History through Hoyte’s eyes
by Emmanuel Joseph
He has finally succeeded in publishing “all that had been burning me for years.”
Last night, iconic journalist and retired newspaper Editor-in-Chief, Harold Hoyte, revealed much of what had been on his chest as an Eyewitness To Order or Disorder, the title of his new book, which was launched before an audience of the ‘who’s who’ in academia, politics, the legal profession, media, diplomatic corps as well as friends and family, at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, Cave Hill campus.
The 342-page book, opened “old wounds” in the intriguing world of politics, named names in controversial issues, and even dared to “touch dah Pele murder case”.
The award-winning Hoyte, who described the writing of the book as a challenge to his discipline and management of time, used seven sections across 32 chapters to report on such political personalities as former Cabinet member Dr. Don Blackman, late Prime Minister David Thompson, National Hero Sir Grantley Adams, late Prime Minister Sir Harold Bernard St. John, and the infamous Sydney Burnett-Alleyne, reputed to have hatched a plan to overthrow the then Tom Adams Government of the late 1970s.
After at least 50 years in the media business, many late nights and long hours of research, Hoyte’s new published work of bold and forthright commentary, resurrected the no-confidence motion against former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Sandiford, the election involving “cheques”, the politics of inclusion, the HARP gun mystery, the Victor “Pele” Parris murder and the current whereabouts of his then girlfriend, Hyacinth Goring, the Duffus Commission, the St. Joseph Hospital saga and “1991 and All That.”
The author also dedicated a chapter to The Line-up of Losers, all politicians, and identified them.
In her review of the book, Hoyte’s close friend and “goddaughter”, former Minister of the Environment in the Barbados Labour Party Government, Elizabeth “Liz” Thompson, in tongue-in-cheek, told those attending the ceremony, “Harold still give me some good licks in this book over Greenland” (landfill).
Thompson, who is currently the Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Coordinator for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development based in New York, recommended the book as important reading for students, historians, politicians and civil servants.
She observed that “it causes us as Barbadians to pause and look at ourselves and ask if we are happy”.
The former Government minister also suggested that Eyewitness to Order or Disorder was the first work of its kind that recognised the contribution of women in politics in Barbados.
However, she argued that Hoyte did not make it clear what was the order or the disorder.
The man of the moment concluded the ceremony with a presentation of a copy of his book to Minister of Education Ronald Jones and hinted about the possibility of another publication — if he could find the courage — on some personal matters.
The invitees also heard from Hoyte’s former work colleague Roxanne Gibbs, who read extracts from the book, a dramatisation of Caribbean integration by teacher and NIFCA awardee, Curtis Crichlow, a perspective from Emeritus Professor of History at the UWI’s Cave Hill campus, Sir Woodville Marshall, and a rhythm poem called Politician, from awarding-winning artist Adrian Green.