Moving tributes at Griffith funeral
-- former President among those at service
February 6, 2007
VETERAN journalist Mr. Cecil Griffith, A.A., who died last week Monday evening at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital following a period of illness, was buried yesterday following a moving, tributes-filled funeral service at the St. George’s Cathedral, Georgetown.
In the eulogy, veteran broadcaster Mr. Hugh Cholmondeley noted that Griffith, who was in his mid 70s when he died, will long be remembered for his sterling contributions to print and broadcast journalism and the wider media fraternity.
Cholmondeley said he will also be remembered for, among many other things, his formal and informal roles in promoting the importance of training as well as imparting knowledge and experiences to young media workers with whom he had interfaced.
He also said ‘Griff’ (as he was fondly called) would like to be remembered for, among other things, “his never ending quest to be regarded as a true professional”.
Griffith's name goes back to the early development of broadcasting in Guyana having served as Editor-in-Chief of the former Guyana Broadcasting Service.
He was also the Guyana correspondent for the Voice of America (VOA) Caribbean service and a former President of the Guyana Press Association (GPA).
And even after retirement, Griffith continued to play an active role in the profession he so loved through his weekly column `City Council Round Up’ in the Stabroek News and his weekly television interview programme, One-on-One, aired on the National Communications Network (NCN).
Among those paying glowing tributes to Griffith yesterday were Georgetown Mayor Hamilton Green, Stabroek News Editor-in-Chief Mr. David De Caires, Mr. Martin Goolsarran of NCN, Mr. Nigel Williams representing the Guyana Press Association (GPA) and two other veteran broadcasters, Ms. Margaret Lawrence and Mr. Ron Sanders.
Former President Janet Jagan was among those at the funeral service.
Since his passing last week, there has been a constant flow of tributes from a wide cross section of persons both locally, regionally and further afield.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds hailed Griffith as a “true patriot who made a considerable contribution to the development of the media in Guyana”.
“Cecil was a dedicated journalist who will always be remembered for the leadership and guidance he provided to media practitioners, especially to his younger colleagues,” the Prime Minister said in a statement Tuesday.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Edwin Carrington also joined in sending condolences on the death of Mr. Griffith. He said that as a journalist with the then GBC, and later the Voice of America, Mr. Griffith, in his hey day, was one of the tenacious regional journalists who covered the CARICOM beat. Carrington said the region has lost a stalwart in both print and broadcast journalism.
Chairperson for the funeral service at the St George’s Cathedral was Mr. Vic Insanally while the officiating Priest was Reverend Terry Davis.
A number of senior and high ranking officials from the political sphere, the diplomatic community and especially the media fraternity were at the service.
These included former Information Minister Mr. Moses Nagamootoo; Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Mr. Manniram Prashad; Army Chief of Staff (rtd) Major General Joe Singh, and former Chancellor of the Judiciary Mr. Cecil Kennard.
After the ceremony at the St. George’s Cathedral, the body of Mr. Griffith was interred at Le Repentir cemetery in Georgetown.