Barbados TODAY mourns the loss of one of its own, the respected Barbados-based regional journalist Ian George Alleyne, who died suddenly Friday.
His sister Ann Wallace in a message on Facebook said: “I write on behalf of my family with utter sadness and a painful heart to inform you, his friends, that our dear, sweet loving brother, father, uncle, cousin and friend, Ian George Alleyne has passed away. May he rest in peace.”
Alleyne, who up until his death was a freelance contributor to Barbados TODAY, had a career spanning more than four decades.
Barbados TODAY Editor-in-Chief Sandy Deane said: “We have been shaken by George’s untimely passing. He was a valued member of our Barbados TODAY family. His professionalism, his insightful knowledge of local and regional happenings, dry humour, and kind and humble nature will be missed.
“No one was more committed to the very highest principles of integrity, fairness, accuracy and insight that represent the best journalism.
“We pay tribute to his contribution to our development and endeavour to let his work and guidance remain with us.”
As an information specialist for the Caribbean News Agency (CANA), Guyana-born Alleyne sub-edited, reported and wrote news and features on the news desk of the CANA wire services until its merger with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union to become the Caribbean Media Corporation in 2000.
More recently, he was also an active contributor to the New-York based Caribbean Life newspaper – the largest Caribbean publication in the metropolitan area covering regional affairs.
Alleyne, started his journalistic career at the Guyana Information Service in the early 1980s but his budding love for journalism took him to the state-owned Guyana Chronicle, the lone daily newspaper at the time.
Alleyne quickly honed his talent, building a sound reputation as he covered politics, sports, and trade issues.
In 1989, Alleyne opted to spread his wings and migrated to Canada where he wrote articles for ethnic papers.
An unrepentant regionalist who could not long ignore the lure of the Caribbean, he returned to Georgetown but quickly moved here to join his Barbadian father and sisters.
Fellow colleague Bert Wilkinson of the Associated Press in Georgetown remembers an avid sports fan, football in particular. He was a senior executive of Western Tigers Division One football team in Guyana in the 80s and covered the sport periodically for the Chronicle, happily volunteering if staff were short.
He was at one time active in the Young Socialist Movement (YSM), the youth arm of the People’s National Congress in Guyana as a youth but eased out because of journalist commitments.
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) paid tribute to “a committed and avid regionalist” who “believed in unity. He was adamant that his native Guyana should be the breadbasket of the Caribbean, resulting in a reduction in our US $5 billion-plus annual import bill”.
George Alleyne leaves to mourn his daughter, Tendai; three sisters, other relatives and countless colleagues and friends in the Caribbean media fraternity.