Sat | Oct 16, 2021

Hundreds celebrate broadcast veteran Dorraine Samuels

Published:Tuesday | April 16, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson/Gleaner Writer
The Reverend Gary Harriott (left); Robert Thompson (second left), suffragan bishop of Kingston; and the Reverend Astor Carlyle (right) chat with Dorraine Samuels' three children as they exit the University Chapel following the thanksgiving service for the late broadcast veteran at The University of the West Indies, Mona, yesterday. Melissa, the eldest, carries the urn bearing the remains of her mother, while son Russell carries a floral arrangement. Daughter Morgan follows behind.
Emily Shields (right) greets one Dorraine Samuels' sisters, Carol Campbell, at yesterday's service.
The urn bearing the remains of broadcast veteran Dorraine Samuels at her thanksgiving service at the Univeristy Chapel yesterday.
Melissa Rickards, the eldest of Dorraine Samuels' three children, carries the urn bearing her mom's remains to the front of the chapel at the start of the service. Behind her are siblings, Russell Binger and Morgan Binger, at the thanksgiving service for the broadcaster at the University Chapel at the University of the West Indies, Mona, yesterday.

Love permeated the air yesterday as hundreds of mourners turned out at the University Chapel at The University of the West Indies, Mona, to bid farewell to Dorraine Samuels, who is often described as the doyenne of broadcasting in Jamaica.

One after another, family members and friends gave glowing tributes to the broadcast extraordinaire, who was a staple on RJR 94 FM for nearly four decades, in both the spoken word and song.

Dorraine’s oldest child, Melissa, who delivered a tribute on behalf of herself and younger siblings Russell and Morgan, said despite reaching great heights in her profession, Samuels’ work life never compromised her duty as a mother.

“No matter how demanding the work scene got, she made it a point of duty that she would play just as hard as she worked, and as such, many of the out-of-town broadcasts turned into mini-vacations,” Melissa, 36, said as her siblings stood behind her, arm in arm.

“My mother was an amazing person, one who always led by example, and by doing so taught us so much. She was organised, strategic and solutions-oriented. She always planned ahead,” Melissa said on behalf of her brother, Russell.

Dorraine’s younger daughter, Morgan, 21, said living without her mother would not be easy.

“This process will be real hard, but I hope I will be as strong and beautiful as you were … . Morgan is great, Morgan is bright and Morgan is beautiful. I will forever hear your voice saying these words, especially when I may need it most,” Melissa read for Morgan, who fought back tears, having lost her father and Samuels’ husband, Karl Binger, in 2011.

rainbow on a stormy day

Tributes also flowed from Samuels’ sister Carol, who likened her sister to a rainbow on a stormy day.

“There are no words that adequately describe the roller-coaster ride that we are on right now. Our hearts are broken, but we know, for sure, the wounded heart will heal. How do you describe the beacon of light that she represented and allowed to live through her – a light that permeated the very fabric of our lives?” Carol said, as her older sister, Pat, stood next to her.

RJRGLEANER Communications Group CEO Gary Allen described his tribute to Samuels as one of the most challenging things he has had to write in a long time.

He said that during her broadcasting career, Samuels took on various roles within Radio Jamaica Limited, which she joined in 1981.

“Her colleagues will recall her as one that was the easiest talent to work with in studio and [on] outside broadcasts – live or recorded. She had a strong sense of service to the community as exhibited through her work with projects … .

“She represented the best interests of staff as chief union for the radio bargaining unit with the National Workers Union for a number of years, and served at the highest level as the staff representative on the board of directors of Radio Jamaica Limited for three years,” Allen said.

Samuels, 59, lost her battle with cancer on March 26.