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Footprints: Harold Winston Lloyd Sill: May 21, 1942 - July 31, 2015

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Photographer Winston Sill with Lifestyle Editor Nashauna Lalah.
Winston Sill (left) was a mentor to Gleaner reporter Daviot Kelly.
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Harold Winston Lloyd Sill: May 21, 1942 - July 31, 2015

The Star behind the camera

Sill's passing is a real loss to The Gleaner's editorial department and, by extension, the thousands of people who would have waited daily to see his images in print and online.

- Garfield Grandison, Editor-in-Chief

 

I can't believe he's gone, I keep referring to him in the present tense. I knew he wasn't well; we talked about his health. But I just figured he would make it. When I heard the news, I was devastated.

He was a father, a mentor, a colleague, a friend. On those assignments, people said it was Sill and Kelly. People just assumed where they saw one, the other was not far behind. I've lost a big part of my life.

- Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter

 

He never had to prove just how good he was, but everyday he approached his assignments with a dedication and zeal that showed he always wanted to better what he did yesterday. A true, quiet giant of the local media who earned the respect of all those he interacted with.

- Arthur Hall, Senior News Editor

 

Winston Sill was a gentleman, a giant of a man who was willing to take on any task whether big or small. He was a great team player who was committed to getting the job done. He was a man who loved deeply. He loved photography and he loved people and he loved his job and this was evident in the quality of his work. We will treasure his memories.

- Jenni Campbell, Managing Editor

 

Sill was one of the most famous at The Gleaner Company. I can recall countless times showing up at functions and having my host(s) look over my shoulder for Mr Sill. He was a man in great demand by all wherever he went. Why, because of the way he comported himself and the pride he took in his work.

No surprise he was so popular, because he was the consummate gentleman, very unassuming and ever humble. Naturally, he was also quite the celebrity in the newsroom; a father figure for many. I credit Sill as being one of the change agents in the company in spite of the years served and also his age. Here is someone who knew things were changing in our business and accepted that he had to do things differently and went steadfastly about doing what was necessary.

Mr Sill's legacy will live on for a very long time in this company and while he will be sorely missed, he will never be forgotten.

Walk good, Sill. Angels in heaven are waiting for their close-up.

- Christopher Barnes, Managing Director

 

Mr Sill was the consummate professional whose skills in photography are unquestionable - his work speaks for itself.

When I was a young reporter, we went on countless late assignments together and Mr Sill would provide guidance as I attempted to hone my craft.

When editing Mr Sill's photo captions, there is never a need to call him for clarification - all the necessary information is usually there. He was, for me, photojournalist extraordinaire. He knew what he was about and he got the job done!

I surely will miss Mr Sill. Walk good, sir! One love.

- Petrina Francis Taylor, Assistant News Editor

 

As quiet as Winston Sill was, I will always recall his knowing smile as he watched others appreciate and comment on his photographs of the female form. And no matter what questions were asked of him, there was never a hint of a less than professional attitude in handling assignments that would tempt weaker men.

I never spent much time on the road with Sill, but it is clear from those with whom we shared interactions that he was held in high regard no matter where he went. And I can understand why.

Once you got past that gruff exterior, you would come a know a thoughtful man with no pretenses, a man who would tell you as it is, who understood the people around him more than they even realised, and whose motives could never be questioned.

- Robert Hart, News Editor

 

Mr Sill was as humble as they come. You would never know how highly regarded he was until you were at an event with him and saw how people treated him. It was not uncommon for current and former prime ministers to come over to him just to shake his hand and say 'hello'. He was a true professional who never appeared to lose his love for his job. He was a success in work and in life, who will be fondly remembered and greatly missed.

- Robert Lalah, Features Editor

 

Mr Sill, aka My Hunny Bunny, is among the most known and respected photographers I have ever met and worked with. He was very passionate about his craft and, for that, I admired him and will certainly miss him, especially on assignments that involve diplomats, like the one we last shared.

- Randy Bowman, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

 

He was the epitome of patience and a master of his craft. Winston Sill would get his subject in his line of sight with the precision of a sniper - then wait for the 'money shot' with the patience of an ornithologist stalking a rare ... bird. Whether it was his favourite 'bust' shot or the spot where thigh meets buttock left carelessly exposed to his lens, the late Gleaner photographer Winston Sill was guaranteed to capture it. But besides the Mount Gay Rum from Barbados and Juile mangoes from his home, I will miss Sill's overprotective attitude that he showed towards me from the first time we did an assignment together so many years ago. I remember him asking me in a reprimanding tone, "Why every man a come kiss up you jaw like court house Bible so, what's de matter wid you?" I was unaware he was observing my every move.

On another occasion when he thought I had exposed too much cleavage, he asked, "why you a expose so much flesh tonight? But in typical Sill fashion, he finished the sentence and took a picture before I could blink.

