The late Oliver Clarke. Photo courtesy Loop Jamaica.
KINGSTON, Jamaica--Tributes continue to pour in for Oliver Clarke, former Gleaner Company and Jamaica National Group chairman, who passed away on Saturday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
There is wide consensus that he played a major role in shaping the development of the nation.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the following statement:
“News of the death of the Honourable Oliver F. Clarke has left me deeply saddened. I had known that he was very ill, but knowing the fighter that he was, I was hopeful that this battle would not be his last.
“For decades Oliver straddled the Jamaican business community like a colossus. From his time as an assistant general manager at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to his last major role as chairman of the RJRGleaner Communications Group, Oliver has been a major player in many aspects of the Jamaican and regional private sector.
“He may very well be lionised for the monumental role he played in moving The Gleaner Company into one of the most powerful newspapers in the English-speaking Caribbean after he joined the company in 1976.
“Later he would play a leading role, along with the late J. Lester Spaulding, in overseeing its merger with the Radio Jamaica Limited (RJR) to create one of the largest media conglomerates in the region.
“For those who knew him, Oliver was more than a media giant. His role in shaping the development of the nation as a leader of the local private sector can never be discounted.
“As president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica between 2002 and 2003, president of the Inter-American Press Association, and a member of the board of directors for several major private sector entities, Oliver provided sound judgement and a calming presence.
“In 1998, Oliver Clarke was invested into the Order of Jamaica. A year earlier, in 1997, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
“I extend condolence to Mr. Clarke’s widow, Monica, and daughter Maria Alexandra.
Jamaica will be poorer for his passing.” ~ Jamaica Observer ~