Speech

I join in paying tribute to the late Ken Chaplin, who served as Press Secretary to the Prime Minister during my tenure in that office, having also had the distinction of serving before in that capacity to three other Prime Ministers. Ken Chaplin’s life embodied the very essence of service of the highest standards in one’s chosen profession, which, for him, was journalism and media relations. He was the consummate professional who was true to his calling and dutiful in carrying out his responsibilities. Ken is remembered as someone who was competent, fair, firm and respectful in executing his tasks and personable in his everyday demeanour.

His exceptional knowledge of the Jamaican media landscape assisted the Office of the Prime Minister in its outreach to the media fraternity and so doing, was invaluable in the processes of communication; and public information management, dissemination and feedback. In the public sector, his contribution extended to leading roles at the Jamaica Information Service and the former government news agency Jampress over many years.

He developed particular expertise in media logistics and protocol related to visiting officials, having participated over many decades in planning and executing visits at the highest levels.

Ken Chaplin was an avid sport enthusiast who was active football referee for some 37 years, with 18 of those as a FIFA accredited official. He was passionate about the development of football in Jamaica and keen to advance the interest of players.

An award-winning veteran journalist, Ken devoted much of his working life to promoting the freedom of the press through the programmes Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ), which he served in many capacities including as President. For his lifetime of service and achievement he has been deservedly honoured by the PAJ, FIFA and by the Government of Jamaica with the Order of Distinction.

I extend sincere condolences to his immediate family and to his colleagues in the media fraternity, a profession which he served with distinction for some 70 years.