Hail to ‘The Chief’ - Champion photographer takes final snapshot
There was no time for weeping and mourning. Instead, there were hugs and embraces at the Kingston Parish Church, as persons came out in their numbers to celebrate the life of master photographer Junior Dowie at a Thanksgiving Service yesterday.
Erica Virtue, senior Gleaner reporter, in her tribute on behalf of The Gleaner, took the audience on a journey as she recalled the catalogue Dowie left behind during his sojourn as a photojournalist.
"Junior Dowie and quality photography are companions. They go hand in hand, for even what he considered his worst photograph was often a keepsake," said Virtue.
"Dowie managed to develop for himself a reputation of excellence and can be safely regarded as one of the best of his time and a giant of photography in Jamaica.
"While his reputation as an ace photographer will live on through his photographs, it is his humility and kindness that will live on in the hearts of those who worked closely with him," added Virtue.
Veteran journalist Dr Barbara Gloudon shared similar sentiments as she noted the pride and passion Dowie had for his work.
"He always carried his camera in the cradle of his arms. He had it so close to him at all times. This, I believe, is a signal of the pride and love he had for his work."
"It was never about him. He was never one to boast, his priority and concern at all times was to get an excellent shot," said Gloudon.
"I want to use this opportunity to honour his family and to say to Junior, thanks for being my friend. Thanks for the relationship we had. I am happy I knew you," added Gloudon.
Another veteran of the local journalism fraternity, Clarence 'Ben' Brodie, who represented the Press Association of Jamaica, noted that Dowie's work transcended local boundaries.
"Since his passing on February 17, Junior and his excellent work have been the centre of many a discussion among colleagues. Though the call of duty constantly exposed him to the halls of high society, he preferred the byways and hedges, and was loved at this vibrant level of society," said Brodie.
"When one takes a careful look at the professional career of this man, it becomes clear that the achievement of Junior Dowie transcended national and regional boundaries. Though not prominent as a Usain Bolt or Bob Marley, Junior's class stood out internationally.