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Office | 2020-05-17 20:38:00


President of the People’s National Party (PNP) and Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, M.P., said the death of media mogul and longstanding giant of industry, the Hon. Oliver Clarke, OJ, signals the end of an era in the history of the nation.
He said Mr Clarke represented a true example of patriotism as he facilitated and accommodated the many calls to national service. When Jamaica faced major challenges in its development, particularly over recent decades, Mr Clarke was never hesitant in responding to the call from different political administration to serve at the highest levels in search of solutions.
His analytical skills and business experience and accounting expertise were frequently called on to bring our nation through difficult times as was the case during the advent of dollarization in the 1980s and as head of various task forces, including the body that examined the emoluments of parliamentarians.
Mr Clarke served with distinction on many public and private sector institutions; among them as chairman of the National Commercial Bank when the entity changed seamlessly from government ownership to private hands. He was a voice of reason and influence on the Public Service Commission for many years during the reform of public administration.
Despite his unselfish enthusiasm for the national cause, everyone knew and respected his passion as chairman and managing director of the Gleaner Company.  Mr Clarke gave it everything; he threw his weight behind critical national causes and celebrated the aspirations and triumphs of the nation in its many spheres through the annual Gleaner Honour Awards, which brought recognition to leaders in their field of endeavours.  He was also instrumental in bringing to prominence the Governor General Achievement Award.
Oliver Clarke was a champion for press freedom, supporting the formation of the Press Association of Jamaica in the 1960s and later, the Media Association of Jamaica, and carried his passion on the global stage through his association with the Inter-American Press Institute.
He created and provided opportunities to many young journalists and other media practitioners to develop their skills and serve their communities and country from the bastion of North Street or through its affiliated organs in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Dr Phillips said as chairman of the Jamaica National Building Society, which he led for many years, Mr Clarke was a leading and honoured figure in the private sector.
“He had a deep passion for his country and spared nothing in standing behind causes of national development. He was willing to use what he had to reshape the nation for the better. It was this passion for change in the culture of violence which led to his creation of the Peace and Love in School initiative.  He believed in application of critical thinking in problem-solving; this led to the establishment of many think tanks that elevated important ideas on the issue of crime, national debt and other matters that were of national and international concerns,” Dr Phillips said.
On behalf of the People’s National Party, I offer condolences to Mr Clarke’s wife, Monica, his daughter Alex and other members of his family, the staff at the RJRGleaner Group and his many colleague and friends,” Dr Phillips said.

Posted By :Kimberley McLeod

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