and who you couldn't help but like."
"We are the richer for having known and worked with them, and journalism will be the poorer for their absence," says Jackson Miller. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends at this difficult time."