December 22, 2006
Harold Hoyte says goodbye to Nation

Barbadian media doyen, Harold Hoyte, has bid farewell to his colleagues at the Nation Newspaper which he and a handful of eager Barbadians started in 1974 and developed into one of the most successful Black businesses in the island.

“This is the hour. Having reached threescore years and five, in keeping with the company’s principles on retirement, I am here to officially state that I will cease to be your boss as of December 31, 2006,” he told a special staff meeting at the Fontabelle offices Tuesday.{{more}}

“I have tried to prepare for this moment by constantly reminding myself, and you, that this time was approaching. It should therefore come as no surprise. In recent months I have been relinquishing decision-making so that my successor could get accustomed to the responsibility. I vacated the physical office at the end of October to allow her to appreciate the comforts of the big office. She looks well in it,” he said referring to Vice-President Vivian-Anne Gittens who spent the last 13 years as his deputy.

Hoyte, the president and publisher of the Nation Publishing Company Limited appealed for support for Gittens in her new post.

He expressed gratitude to the founders of the Nation who he said shared the early vision and who were prepared to take the risks to give Barbados the type of paper an Independent Barbados deserved.

Thanks were expressed also to all stakeholders – the vendors, advertisers and readers.

“I want to thank the people of Barbados, at all levels, whose unflinching loyalty, ideas, criticism and voluntary assistance have made the difference in our success story.”

His “greatest appreciation” was reserved for the staff, present and past.

“Some truly wonderful people have walked these floors and burnt the midnight oil. I recall, with treasured memories, your sacrifices, your understanding of the challenges, especially in the early years, your rallying response to every crisis and the appreciation you show for the things we have sought to do in building this organisation, while helping staff to enhance their lives and those of their families. We have promoted from within and I am delighted to note how many of our home-grown people have developed into successful managers and supervisors.”

A people-centred approach was his hallmark, he said, striving to achieve organisational objectives in the context of as little personal dislocation as possible.

“Caring for people has been our philosophy and I am glad to commend that legacy to my successor. Nothing makes me more proud of my 30 years here than that reality. Thanks to all of you who have made this central chapter of my life so meaningful and so satisfying. I am forever indebted to you,” he said to many sad faces in the sprawling newsroom, as he ended his speech with the words of the ancient Roman writer, Ovid:

“All things change yet nothing is extinguished. There is nothing in the whole world which is permanent. Everything flows onwards and all things are brought into being with a changing nature. The ages themselves glide by in constant movement for still waters will never meet the sea.”