Just a short distance away from the studios where Trevor Clairmonte Holly Hollingsworth ensured that hundreds of live broadcasts on the STARCOM network were clean and smooth, family, friends and former colleagues gathered this afternoon for a moving final sign-off for the well-respected technical operator.
At the Bethel Methodist Church on Bay Street, past and present media practitioners, including his long time colleagues, packed the pews, and along with other loved ones, paid glowing tribute to “the gentle giant”, as he was affectionately called.
The simple, reflective service, which included the singing of traditional favourite hymns Through All the Changing Scenes of Life, What A Friend We Have In Jesus and I Know Who Holds Tomorrow, mirrored somewhat Holly’s life in which he performed his duties professionally without fanfare.
His distinguished career spanned more than three decades. He was a long-standing employee of STARCOM network and the now defunct Caribbean News Agency (CANA), which served the region with the popular daily Caribbean Today news broadcast and other programming.
In an intimate glimpse of the life of 62–year-old Holly, long time friend Orlando Gabby Scott described his pal of more than 40 years as the consummate professional who loved his career and excelled at it, working along with some of the region’s top broadcasters, including Trevor Simpson, Jones P Madeira, Hugh Crosskill. Alfred Pragnell, Vic Fernandes and Julian Rogers.
“The job had to be done right whether it was a recording or a broadcast.
“Those of us who interacted with him on a professional level were fully cognizant of his unyielding demand for what he termed as respect for his professional life and his workspace,” Scott said, as he delivered the eulogy.
Recounting one occasion where he was reprimanded by Holly for showing up at the studio unannounced, Scott said he plainly told, ‘this is my office and only I can give you permission to enter”.
The audience chuckled and most nodded in agreement that this was the professional Holly.
As much as he was a stickler on the job, Holly was loved for his warm, jovial nature and compassion for others, which included preparing tasty meals for his colleagues to enjoy.
According to Scott he was the “great teddy bear” for the ladies at STARCOM.
“We who knew Holly well knew that his three score span of years was characterized by kindness to those in need and distress.”
Scott told the congregation that Holly’s warm personality was a product of his family. The third boy of nine, he was described as the “pride of his parents” and regarded as the prince.
Holly was also hailed as a friend by former ambassador to CARICOM Robert Bobby Morris, who said he was impressed by his character.
“He was a very strong person, he was a man of stature and not intimidated by anyone.
“Large in stature, he never underestimated himself and he lived to be who he was,” Morris said in tribute to a friend he said he hoped to meet again in heaven.
Delivering the homily, based on Psalm 39: 4-5, Reverend Adrian Odle reminded the gathering that life was short while urging them to use their time on earth wisely and to ensure that their lives were meaningful, productive and in service of God.
“When all is said and done a successful life is not marked by what we possess. It is not marked by our achievements, or accolades. It is not marked by friendships or associations. Even though all these things are useful and good, it is marked by . . . where one’s hope is placed in life.
“The only insurance that will keep us beyond this life is a sure faith in Almighty God,” he said.
The “gentle giant” was laid to rest at the Westbury cemetery.