Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Letter of the Day | Amid political tribalism, Boyne straddled middle ground

Published:Wednesday | December 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The late 'Motty' Perkins called him 'God Boyne'. Attorney-at-law and Gleaner columnist Gordon Robinson called him 'Booklist Boyne'.

Perkins was a literary/oratorical pugilist, pulling no punches intended for his opponents. Robinson is a satirist of the classical vintage of other opinion writing greats like Morris Cargill, John Hearne, and Carl Wint, of the golden era of intellectual journalism in Jamaica who inspired Ian and I and our contemporaries before we began our career in media and during the early years of it.

Ian tried to avoid confrontation with Perkins, especially, but the ones they had you could say were inevitable.

I sat closest to ringside for those bouts quite amused by the one-sided contest scored in elder Perkins' favour. Those were the only occasions that Ian's much-vaunted intellect seemed to fail him. I could tell that Ian was badly bruised by the 'old bard' and sort of 'carried feelings' over a long period, for when the 'punisher' passed on, Ian was in his element, regaling the public in his Gleaner column with recollections of the pain Motty inflicted, especially on a former prime minister.

I was prompted, in a letter to the editor, to cry foul. Ian would not 'malice' me for this,

for anything, it seemed.

I had a sojourn at JIS that brought us closer than we had been when he was at JAMPRO. This is why, in 2008, when I brought celebrity journalist, New York Times correspondent John Burns, to Jamaica to address the annual awards event of the Press Association of Jamaica, Ian adjusted his Profile recording and broadcast schedule to fit Burns in the same weekend.

His greatest skill to me was appearing so apolitical and conformist that he worked with ease, unmolested across tribal party administrations in Jamaica, writing the many speeches the 'demigods' of the tribes commissioned him to do and slanting the many interviews he conducted with them to drum up support for their conflicting ideologies.

I got the very sad news of his passing early Monday morning, and my body seemed to go in shock for hours after. It came much sooner than my human mind made allowance for it to occur. However, while I am satisfied he could have done alot more of his good work, I am absolutely certain he did all he had capacity for before catching the bus.

I am truly blessed to have known him as a colleague and friend. I will miss him tremendously.