PHOTOS: Remembering some notable Jamaicans who died in 2019
From former Prime Minister Edward Seaga to popular broadcaster Dorraine Samuels, 2019 saw the deaths of many notable Jamaicans who made an impact in a wide variety of ways that captured our attention. Loop News bids a final goodbye to these luminaries we left behind this year. They will always live within our hearts.
Miss Jamaica Universe 2014 finalist, Zandrea Bailey died in January after a long battle with lupus. The 29 year-old Bailey died in a New York hospital where she was being treated for the ailment. Bailey, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2012, lost her mother to the autoimmune disease in 2014, the same year she became a finalist in the Miss Jamaica Universe pageant.
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Ken Baugh died in September aged 78. Baugh, christened Kenneth Lee O’Neil Baugh, was also a former Minister of Health, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and West Central St Catherine Member of Parliament (MP), representing the Jamaica Labour Party. He had ailed for quite some time before his death, having done brain surgery some years ago. A very well-respected politician, Baugh was hailed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as having left “a great void and a chasm of sadness” among Jamaicans.
Paul O Beale
Playwright Paul O Beale died of a suspected heart attack in November. He was 57. Over two decades ago, Beale created the character Delcita for his production Mr Dweet Nice. The role was has been played with gusto by actress Andrea Wright in hit plays such as Granny Rule 1&2, Di Driver, Courthouse Drama, The Plummer, Ova Mi Dead Body, Bashment Granny 2 and 3, Di Politician and the Unda Mi Nose series. He also wrote TV productions Joint Tenant, Let's Make Peace, and Domino Effect; and also co-wrote the romantic film 'Destiny', which stars singers Christopher Martin and Karian Sang and Kadeem Wilson.
Veteran sports journalist and author, Tony Becca died in February. He was 78 years old. He was reportedly being treated for dengue, around the time of his death, and developed complications. Becca, who was sports editor at The Gleaner Company for many years, was best known for his coverage of cricket. He covered the sport for more than 40 years.
Dr Lynvale Bloomfield
East Portland MP, Dr Lynvalle Bloomfield was found stabbed to death inside his Passley Gardens, Portland home in February. Simeon Sutherland, 20, was subsequently arrested and charged by investigators assigned to the Major Investigative Division, after forensic evidence reportedly linked him to the scene of the crime. Bloomfield’s death triggered triggered the highly publicised by-election in which the Jamaica Labour Party’s Ann-Marie Vaz defeated the People’s National Party’s Damion Crawford to wrestle away the PNP’s 30-year hold of the East Portland seat.
Winston "Bo Pee" Bowen
Veteran lead guitarist, Winston ‘Bo Pee’ Bowen died of a heart attack at his home in Jamaica in March. He was 62. ‘Bo Pee’ was one of reggae's premier lead guitarists who toured extensively, bringing the positive side of Jamaica’s culture to the four corners of the earth. He played alongside saxophonist Dean Fraser in the 809 Band with Lloyd Parkes and We The People, Uprising Roots and Inna Di Yard alongside Winston McAnuff and Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith.
Former Member of Parliament for Northern Clarendon representing the JLP, Laurie Broderick died in September. Broderick is famously remembered for the shock defeat he inflicted on the PNP’s Horace Dalley in the 2007 general election to take the North Clarendon constituency, a strong PNP seat. He prevailed by 227 votes over Dalley in that general election campaign. However, in the December 2011 general election, Dalley reclaimed the seat he had previously served unbroken from 1989.
Noel "Bunny" Brown
Noel “Bunny” Brown, the former lead singer of reggae band The Chosen Few, died in February after a battle with cancer.
Veteran singer and producer, Glenmore Brown died in New York in October. He was 75. The musician, nicknamed ‘Rhythm Master’ and ‘God Son’, had been battling renal failure for a number of years before his death.
Political historian Troy Caine died in January after ailing for some time. He was 71. He was a Gleaner columnist and a radio commentator on political affairs. In 2011, he was conferred with an Order of Distinction for his contribution to journalism in the field of culture, political history and Jamaican literature.
Dr Victor Chang
Former lecturer in the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Dr Victor Chang died in December after ailing for sometime. Chang served the Department and the University for 32 years, according to the UWI website, noting that he served on several committees during his tenure, and at various periods sat on high–level bodies within the University as University Council, Campus Council, Senate, Academic Board, and Finance and General Purposes Committee.
Veteran journalist Ken Chaplin died in July. He was 89. Chaplin, who had a decades-long career in media, entered the profession in 1947 when he was just 17 years old. He would go on to make a name for himself in his chosen profession, serving two stints as president of the Press Association of Jamaica along the way.
National senior women’s football representative, Tarania 'Plum Plum' Clarke was stabbed to death in October. She was only 20 years old. Clarke was the captain of Waterhouse FC in the local Women's Premier League and last represented Jamaica in the Caribbean leg of the Olympic Qualifiers in October.
Prominent attorney-at-law Dr Raymond Clough died in September after a battle with cancer. He was 71.
