Gloudon hailed as cultural and media giant
The late Barbara Gloudon

Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Thursday described Barbara Gloudon as a cultural and media giant who has left an indelible mark on the country.

Gloudon, who was ailing for some time, died at age 87 on Wednesday night, just over a week after her husband, Ancille, passed away.

Noting Gloudon’s long career in media, Holness recalled that, in addition to presenting Radio Jamaica’s talk show Hotline, she presented the weekly Anglican radio show Think on These Things on Radio Jamaica for many years.

“She also wrote radio plays, the most successful of which was the long-running Wrong Move, which also aired on Radio Jamaica,” the prime minister said, and noted that she served for decades as the lead writer of Jamaican pantomimes.

“My sincere condolence to the media and theatre fraternities, the family and friends of Barbara Gloudon. Jamaica has lost a woman who has helped to shape the history and culture of our country,” he said.

“Indeed, she has helped write our history and understanding of who we are. She has certainly left an indelible mark,” he said.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister Olivia Grange said Gloudon “was in a special class, distinguished by the varied contributions she made to national life”.

“She was a journalist of renown who broke the glass ceiling at The Gleaner Company when she became the first woman to be appointed the editor of The Star. She had started her career in journalism in 1953 as a reporter at The Gleaner and along the way gained fame as the writer of a popular column Stellah Seh, in the Star newspaper,” Grange said, adding that the column inspired her and she rarely missed it.

Grange also said that Jamaican theatre was transformed through Gloudon’s work and described her as a phenomenal Jamaican woman.

“She was a person of strength and extraordinary talent. Her passing will leave a vacuum but her body of work in theatre, the arts and in journalism will serve to guide generations yet unborn,” added Grange.

The Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) also paid tribute to Gloudon, describing her as a defining voice in Jamaican media for over a generation.

“An entire country grew up listening to ‘Miss G’ inform, educate and entertain listeners with her trademark sharp wit and depth of knowledge,” said PAJ President George Davis. “She was inspirational, ferocious and dignified in her approach to media, qualities her thousands of readers and listeners appreciated.”

Noting Gloudon’s contributions to The Gleaner, Radio Jamaica and Jamaica Observer, Davis said “she was as skilled with a microphone as with a pen”.

He also pointed out that she served as PAJ’s trustee for years and was one of the first recipients of the PAJ National Journalism Awards, then named the Seprod Awards, held in December 1963.

She was inducted into the PAJ’s Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2015 the association presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award, Davis said, adding, “Mrs Gloudon exposed issues of concern to the ordinary Jamaican. She gave meaning to the journalism credo, that we ‘give voice to the voiceless’. We will miss her, but her monumental contribution to Jamaican media will always be with us.”

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