WELL respected journalist and longstanding Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the Catholic Standard, Colin Smith, passed away on Saturday evening at the St Joseph Mercy Hospital where he had been hospitalised for a brief period.
Fondly known as ‘Uncle Colin’ or ‘Smithy,’ Smith spent over 25 years in the media and was also known for his hosting of the weekly Catholic Broadcast. Smith was also revered as an outstanding Roman Catholic.
“His service to the diocese was invaluable, as he covered and reported on many events across the country for more than 25 years. He was also an excellent broadcaster with an inimitable voice,” a statement from the Catholic Standard noted.
It added: “Those who worked with him at Catholic Media remember him for his attention to detail, encouraging words, friendship, and humility. Colin always encouraged young people to be the best at whatever they did.”
Condolences have since been pouring in from several members of the media fraternity.
The Guyana Press Association (GPA) in a statement issued on Saturday night, noted: “Smith was always well-mannered and respectful to his colleagues and across Guyana’s political divide. He brought with him to the profession, a quality of acquiring the best answers. To his family, relatives and the Roman Catholic Church, the Guyana Press Association says thank you for giving the media landscape, Colin Smith.”
Meanwhile, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McKoy, recalled that he had been attempting to contact Smith just a few days prior to his death and was saddened when he heard the news of his passing.
“It is very sad. He made a tremendous contribution to journalism in Guyana. The Catholic Standard was a newspaper that we all looked forward to reading on the weekend, and he is someone that everyone was always proud about. Now that he has departed, it has really brought sadness to those of us who worked with him,” Minister McKoy expressed.
Like many, Minister McKoy had met and interacted with Smith through their work in the media, and he was particularly touched by Smith’s willingness to always assist up-and-coming journalists in the business.
“I was a young journalist commencing my career at the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation when I met Colin. I was always impressed with his level of professionalism. He would always take time to guide younger journalists. He would always reach out to you in quiet conversations. He would ensure that he offered words of encouragement. For many years we kept a close relationship,” McKoy shared.
Also speaking with the Guyana Chronicle was Smith’s longtime friend William Cox, who said he had shared a friendship with Smith for over 40 years, and like everyone else, Smith’s personality left a lasting impression with him.
“Colin was always congenial, always very friendly, always has a smile; you never saw him sad. He always had nice words for you. That was Colin. He was a perfect gentleman [and a] decent, honest person. You could not find a more decent person than Colin,” Cox commented.
Cox said he had last spoken to Smith two weeks ago and had been in constant contact with his family following his admission to the hospital earlier this week.
Smith leaves to mourn his wife and other family members.