Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon Olivia “Babsy” Grange, today (Saturday, December 11), expressed her regret at the passing of Mr. John Maxwell, veteran journalist /broadcaster/commentator/writer and advocate for environmental protection and preservation of Jamaica’s national heritage.
Miss Grange, who has ministerial responsibility for matters pertaining to UNESCO and is the chairperson of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO , recalled her appointment of Mr. Maxwell as chairperson of the Man and the Biosphere Committee (MAB) in 2008. He also served as a member of the educational advisory committee for Jamaica National Commission for UNESC0.
She noted that, as chairperson of MAB, Mr. Maxwell’s leadership was characterized by not only his knowledge and interest in environmental matters, but also his historical knowledge on a wide range of issues that he brought to the floor as a journalist.
She said that despite differing partisan political views, she has always admired Mr. Maxwell’s passion for the issues which ignited his intellect, his research and his grasp of details reflected in his columns and commentaries, as well as his book, “How To Make Our Own News: A Primer for Environmentalists and Journalists”.
“Always armed with his laptop, John was quick to show his new found passion for bird watching, for example. He will always be remembered for his incisive contribution to any issue relating to the environment, an area which he defended vigorously. He will be truly missed,” she said.
Miss Grange also noted that Mr. Maxwell, as a journalist for some 50 years working with the Jamaican media, as well as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), wrote extensively and fearlessly on environmental, political and cultural issues and urged resistance to destruction of the planet’s integrity, as well as its degradation and deformity, and called on humanity to protect itself from extinction.
The Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO is involved in UNESCO’s activities and with the various national, regional and international partners working for the advancement of education, science, culture, communication and information so that each Member State may play an ever-increasing role in UNESCO’s work, and particularly in the information and execution of its programmes.