Popular playwright Aston Cooke died in February. He was 61. Cooke was one of the principals of Crown of Beauty Jamaica Limited, which owns the Miss Jamaica World franchise. He is the recipient of 10 national Actor Boy Awards for outstanding achievement in Jamaican theatre and an inductee to the Caribbean Hall of Fame for Arts and Culture. In 1985, Cooke was responsible for writing the first episodes of Oliver at Large for Jamaica's "King of Comedy" Oliver Samuels‚ which became Jamaica's most successful scripted television series to date.
Renowned choir director and composer Noel Dexter passed away in August, aged 80. He was the director of the University Singers at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona from 1997 to 2012.
Noted educator and political commentator Martin Henry passed away suddenly in May. He collapsed moments after leaving the TVJ studios, where he commented on the passing of former Prime Minister Edward Seaga earlier that day. He was pronounced dead at hospital. Henry, 61, was a long-serving columnist for The Gleaner newspaper.
Jay Ravers, a member of the popular Ravers Clavers dance group, died on July 14 of an undisclosed illness. He was 21.
Dancehall artiste Keshan was shot and killed in July during a dispute with a licensed firearm holder said to be her lover. The artiste, whose real name wass Kenneisha Brown, was known for songs such as ‘Bubble Yu Body’, 'Kill and Die' and ‘The Goods’, all of which she recorded with incarcerated dancehall star Vybz Kartel.
Former Member of Parliament for South West St Catherine, Rudyard Errol Lawson died in June aged 80. He represented the People’s National Party (PNP) in the St Catherine seat for two terms, from 1976 to 1980 and from 1993 to 1997. Having beaten the JLP’s Bruce Golding in 1976, Lawson was in turn defeated by Everald Warmington, the current holder of the seat, in the 1980 polls which the JLP won by a landslide.
Former Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) broadcaster Charles Lewin passed away in Canada in September after ailing for sometime. He was an anchor on JBC television's evening newscast for a number of years before migrating to Canada in the 1990s.
Former president of the Private Sector Organisation (PSOJ) and the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), Bev Lopez passed away in November. She was remembered by Prime Minister Andrew Holness as "a trailblazer”. Lopez headed the PSOJ from 2003 to 2006. In 2002, she was honoured with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class and was conferred with the Order of Jamaica in 2006.
Immigration attorney and commentator Ronald Mason died in April after a battle with colon cancer. He was 72. Mason was a former Jamaica Gleaner columnist and also hosted a talk show on Nationwide News Network.
Gordon Meehan-Phillips aka Gaga
Football juggling master, Gordon Meehan-Phillips, popularly known as ‘Gaga’ or 'Gorgan', was shot and killed during a reported attempted robbery in May. Meehan-Phillips was a master juggler who started as an attacking midfielder for the Bob Marley-sponsored football team, House of Dread, in the 1970s. He then represented the Twelve Tribes of Israel where he was known as Zebulun, in midfield.
Businessman and People’s National Party (PNP) stalwart Dr Charles ‘Charlie’ Moore died in March. The owner of Moore’s Transport Services Limited has been described as a pioneer in the public transport sector and is credited with establishing the first privately-owned and registered public transport company in the country.
Former radio producer Vivienne Elaine Perkins died in July. She was the producer for popular talk show, ‘Perkins Online’, hosted by her husband Wilmot ‘Mutty’ Perkins, who predeceased her. She was the writer of popular radio soap opera series, Dulcimina: Her Life in Town, which aired on JBC.
Former Jamaica cricketer Renford Pinnock died in November at 82. A former right-hand batman and wicketkeeper, Pinnock represented Jamaica between 1964 and 1975 during which he scored 2,644 runs at an average of 41.31. He scored six centuries and 16 50s during his career.
Premier League footballer Jamarley Powell died as a result of a suspected heart attack while jogging in July. His body was discovered on a football field near the Sanguinetti Primary school in Spaldings, Clarendon. The 30-year-old represented teams in the Super League and Premier League, and also represented Jamaica in beach soccer.
Actor and recording artiste, Louie Rankin – famous for his role as gangster 'Teddy Bruk Shut' in the cult movie fave 'Shottas' – died in a car crash in Ontario, Canada in September. He was 66.
Bishop Alfred Reid
Former Anglican Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, Rt Reverend Alfred Reid, died aged 82 in December. Reid was the 13th Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. He was elected Diocesan Bishop on December 12, 2000, succeeding Bishop Neville deSouza, and was enthroned on January 25, 2001. He retired in December 2011.
Prominent attorney-at-law and former president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Patrick 'Pat' Rousseau died in April after ailing for sometime. He spent more than five decades at the law firm, Myers, Fletcher and Gordon, and was WICB president from 1996 to 2001. Rousseau is credited as being instrumental in the signing of a then record international television deal for the WICB, now CWI, with Sky Sports and convincing the International Cricket Council to stage the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 in the Caribbean.
