THE late veteran broadcaster and television producer Desmond Elliott was last Wednesday lauded as a consummate media professional who was prepared to work long hours to deliver high quality work.
Elliott, who worked at the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) in various positions for more than 30 years, was also remembered as a friendly and charismatic individual who enjoyed life and mentored many youngsters.
Delivering the remembrance at a thanksgiving service for Elliott's life at St Andrew Parish Church, his former JBC colleagues Kenneth Nelson and Patricia Riley said the Manchester-born Kingston College past student was known for his authoritative voice and his charm with the ladies.
"There was a saying at the JBC that Desmond could charm a lion to the slaughter," Riley said.
But equally Elliott was known as a perfectionist and professional. He began his broadcasting career at Radio Jamaica before moving to JBC where he worked in both radio and television as producer and presenter, often filling in for others during their absence. He was quizmaster for the popular JAMAL quiz and directed several sports programmes.
Rev David Reid, in his homily, said Elliott, through his work, showed that the media could present a more balanced image of Jamaica.
"It is easy to report on the many sensational headlines of murder and mayhem, however it takes harder work to dig deep into the fabric of our people and make headlines from things that are less fantastic but equally important in the guiding of our people and nation", he said.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer after the service, former JBC General Manager Claude Robinson described Elliott as a hard-working professional who always wanted to achieve the best.
"He was loyal, he was supportive, but most of all he understood the role of the media in national development. His contribution to the country is perhaps understated because he was one of those persons who worked hard in creating media products that reflected the culture, history and heritage of the country because he knew that it was important, especially for our young people," Robinson said.
Professor Hopeton Dunn of the University of the West Indies, who worked with Elliott at the JBC for years, remembered his friend as a jovial, easy-going person and an outstanding professional.
"Desmond joins a tradition of media practitioners that have set a pace in terms of the professional quality of the work they do, the kind of people who will not leave the job until it is properly done," Dunn said.
Elliott also served the Scout Association of Jamaica for more than 30 years as a member of the fund-raising and public relations committees.
He is survived by three sons and six daughters, several grandchildren and one great-grandchild.