Barbara Gloudon, journalist extraordinaire and great Jamaican
Barbara Gloudon

We feel a great sense of loss at the passing of our esteemed colleague Mrs Barbara Gloudon on Wednesday night.

Mrs Gloudon wrote a column for this newspaper, starting from our third issue on Sunday, March 21, 1993 until April 10, 2020 when ill health forced her to stop.

Over those years our readers benefited from her thought-provoking views on a wide range of national issues, her ability to turn phrases and “tek bad ting mek laugh”, as well as her vast and very rich knowledge of Jamaica’s cultural and political history.

We, at this newspaper, found that she was always willing to share her experience as part of her effort to mould young journalists into masters of the craft.

Her counsel was greatly appreciated, for we knew that Mrs Gloudon was a veteran in the profession and was well-respected in Jamaica and among the large population of Jamaicans living overseas.

Many Jamaicans will remember Mrs Gloudon as host of Radio Jamaica’s mid-morning talk show Hotline, as it was to her that they turned with their grouses on just about any aspect of life, or simply to have an intelligent discussion on matters relevant to them.

Older Jamaicans, though, will recall that she started her career in journalism at The Gleaner in the early 1950s and, over time, established herself as equal to the best practitioners of the profession. Indeed, Mrs Gloudon was the second editor of the landmark Children’s Own targeting children at primary school level.

Outside of Mrs Gloudon’s journalistic achievements, though, she excelled in theatre, serving as chair of the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) for decades, and was scriptwriter for 29 of the LTM’s annual pantomimes between 1969 and 2017.

We also recall that she served as Jamaica’s deputy director of tourism after which she founded her own public relations firm.

That Mrs Gloudon was invested with the Order of Distinction in 1975 for her contribution to journalism was not a surprise, neither was her being made a member of the Order of Jamaica in 1992.

Her induction into the Press Association of Jamaica Hall of Fame in 2013 was well deserved, as it capped a career marked by distinction fuelled by her unwavering belief that journalism has a most important role in the development of the country and its people.

Our tribute to Mrs Gloudon would not be complete without a reproduction of the welcome she gave to this newspaper in her first column and the advice she passed on:

“Welcome to the Jamaica Observer. The birth of a newspaper is always exciting — with the promise of new avenues of expression. As a newspaper freak myself I must say I find the choice of print medium now being offered to be ready stuff. Might I wish for my colleagues a respect for the gods of spelling, syntax, and all other gods... And not to put too fine a point on it, I commend to one and all that old newsroom motto: ‘Get the facts’.”

A brilliant chapter in Jamaican journalism has now ended. Mrs Barbara Gloudon has joined her husband, Ancile, a former actor, food technologist, and orchid enthusiast, who died just over a week ago, on April 30. May their souls rest in peace.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

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