Aug 12, 2012 News
– Veteran broadcaster fondly remembered
By Latoya Giles
Veteran broadcaster Hugh Cholmondeley, who passed away on Friday evening in a New York Hospital is being fondly remembered by those who knew him well.
Yesterday the Working People’s Alliance noted that the country has lost one of her most accomplished public servants whose skills and advice on several areas of public policy will be severely missed. “Although he has been ailing in recent times, his death still comes as a shock.”
The WPA said that Cholmondeley will be best remembered as a pioneer of radio broadcasting in post-independent Guyana. “As broadcaster and general manager of the then Guyana Broadcasting Corporation, he was instrumental in injecting a nationalist outlook to radio broadcasting while maintaining a strong sense of professionalism. Many of the broadcasters of the period credit him with having a strong influence on their professional development. He would later make his skills available to several local, regional and international agencies as media specialist, diplomat and public servant.”
“It may not be common knowledge that Brother Hugh was a committed advocate of National Reconciliation and Ethnic Unity and worked tirelessly, mostly behind the scenes, to advance the process. He was appointed by CARICOM to act as facilitator in the negotiations that resulted in the Herdmanston Accord of 1998 and devoted much of his time and energy in pursuit of that national solution that continues to elude us. WPA extends its condolences to his wife, children and other sorrowing relatives.”
The Guyana Press Association (GPA), meanwhile, said that Cholmondeley’s contribution to the world of broadcasting in the region has been legendary and his indefatigable work in the United Nations System has been exemplary.
The GPA said that it was happy and proud that Cholmondeley “paid so much interest in the development and growth of the media, not only in his home territory of Guyana but in the Caribbean Region and the world. Indeed he was a visionary. Through his initiative the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) and his commitment to the regional body rightfully earned him the well-deserved and respected position in the CBU’s Hall of Heroes”.
“Hugh Cholmondeley brought class, finesse, and pizzazz to post Independence radio and latterly Television Broadcasting in the Commonwealth Caribbean. He was a pioneer in sharing and executing regional radio and television programming and broadcasters. He helped to establish the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) and CARIMAC. He showed the rest of the world including colleagues in the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association what the islands and countries of the Caribbean can produce,” the GPA stated.
“For the Post Independence media workers and those who followed, Cholmondeley served as a Mentor, Teacher, Guide, Mediator and Example. His managerial and organizational skills were incomparable. He was meticulous in planning and suave in production.”
“The GPA shares the view of so many of his colleagues and contemporaries that his work as a media expert was outstanding. He served as UNESCO’s first Representative to the Caribbean opening the Kingston, Jamaica office. In that job he also opened numerous opportunities for those involved in the media, science and culture in the Region. He continued to make a sterling contribution as a Director at UNDP and in numerous other international assignments.
His return to Guyana reignited and re-energized media and other issues including his brilliant work in helping to formulate a Media Code of Conduct in Guyana. Never the one to back down from making his well-informed opinions known, Cholmondeley plunged into the maelstrom of Guyanese Affairs, elections management and communications as if he were someone who never left. He drew from his long experience in conflict resolution and development matters internationally.
The GPA also remembers his insightful pronouncements on current issues delivered in his inimitable style, remarkable voice and with sophisticated wit. The GPA expresses its sincere condolences to his wife, children, all his close relatives, friends and colleagues. The Caribbean has lost one of Broadcasting’s Finest!”
The 73-year-old Cholmondeley is survived by his wife and five children, one of whom is AFC Member of Parliament, Cathy Hughes.
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