Letters to the Editor

Ian Boyne's soaring spirit will not soon be forgotten

Friday, January 12, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Ian Boyne, who died at age 60, is another of our landmarks gone.

He was not only a colleague and friend of mine, but also a journalist and public intellectual extraordinaire. He brought creativity, energy, ideas and innovation into journalism as was displayed in his weekly columns in The Gleaner and his television programmes Profile and Religious Hard Talk, and I was one of the thousands fortunate enough to be inspired by him.

Ian's inspirational methods of communication and vision were often at odds with government policy and the views of his detractors. But he was never daunted by this. Instead, it provided for him a fixed point of reference from which to perfect his craft. His life and work reflected the cadences and discords of attempting to bridge the gap between hope and despair in an otherwise lopsided post-colonial society still struggling to find form and purpose some 56 years after formal Independence.

In this regard, Ian, like the late iconic psephologist, academic, columnist, and acclaimed public intellectual, Professor Carl Stone of the Department of Government at The University of the West Indies, Mona, sometimes seemed, through his writings, to exhibit a mental picture of himself enthroned upon some Olympian pinnacle looking down with a blend of indulgence and contempt upon the foibles — chiefly the intellectual foibles — of the rest of us. He was always engaging.

Our society, in time, shall miss the likes of an Ian Boyne, because, like others of his ilk who have gone on before him, he believed in the sense of community in our 4,000-odd square miles of Caribbean turf which the excesses of modern day individualistic greed, vanity, and selfishness all but destroyed in the recent past. True, he believed in the virtue of capitalist prosperity, but had far greater regard for democracy, and more so freedom, including freedom of the press.

I salute this outstanding Jamaican upon his passing for his largely self-made achievements, and for his relentless pushback against the natural selfish proclivities of our people, especially over the last two decades, over and above some of the traditionally entrenched habits of co-operation, social caring, and community spirit, which earlier sustained our largely rural population.

Boyne's love of oldies/classical reggae music knew no bounds, and he shall be missed at all future oldies concerts. The man whose passing we mourn was, to me, great-minded. Never was a single word of ungracious judgement passed by him. Truth was, in his texture and his life he was a star. In many ways, through his lifelong contribution to public scholarship, journalism, and religious discourse, he proved himself far better than the society that spawned him.

I am certain that his soaring spirit will not soon be forgotten. His life may have been brief, but this fact bears little relationship to the extraordinary fruitfulness of it.

May his wife and family find comfort in the great legacy he has left behind, and the risen Christ welcome him into His kingdom and favour him with His peace.

Well done, friend!

Everton Pryce, JP





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