JIS News

Pioneer Producer/Director and former Chairman of the Creative Production and Training Centre (CPTC), Wycliffe Samuel Bennett, died Monday afternoon (October 5) in the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) at age 87, following a long illness.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, pointed out that her Ministry, through the Institute of Jamaica, honoured Mr. Bennett with the Musgrave Gold Award, for his distinguished contribution to the development of the arts in Jamaica and the Caribbean, in August.
“Wycliffe demanded the highest standards and motivated his teams to produce the best. He helped to transform local theatre and broadcasting by establishing and maintaining the best standards for production and presentation. Several of our top creative people, whether in theatre or in broadcasting, owe much of their success to Wycliffe identifying their talent and helping them to develop through the lessons he taught them personally.
“I am saddened at Wycliffe’s passing, but I am happy for the work he has done to celebrate and preserve Jamaica’s culture, the foundations he set, the lives he transformed. Wycliffe’s was a life well lived in service to the country and the people he loved,” she said.
Mr. Bennett was, at various times, chairman emeritus of the Ward Theatre Foundation and chairman of the Jamaica School of Music and the Jamaica School of Drama. He is also credited as a pioneer of the national arts movement since 1943. In addition to his involvement in the development of arts and culture, Mr. Bennett also worked as a civil servant in several Government Ministries, including Finance, Education, Welfare and Culture.
In a release today, Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, Dr Hopeton Dunn said Mr. Bennett’s passing “lays low an outstanding and deeply patriotic Jamaican, who has made an indelible mark on the cultural and communication landscape of the country.”
“Mr. Bennett was a revered tutor, mentor, role model, and father figure. He was an uncompromising critic of mediocrity. As coach and trainer, he constantly demanded and often received the highest levels of professional performance from those under his tutelage,” Dr. Dunn said.
He added that his career was also marked by outstanding achievements in theatrical productions, pageants and concert recordings. Mr. Bennett was also a leading exponent of classical elocution and a leader in the development of voice and speech, as an area of professional practice.
Mr. Bennett is survived by his wife, Dr. Hazel Bennett, his daughter, Dr. Carlene Bennett, and his son, Wycliffe Lincoln Bennett.

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