The UWI mourns the passing of The Hon. Barbara Gloudon OD, OJ, IOJ D.Litt (Hon)

“The entire country mourns the passing of an extraordinary woman who lived her life in service to her country through media, culture and religion. Her contribution to the nation through the performing arts and broadcasting has been unmatched and impactful - in equal measure. The lives of Jamaicans at home and abroad have been positively influenced by the information, opinion and wisdom she imparted during her many years on the airwaves and through her writing. The UWI is indeed honoured, privileged and grateful to have been a part of her journey.” 

 Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor, The UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber

The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Mona Campus along with the entire island is mourning the passing of another member of our family, veteran journalist, communications consultant and playwright The Honourable Barbara Joy Gloudon (nee Goodison), OD, OJ, IOJ, D.Litt (Hon) who transitioned on May 11, 2022.

She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) by The UWI on November 8, 2003, for her unparalleled contribution to journalism.

Dr Gloudon worked her way into the hearts of the Jamaican public with her wisdom, quick wit and proclivity for words through her weekly column “Look Yah Now” in The Jamaica Gleaner and the popular radio call-in programme, “Hotline” which she hosted for almost two decades. It was just one of the many ways in which she connected with the public. 

Her career started in a most appropriate place, the library of The Gleaner Company where she was employed as a library assistant; she was quickly promoted to the position of Sub-editor. The Gleaner recognized her value to the editorial team of the organization and promoted her to Editor of the Children’s Own newspaper, and subsequently Features Editor of all Gleaner publications. Rising through the ranks and outperforming many of her counterparts in a male-dominated newsroom, she was appointed the first female Editor of the Star Newspaper.

It wasn’t long before the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) took notice of her outstanding work and bestowed her with numerous awards, including one for her column “Stella”, which was carried in The Star for more than 20 years.

Following her departure from The Gleaner Company, she dedicated her talents in the service of her country as the Deputy Director of Tourism, with responsibility for local and international communication strategy. In 1982, she started her own communications consultancy where she specialized in local and international projects related to development, women’s issues as well as the labour movement.

Dr Gloudon was also a woman of great religious conviction. She made her professional skills available to religious organizations such as the Caribbean Conference of Churches and the United Theological College of the West Indies, as well as the Anglican Dioceses of Jamaica where she served as a communications specialist and Lay Preacher.

Her talents would also become known through the National Pantomime through which she brought laughter and entertainment to generations of Jamaicans. So dear was the theatre to her, that she founded the Jamaican Pantomime Company. Her candid theatrical reviews, children’s productions and radio series entitled “Wrong Move”, made her a household name in Jamaica.

Dr Gloudon served on the boards of several private and public bodies including, The Institute of Jamaica, The Multicare Foundation, and The Little Theatre Movement. She was also Trustee for Life of the Press Association of Jamaica – a testament to the high regard with which she was held by the media fraternity.

This daughter of the breadbasket parish, St Elizabeth, was a remarkable woman, a principled journalist, newspaper columnist, playwright, talk-show host, and wordsmith extraordinaire. She was conferred with the Order of Distinction in 1975 and the Order of Jamaica in 1992 for her outstanding contribution to journalism. She was also inducted into the Press Association of Jamaica Hall of Fame in 2013 and received a special Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary service to journalism.

Her contribution to media and culture through her life’s work is a legacy that has left an indelible mark on this nation.

The UWI Mona extends heartfelt condolences to her family, colleagues and friends in their time of bereavement.



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