Veteran broadcaster Dorraine Samuels died in March after a battle with cancer. She was 59. Samuels is a former longstanding anchor of TVJ's nightly news, a role she held up to January of 2019. She joined RJR Radio shortly after she placed fifth in the Miss Jamaica World competition in 1980.
Former Prime Minister Edward Seaga died on May 28, his 89th birthday, in the United States where he had been receiving treatment for cancer. Seaga served as prime minister of Jamaica between 1980 and 1989. He was the last surviving member of the framers of the Jamaican Constitution. He served as JLP leader for 31 years, and as Member of Parliament for West Kingston for 43 years, from 1962 until his retirement in 2005, the longest ever by a Jamaican politician.
Former Member of Parliament for South West St Ann, the People’s National Party’s Glenville Shaw died in August. Shaw, who famously defeated Jamaica Labour Party stalwart and longstanding MP, Dr Neville Gallimore in the 1997 General Election, died in the United Kingdom after a period of illness.
Monsignor Stanley Shearer
Roman Catholic priest Monsignor Stanley Shearer, the brother of late former Prime Minister Hugh Shearer, died in May. He was born to James and Gertrude Shearer in Kingston on April 17, 1926. He was elevated as a Monsignor on February 9, 1975 and served as the Vicar General in the Archdiocese of Kingston under Archbishop Edgerton Clarke.
Luton Shelton Snr
Luton Shelton Snr, the father of former national footballer Luton Shelton Jr, died in May after collapsing at his home. He emerged into the media spotlight last year as he rallied support for his son in the former Reggae Boy's battle against Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS).
Owen ‘Hurry Hurry’ Sinclair
Former Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland and former Custos of Westmoreland, Owen "Hurry Hurry" Sinclair died in February. Sinclair was also a popular businessman who operated Sinclair's Bargain Centre.
Franklyn 'Chappie' St Juste
Veteran filmmaker, Franklyn St Juste, affectionately called ‘Chappie’, died in November after a battle with cancer. He was 89. A Trinidadian by birth who made Jamaica his home for decades, St Juste has been lauded for his work on such iconic Jamaican films as ‘The Harder They Come’ and ‘Children of Babylon’, for which he was the director of photography.
Veteran sports journalist, Marc Stamp, died in June. Stamp, who worked for several media entities nationally over the years, including the Gleaner, the Herald, the Enquirer and the X-News, suffered from ill-health for some time and was found dead at his home in Maverley, St Andrew.
Wendell “Bull Bull” Stewart
Former North Trelawny Member of Parliament, Wendell ‘Bull Bull’ Stewart, died in November after ailing for some time. He was the People National Party’s parliamentary representative between 1997 and October 2002.
Trailblazing Jamaican 1948 Olympian Dr Cynthia Thompson died in March. She was 96 years old. Dr Thompson, a past student of St Hugh’s High School, shares the distinction of being one of four women on Jamaica's first Olympic team in 1948. She qualified for the 100m finals and 200m semi-finals, making her Jamaica’s first female finalist in an Olympic event. She set an Olympic record in the 200m heats, which was broken by the eventual gold medal winner Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands.
Former Industry and Commerce Minister, Douglas Vaz, a four-term Jamaica Labour Party Member of Parliament, died in November aged 83. He was the father of current West Portland MP and Cabinet Minister, Daryl Vaz.
Fame FM radio personality and disc jockey, Raymond Peart, popularly known as DJ Venom, was among two persons who died in a crash on the Spanish Town bypass in St Catherine in November. The other deceased was identified as 20-year-old Abigail Rowe, a student of the University of Technology.
Tony "Ty" Young
Veteran broadcaster Tony "TY" Young passed away in August after a battle with kidney disease. Young, who had a decades-long career in media, has been hailed as a true broadcasting pioneer. He started his broadcast career in 1982 at JBC Radio North-east, which is now IRIE-FM. He came to national attention when he later transferred to the main station, the now defunct JBC Radio One at South Odeon Avenue in Kingston. While there, he teamed with Marlene Stephenson-Dalley in the early morning slot on radio.
One of Jamaica’s most distinguished business leaders, Sameer Younis died in Semptember aged 77. He had been battling illness for several years before his death. He served as President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce from 1986 to 1991, and as President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association from 1996 to 2000. He was a leading voice for the business community and was honoured by the Government in 2013 with the Order of Jamaica (OJ).
Former Chief Justice of Jamaica, Sir Edward Zacca died in November after ailing for sometime. He was 88. Zacca was sworn in as Chief Justice of Jamaica by Sir Florizel Glaspole at Kings House on January 2, 1985. On September 1, 1992, he became the fourth Caribbean Chief Justice to be appointed to the Privy Council and the first from Jamaica. Sir Edward was knighted by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 2015.
Reggae and gospel artiste, Fabian 'Ziggy Soul' Arnold died in December after a long battle with illness. A protégé of reggae legend Bob Marley, Ziggy Soul was a member of the group Earth Disciples before launching his solo career in 1988. He became a Christian in 1995 and switched to gospel. He is known for singles such as ‘Sing It Out’, ‘Trust in the Lord’ and ‘Hosanna In The Highest’.