Sill knew and remembered intimate details of his high-profile subjects' lives that many of them have forgot. These tidbits he passed on to me when necessary. He also knew just about everyone on the social circuit by name. Now we will no longer have his encyclopedic memory to rely on when we forget who's who.

And one thing not known to many is that our Sill was an excellent writer but would only do us the honour when he covered the annual Crop Over festival in Barbados. He was not given to much talk but he enjoyed a good joke.

I'm sure he's already captured a prized shot of the Master in Heaven... Rest in Peace, Dear Sill.

- Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor

 

It's hard to imagine he won't be coming by my desk anymore telling me what photos he has for me, or to remind him of a name. Mr Sill was a true professional whom everyone knew and loved. Whenever we were at assignments, it was like everyone knew him and they made a point to come over and greet him.

I have learnt so much from him, and it's hard to think he will no longer be here without tearing up. Mr Sill was not only my trusted colleague, he was my friend.

- Nashauna Lalah, Lifestyle Editor

 

I write this with great sadness over the unimaginable and untimely death of a close friend, colleague and coworker, Harold Winston Sill, who was a role model and a mentor to me since I joined media in 2001.

Sill was friendly, Sill was kind, Sill was diligent, only God knows why, why you had to leave us so soon.

Walk good, my bredren Sill, you will forever be missed.

- Jermaine Barnaby, Photographer

 

I remember working with Mr Sill many years ago and, one day when some women came to the studio to have their passport photos taken, I could not take them because Sill was the expert in that area.

I also learned a lot of darkroom skills from him; he also introduced me to drinking whiskey. I was the youngest in the group of drinking buddies back in those days. He used to fall asleep over the whisky glass. Sill walk good.

- Rudolph Brown, Photographer

 

When I started as an entertainment reporter at The Gleaner Company approximately 18 years ago, Mr Sill was a photographer who I worked closely alongside. His guidance and, sometimes, stern demeanor ensured that I learnt the ropes quickly and settled in my job. As a young man, I envied him for his job as he got to take the pictures of all the hot girls appearing in THE STAR.

Several years later when I became the editor of THE STAR, Mr Sill was still there, not only assisting with one of the newspaper's most popular feature, Star Poster Girl, but providing coverage for the majority of the entertainment events.

Mr Sill's contribution to THE STAR has been tremendous. He will be greatly missed.

- Dwayne Gordon, STAR Editor

 

I never knew him in his younger days, but from my interactions with Sill, I know him as a kind man, a quiet and observant man. It was always fun to listen whenever he did talk about his experiences on the job though. I've heard stories of his mastery in black and white printing and of course his poster girl images are legend. Sill will be missed.

- Gladstone Taylor, Photographer

 

I have known Winston Sill for more than 26 years and underneath the seemingly aloof facade, Sill, as we used to call him, was the epitome of care and professionalism.

Until you get to know him, he would hardly utter a word, and instead silently watch for the best opportunity to snap his lens.

Then when I got to know him, the monosyllabic comments came in the form of assistance.

Eventually, we became close friends and drinking buddies.

That was when the other side of Sill emerged - though still quiet, a smile was never far from the surface.

Then he became my confidante and was there during some challenging times in my life. I still can't believe.

- Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer

 

No assignment was too difficult, no detail too minute for Winston Sill. He was always willing to work, moving from assignment to assignment with fervor.

He may have been the man behind the STAR poster girl, but to everyone, he was THE STAR.

These actions signified his priorities in life, work hard, take great pictures and always get the job done.

I've never met anyone who had a bad word to say about him, which is testament to the kind of man he is.

RIP Mr Sill, character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.

- Davina Henry, Staff Reporter

 

My first experience with Mr Winston Sill was in my early years back in 1998. I was a young photographer working at a weekly newspaper covering nightly events in and around Kingston and St Andrew and saw this older man (Mr Sill) who guided me in his own unique way, which continued when I started out here at The Gleaner in 2003.

Mr Sill was a man of very few words but when he uttered them they were words of wisdom which resonated with me. He was always willing to assist with anything as far as work was concerned.

A man who took great pride in his work and also had things in a orderly fashion, even when he was not in the best health, he was never one to complain. A stronger individual I don't think we will ever find.

- Ricardo Makyn, Staff Photographer

 

I'm still in disbelief that Sill won't be walking into the department saying, 'Yes, Trecia', or 'see you tomorrow, Trecia, all being well'. I have known Sill for 23 years and we have worked together for nine. Mr Sill was straight forward, helpful and dedicated to his job. Sill was the 'man'. I'm going to miss him so much. God knows best. Walk good, Sill.

- Trecia McGowan

Have you recently lost a loved one whose footprints you want documented in this feature? Please send tributes, eulogies and photographs to Footprints@gleanerjm.com