Fond farewell for veteran JIS photographer Errol Harvey
JIS photo of the late Errol Harvey
Family and friends of retired former Chief Photographer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Errol Egbert George Harvey, celebrated his life at a thanksgiving service held on Saturday at the Church of St. Margaret’s in Kingston.
Harvey died on Sunday (May 26) while awaiting a flight in Florida, United States, to return to Jamaica.
The veteran photographer is credited with capturing some of the most iconic and indelible images of Jamaica’s journey in the post-colonial era.
Mr. Harvey’s daughters, Dr. Katherine Harvey and Nancy Harvey, in their remembrance, described their father as a man committed to family and friends.
“He was a father and grandfather to more than his own and, as a result (our home on) Maynard Avenue became home to many. He dedicated his time to volunteering, helping the less fortunate, assisting each one with their specific needs, be it financial, spiritual or just lending a listening ear. He was a pillar of strength to all who knew him,” Dr. Harvey said.
“Daddy would always say, ‘Whatever you do, do it well. Always be kind.’ We will do our best to take care of each other as you did. Rest well until we meet again, daddy,” she added.
There were also tributes during the service from the Masonic Chorale, the Jones Family and Deborah Koenigsberger.
A musical tribute from close friend, Michael Gordon, lightened the sombre atmosphere in the church, as those gathered remembered Harvey’s love of classical music and his particular fondness for Jazz.
Harvey spent over 30 years documenting and telling the stories of Jamaica and Jamaicans locally and in the Diaspora.
He won many awards for his work, most notably the Order of Distinction in 1998. Additionally, in recognition of his years as a Photo Journalist, the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) named an award in his honour – the Errol Harvey Award for Human Interest Photography.
Harvey was introduced to photography while working with medical photographers at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
He subsequently pursued his passion for the craft throughout his lifetime, joining the JIS as a photographer in 1965, where he was appointed Chief Photographer in December 1990. He served in that capacity until his retirement in May 1994.
In 1965 he married his soul mate, Florice Merine Coombs. Their union spanned 51 years and produced four children – Elizabeth, Nancy, Errol Jr. and Katherine.
Born in 1933, he is one of three children born to Egbert and Lena Louise Harvey.
He is survived by sister Vilma, children, grandchildren, Erika, Maurice, Zoe, William, Stephanie, Noah and Aaron, and other relatives.