Good night, Francois - Scores bid farewell to veteran broadcaster
Keith Williams has never met Francois St Juste, but the Arnett Gardens, St Andrew, resident felt as if he knew him. After all he looked forward to hearing the broadcaster, with his distinct baritone voice, greet the nation each weekday morning with his trademark “Goooood moooorning, Jaaaamaica!!!!”
Williams, like thousands of other Jamaicans, pinched himself in disbelief on August 29, when it was announced that the beloved broadcaster had died. Yesterday, he joined hundreds of mourners who turned up at the Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in St Andrew to pay their last respects.
“A him mi listen to a morning time, and mi look up to him from him deh pon radio. Mi never meet him but it would come in like we meet. Anybody who listen to Francois would have got that feeling too. I usually turn on my radio from 5 o’clock just to listen. I like when he reads the newspaper because mi eye bad, so I don’t get a chance to read the news myself, so I thank him for doing that for me,” Williams said.
Francois died at the University Hospital of the West Indies after a brief illness. He was 60.
Francois joined Fame FM in 1984 as a freelancer. The Fame Road Parties, Property Parties, Full House Friday and Uncensored were just a few programmes that had the creative stamp of St Juste.
He co-hosted the weekday morning show ‘Sunny Side Up’ with Paula-Anne Porter Jones on Radio Jamaica 94 FM until the time of his passing.
Dr Claire Grant, general manager of Radio and Television Jamaica at the RJRGLEANER Communications Group, hailed Francois as the ‘King of Radio’.
Broadcast host Wesley ‘Burgerman’ Burger credited St Juste for his career in radio.
“He represented opportunity for those who would not have gotten that opportunity. Francois saw my talent, saw beyond a lot of things and gave me the opportunity and I’m truly grateful.” he said.
Simone Clarke-Cooper described her late colleague as an innovator and impactful individual.
“I truly do not believe that Francois knew how much he was loved, respected and appreciated. How much of a difference he made in and the impact he had on people’s lives. How many of us he inspired to think outside the box, how many of us he inspired to grow into versions of ourselves that we could not see when we met him. He was a transformational figure and an agent of change. He was a cheerleader, a motivator and a higher support system,” she said
Francois is survived by partner Judith Fleetwood and siblings, Brian and Maya.