JAMAICA | Barbara Gloudon hailed as a cultural and media giant

JAMAICA |  Barbara Gloudon hailed as a cultural and media giant

KINGSTON,  Jamaica May 13, 2022 - Prime Minister Andrew Holness has described Barbara Gloudon as a cultural and media giant who has left an indelible mark on the country.

Ms Gloudon, who was ailing for some time, died at age 87 on Wednesday night, twelve days  after her husband, Ancille, passed away.

Holness,  in a media release said Miss G served in media for more than 40 years, dating back to the early 1980s when she entered the field of broadcasting as host of Radio Jamaica's talkshow, Hotline. Additionally, 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.

Notably, she served for decades as the lead writer of Jamaican classics in the pantomime.

In 1975 Barbara Gloudon received the honorary title of Order of Distinction and later in 1992 was awarded the Order of Jamaica. In 2012, she received the title of Fellow of the Institute of Jamaica, FIOJ.

In the 1970s Barbara Gloudon served as Deputy Director of Tourism.

“My sincere condolences 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. Many of us would listen to “Ms G” on radio for current affairs and cultural insights. She has interviewed scores of Jamaican leaders and Prime Ministers including myself. Though she retired, she continued to keep pace with the happenings in the country and in theatre. Indeed, she has helped write our history and understanding of who we are. She has certainly left an indelible mark, “ Holness  said.

The Prime Minister noted that Ms Gloudon passed only one week after her husband. He extends condolences to her daughter Anya and the rest of the family.

In the meantime, 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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