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Footprints: Michael Shaw - Beloved photographer puts cameras down

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Beloved photographer puts cameras down

For decades Michael George Washington Shaw took photographs, clicked and flashed away with his cameras.

He has always been interested in movies and photography, and at age 19 he got involved in photography at The Gleaner Company, for which he worked for almost 20 years. At The Gleaner he met Melroy Sterling, who turned out to be a lifelong friend.

The veteran photographer also worked at The Jamaica Observer, Jampress and Jamaica Information Service (JIS), where he worked for four years at first and then returned in 1996.

The man who was born on May 26, 1956, was affectionately called 'Mikey' or 'Biggs'. But at the JIS, his colleagues knew him simply as Shaw. Those who know him best remember him as a selfless and gentle soul.

But the well-beloved photographer stopped capturing images on September 30, 2015 after covering an assignment for the JIS - the meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. He had predeceased siblings, children and grandchildren.

On Thursday, October 22, family members, lifelong friends, and co-workers gathered at Webster Memorial United Church to celebrate his life. His friend, Melroy Sterling, obviously shaken, and in tears, told The Gleaner, "We practically did everything together ... If he bought a new car, I would do the same. We would talk on the phone to and from work every day ... ."

"He practically died in my hands and Jamaica has lost a good man. I have lost my best friend," Sterling lamented.

According to JIS CEO, Donna-Marie Rowe, she met Shaw while she was a public affairs officer at the JIS in 1996, and he was, to her, a dependable person.

Junior Dowie, retired Gleaner photographer, said the thing he remembered the most about Shaw was that he was a hard-working and responsible person.

- P.H.W