A legend passes on
Joseph Aloysius Lester Spaulding wore many hats, including caring father and husband, shrewd businessman, and even master fisherman.
Spaulding, 76, the chairman of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, died at the Andrews Memorial Hospital yesterday morning after ailing for some time.
He was due to retire as group chairman at the end of next month.
As news broke of Spaulding's passing, shock, sadness and a sense of loss descended across sectors, none more so than the local media fraternity.
For one man in particular, Spaulding's protege Gary Allen, he was a transformative leader who has contributed significantly to the modernisation of local media.
"He was the one who presided over Television Jamaica becoming the first digital television facility in the Caribbean and he was very much involved in the current transition to high definition television," said Allen, CEO of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.
Allen said Spaulding's legacy was not confined to the media discipline but business in general and good corporate responsibility.
On a lighter note, Allen recounted Lester Spaulding the man, the caring, fun-loving individual with a passion for fishing.
"Every October he went off to the Marlin Tournament and earlier this year he went off to Costa Rica fishing, although he had back surgery last year and it was giving him some problems. So I said, 'chairman how did the back hold up?' and he said 'Lawd, it nearly kill me but I wouldn't let it stop me from fishing'," Allen stated.
Both Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Leader of the Opposition Peter Phillips have expressed regret and sadness at Spaulding's passing.
Spaulding is survived by his widow, Lindamarie, two sons and two daughters.