- Late Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Ian Anthony Boyne, CD, was eulogised in song, dance and glowing tributes on Sunday (January 14) as an exceptional and extraordinary man of integrity and excellence, who epitomized the beauty and diversity of a life well-lived.
- The Governor-General, in his tribute, said Mr. Boyne was a true patriot who stimulated generations of people to think for and believe in themselves while underpinning these with high aspirations.
- Prime Minister Holness hailed Mr. Boyne as a man with incredible knowledge who had the ability to eloquently articulate a wide range of topics and issues and, in the process, distinguish himself as fair, balanced and factual.
Late Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Ian Anthony Boyne, CD, was eulogised in song, dance and glowing tributes on Sunday (January 14) as an exceptional and extraordinary man of integrity and excellence, who epitomised the beauty and diversity of a life well lived.
Such were the superlatives flowing from speakers and performers during the colourful yet dignified larger-than-life Service of Thanksgiving at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, which celebrated the life of the man who was a household name for more than 30 years.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; and Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, headed the dignitaries attending the service.
Also in attendance were former Prime Ministers, Bruce Golding and the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, and State Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams; Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator Hon. Ruel Reid; Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange; National Security State Minister, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.; and Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, among other parliamentarians, members of the judiciary; and scores of well-wishers from the wider society.
The Governor-General, in his tribute, said Mr. Boyne was a true patriot who stimulated generations of people to think for and believe in themselves while underpinning these with high aspirations.
Additionally, he said the late Chief State Liaison’s boundless energy and ease of manner imbued admiration and emulation.
“His intellectual rigour, along with his genuine interests in individual achievements at all levels of society, combined to make him a truly unique symbol of Jamaican genius.
“We have all, in one way or another, benefited from the contributions of this scholarly, dignified gentleman whose life was built on the foundation of personal faith and Christian witness. His passing has left a void in this country that may not be filled (for now),” the Governor-General said.
Prime Minister Holness hailed Mr. Boyne as a man with incredible knowledge who had the ability to eloquently articulate a wide range of topics and issues and, in the process, distinguish himself as fair, balanced and factual.
“Simply put, Ian Boyne was really first class. He approached every subject matter, personal interview and written piece with the same fervour and balance, regardless of potential controversy and public opinion. He was beyond compromise and possibly the greatest example of a man who ‘did it for the love and not for the likes’,” he said.
Mr. Holness described Mr. Boyne as the consummate communicator and scholar, who worked with several Administrations and approached his work, to this end, with sharp analytical and intellectual fervour.
“Ian rose to a (high) level of esteem and regard… . Clearly, he was in a class by himself. The ‘Union of (current and former) Prime Ministers’ would also agree that Ian was the only civil servant (who) we know (who) could criticise the Government and get away with it. But that (indicated his) speaking the truth, and when you do it with respect, honour, and dignity, no one can question the truth,” he said.
Ms. Grange said Mr. Boyne loved and cared about his family and all Jamaicans.
“His love for his country could be demonstrated in no better way than the (manner in which) he put his heart and soul in the profession of journalism,” she said.
Dr. Peter Phillips described him as an outstanding individual who touched the consciousness of Jamaicans worldwide.
In her tribute, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Mr. Boyne was more than a journalist, noting that he was a lifelong scholar and a man on a mission to unearth, expose and celebrate the passions, aspirations and achievements of the Jamaican people.
“He will undoubtedly go down in history as one of Jamaica’s most talented, celebrated and accomplished journalists. This remarkable Jamaican has left us a proud legacy of discipline, professional excellence, hard work, determination, wholesome values and healthy attitudes,” she said.
In an emotional tribute, the JIS’s Chief Executive Officer, Donna-Marie Rowe, said her late Deputy wore many hats and “meant so much to all of us”.
“He was always by my side (and was) a reliable sounding board… the balanced ‘Mister’ on the other hand. I will miss our spontaneous checking in with each other; our wordsmithing and consulting; the ribbing, which only he could endure; and the hilarity which punctuated our meetings.
“Ours was an enviable working relationship, characterised by grace and wit. The camaraderie, debate and eventual consensus was all in a day’s work with Mr. B.,” she said, adding that his legacy will be maintained.
Mrs. Rowe’s tribute was capped off with a recorded voice message from Mr, Boyne to JIS staff, during which he encouraged persons to cherish each other.
“We do not know when it might be the last opportunity we are together… so let us, from now, move on. Whatever good we have to say to one another, say it. Don’t wait until when you hear that a person is sick or has died, you say ‘I wish I had said that’. Let us treat each other with great love,” he implored.
Widow, Margaret Boyne, in a tribute read by university lecturer, Fae Ellington, said Mr. Boyne’s faith meant everything to him, adding that he tried to be the best husband.
“He was incredibly forgiving, he was hilarious (and) people would often wonder what would keep us laughing as if we were newly-weds,” she said.
In her tribute, daughter, Kelly-Ann, described her father as the consummate statesman who spent a lot of time reading publications on philosophy and theology, “not only because he was a devout Christian, but because he, in very practical terms, understood the importance of the undefeatable mind and was often times heard to say ‘likeability is more important than intellect’”.
“He was always concerned about the social deficit rather than the economic deficit, as he understood the importance of the effect of purpose on profit. He was a holistic B-eing,” she said.
“Dad, you said I was the star of your TV show… but you were the star of my universe. My humble request of you (wider Jamaica) is that you continue to honour my father by B-eing. Live your B-est life… love in your B-est way… and laugh from your B-elly like dad did and I do,” she added.
There were also tributes from other family members, representatives of the clergy, media, and close friends. Musical accompaniment was provided by The Jamaica Regiment Band.
Ian Boyne’s legacy as a journalist, communication specialist, Minister of Religion, author and broadcaster has been immortalised in an impressive body of work that serves to inspire the nation and resonates globally.
He was a highly respected media practitioner, who entered the profession in 1975, was driven and passionate about his work, and endeavoured to maintain a hallmark of excellence.
He had a long career with the JIS, which he joined as a features writer and television broadcaster in 1976 when it was known as the Agency for Public Information.
In 1983, he was appointed Press Secretary/Speech Writer for the then Minister of Industry and Commerce, Douglas Vaz. From then to 2002, he worked with every Minister of Industry appointed under successive Administrations as Speech Writer/Public Relations Consultant, before re-joining the JIS several years later.
As Deputy CEO, Mr. Boyne provided oversight for the JIS’ Research, Print and Production (Editorial and Photo) Division.
Additionally, he hosted the Agency’s flagship current affairs interview programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, through which he furthered the JIS’s public education thrust via his incisive range of riveting questions. These served to elucidate the Government’s response to national issues of the day.
Mr. Boyne also served as Chief State Liaison to the Office of the Prime Minister, Office of the Governor-General and Office of the Leader of the Opposition.
He was best known as host of the 30-year-old TVJ programme, ‘Profile’. He also hosted ‘Religious Hardtalk’ and was a columnist for the Sunday Gleaner.
Mr. Boyne authored the books ‘Ideas Matter: Journey into the Mind of a Veteran Journalist’ and ‘Profile of Excellence’.
He wrote extensively for many magazines, including ‘Skywritings’ and ‘The Jamaican’.
In 2009, the Government of Jamaica recognised his outstanding contribution to journalism with the Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD).
Mr. Boyne was the recipient of several journalism awards for distinguished work in print and television broadcasting.
These include the Jamaica Broilers Fair Play Award for Profile in 2005; and the Morris Cargill Award for Opinion Journalism in 2006.
Mr. Boyne is also survived by son, André, and daughter, Brianna.