The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy – Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) joins the local media and broadcasting fraternity in paying tribute to veteran broadcaster Dennis Johnson, who passed away earlier today, at the age of 64.
Mr. Johnson was known for his many roles in broadcasting at both the Voice of Barbados/Starcom Network and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. In November 1994, he joined the Voice of Barbados as a freelance moderator, and was later appointed announcer/moderator. He rose through the ranks in the Radio Services Department to senior programme assistant, senior producer and programme director.
The staff of the BGIS had the privilege of working with Mr. Johnson at numerous national events over the years, among them the Remembrance Day Parade and the Independence Ceremonial Parade.
Ever the consummate professional, Mr. Johnson was skilled at injecting the appropriate balance of reverence, pomp and circumstance into his outside broadcasts. As an announcer and moderator on Down to Brass Tacks, his extensive knowledge and attention to research was evident, and his contributions were always communicated humbly.
We are deeply saddened by Dennis’ passing and take this opportunity to share some of the memories of our staff who worked with him during his tenure in broadcasting.
“My fondest memories of Dennis are chatting with him at the numerous site visits we would have attended in preparation for national events. He was quite a witty conversationalist, and had a warm and engaging personality. On behalf of the BGIS, I extend condolences to his family, friends and media colleagues.”Chief Information Office, Sharon Lynch
“Dennis was professional, warm, and accommodating of the Department’s role in disseminating information. He will truly be missed by all of us at the BGIS who had the pleasure of working with him.”Deputy Chief Information Officer, Ian Inniss
“As a radio man, Dennis Johnson was always there for his audience. He possessed a keen sense of what was right. He was definitely a “no nonsense” man in every sense of the word and guarded the integrity of the profession dearly. He always endeavoured to take young broadcasters under his wing, offering words of advice that served to mould them into true professionals. Many of them can testify to his caring nature. He was a humble man who dedicated his life to his profession and would make no bones in calling out those who attempted to sully it. He made Barbados his home and there were many occasions where he regaled listeners with personal anecdotes. At this time of great sadness, we in broadcasting have lost another veteran. He will be sorely missed.”Senior Information Officer, Cathy Lashley
“Dennis was a very affable person and easy to work with, a consummate professional. It was a joy working with and relating to him during our site visits and on the day of the Independence Ceremony and Parade. As a broadcaster, he was very knowledgeable and professional in his approach to his job. Everyone could see and hear that he loved what he did.”Senior Information Officer, Eyvette McClean
“I will remember Dennis above all for his kind, encouraging words. His support for the BGIS’ work was deeply appreciated, and I will miss the quiet professionalism he injected into his broadcasts.”Senior Information Officer, Kathyann Husbands
“Prior to joining the Barbados Government Information Service, I worked in the News Department at Starcom Network Inc., where I had the privilege of working with the late Dennis Johnson. He had an exceptional personality that I came to appreciate. Dennis was a true gentleman, who was very engaging, and made me feel like I knew him for ages. His wit and storytelling were unmatched. Being a stickler for high standards, he was quick to tactfully point out any issues. Given his outspoken nature, it was normal to butt heads at times, but he never held it against you. In fact, he would come back and joke around as though nothing happened. To say Dennis was talented is an understatement. The media fraternity has truly lost a gem. “Assistant Information Officer, Nya Phillips
“I never liked the term “soft skills” because there is nothing soft about leading with a kind, encouraging, patient spirit. These are the traits of giants. These are the change makers, inspiration givers and true world leaders. If not for Dennis Johnson, I probably would not be in this field. Many times I wanted to give up before I even started. Being top class in your field is alright, but encouraging others who are struggling and to bring them along with you, to turn their fear into hope, is the work of God. May we all learn from what he gave in this life.”Information Officer, Shayla Murrell:
“Dennis Johnson was a consummate professional, quite knowledgeable in many areas but one of the things I would always remember about him was his humour. He loved a good laugh and whenever you were having a rough day, rest assured if there was anyone that could make me you smile, it was Dennis. It saddens me to lose another member of my Starcom family. He will be missed terribly.”Information Officer, Andre Skeete
May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.