Tributes pour in for Cecil Griffith

Kaieteur News
January 31, 2007

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Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, performing the duties of President, has said that it is with great sadness that he learnt of the death of veteran journalist Cecil Griffith.

In a statement issued last evening, Prime Minister Hinds said, “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 new generation of journalists would be inspired by the works of this eminent son of the soil who has left his imprint in the spheres of journalism. His sensitivity and love for the profession marked him as exceptional.”

The Prime Minister noted that Mr Griffith's interest and knowledge of the modus operandi of the City Council, which he so eloquently captured in his weekly column, ‘City Council Round-Up' is testimony to a unique temperament that impressed one and all. And the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) has joined with colleagues around the region in mourning the passing of Cecil Griffith. In a message sent to the Guyana Pres Association, the MWAG acknowledged the exploits of Cecil Griffith, who it said, provided the world with news from Guyana during the days of the Voice of America's Caribbean report.

The likes of Leslie Pierre here in Grenada and others would certainly remember his effortless contribution to the regional media, the association stated. Mr Griffith died at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital Monday evening after a brief illness. He had undergone surgery on Saturday.

And yesterday, members of the local media shared many recollections of their time with the late Mr Griffith.

“It is difficult not to remember Cecil Griffith with mixed feelings...his ability to be humorous, to crack a joke in a serious situation or otherwise, and his stout defence of this profession—journalism, even when friends do not buy his given point,” Nills Campbell wrote.

“One piece of lasting memory for me was when he edited my first piece submitted for radio as the West Demerara correspondent for GBS. I wrote: Some 40 persons escaped the loss of their lives when a launch plying the Grove/Wales ferry crossing sank in the Demerara River .

He made one simple change: Some 40 persons escaped DEATH when ... I was privileged to tell him thanks for that change some 25 years later,” he added.

Reporter Iana Seales wrote, “I never had the privilege of having more than a five-minute chat with Mr. Cecil Griffith but I mourn the loss of a man who was pleasantly respectful to me whenever he sauntered into the office at Stabroek News and happened upon my face. “About a month ago I delivered something to him at his home and he was just as pleasant and polite. “What a nice man I would always say. I knew him for as long as I (have been) in the media and always considered him to be one of the greats,” she added. Mr Griffith was at one time President of the Guyana Press Association, Editor-in-Chief of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation and more latterly, columnist with Stabroek News and host of the television programme,'One on One'.

A series of wakes are to be held in the compound of the state-owned National Television Network. The first would be held tonight and tomorrow night, the Guyana Press Association would be sponsoring another.