Categorized | Features, General, News, Opinions, Videos

Tribute – the professional life of Howell R. Bramble

Howell-Bramble2Long before he became ill, and his passing on April 13, 2013, Howell Bramble had been an outspoken advocate for public causes in a distinguished Montserrat tradition—the writing, editing and publishing of newspapers.

Howell returned from England, where he studied Journalism, in the early 1960s. He soon became editor of the Montserrat Mirror, news and sportscaster at Radio Montserrat, sportscaster at Radio Antilles, and stringer for several international news organizations.

Eventually, he would start his own newspaper, The Montserrat Times. He remained the dean of Montserrat Journalism for most of the rest of the 20th Century, helping to shape both public thinking and public policy.

Howell was the son of Montserrat’s first and perhaps greatest Chief Minister, Willie Bramble, and the brother of the second Chief Minister, Austin Bramble. He married Ruby Wade, scion of one of the iconic families of Montserrat. She represented The Northern Constituency and became a member of Montserrat’s parliament. Howell’s legislative connections added to his journalistic energy and his political passion gave him a powerful voice that has helped influence Montserrat and the Leeward Islands’ character and culture.

After the volcanic eruptions in Montserrat, he moved to St. Kitts/Nevis, where his wife already owned several properties. He published his newspaper there and treated his new home with some of his aggressive journalism.

For most of this career he had strong connections within governments but no party could ever take him for granted. He was always speaking up for political morality and ready to challenge injustice wherever he saw it.

According to our very own historian Dr. Howard Fergus, Montserrat’s first known indigenous newspaper was the Jack Spaniard, published by Richard Piper in the latter part of the 19th Century. It was reputed to be a ‘stinging’ paper, fearlessly reporting on the issues of the day, championing the causes of the common person.

The Montserrat Herald, published by James T. Allen (the legendary Budduh Allen) and James R. Peters, followed the Jack Spaniard in the 1890s. Though considered to be less radical than the Jack Spaniard, the Herald likewise held forth on the issues of the day and championed the advancement of workers.

Howell is the descendent of Budduh Allen, one of the Herald’s editors/publishers. He was destined to be a voice of the people for the people. When the time came in the middle of the 20th Century, Howell picked up the newspaper/journalism mantle, held it high and carried it proudly.

The three signatories of this brief tribute to a distinguished brother, Jeddy Fenton and David Edgecombe and Bennette Roach have all editors of the Montserrat Reporter, which followed the Montserrat Times in 1984. Fenton went on to publish and edit the Montserrat News. I, Bennette am still the editor/publisher of The Reporter, while Edgecombe taught journalism and continues to teach playwriting and public speaking at the University of the Virgin Islands.

We are all proud to have worked with and, at times, fought with Howell Bramble. He was a worthy adversary. More importantly, we recognize and applaud the huge contribution he made to the long tradition of Montserrat newspapers and journalism. He kept alive and advanced the idea that the Montserrat people must have a fearless voice on issues of national import. For this we must always remember him fondly.

By Bennette Roach

Mr. Bennette Roach

For myself I wish to add that I’ve been reminded that I was young when at the time I thought little of my connection to Howell and his work. Although I later contributed to his work, and even having done some studies in the discipline, never saw this as something I would do full time in the future, as much as this was prophesied to me while I was attending school.

Much changed, Howell stopped publishing got into the commercial printing, a field he had some understanding as this comes natural if you are a publisher. Fast forward, he continued his journalism through his publication Leeward Times out of St. Kitts/Nevis,  Prime Minister Douglas gives testament to that. He then constantly contributed also to writing about Montserrat and to the people of Montserrat especially on matters of political morality, wanting Montserrat to always strive for independence. It was then also I found myself in the very midst of it all. I had to study who he was and what he stood for. Like others will say today and for very long time, I too recognized his writing as being as good as or better than many.

It is difficult today to listen or read any bit of journalism and not sense some form of partiality. Howell’s partialism was to Montserrat and if I were ever to be compared, it is for that I would like to be. Much will be said in other tributes to which I concur, but I will eternalise them by publishing them.

He called for Montserratians to remain together: Indeed, the special circumstances of Montserrat call for inclusiveness, which for electoral purposes would include the diaspora, or some of them. “The revolution in communications technology has shrunken our planet  giving persons residing in the United Kingdom, North America and several other parts of the world unbroken connections with their homeland,” he wrote, in what was to be his unexpected last contribution to TMR.

Thus his last public call, ‘Rally to the cause, push the consultation, join the national conversation.”

“Good journalists” are a special breed of people. As I make this tribute, I believe the legacy Howell Bramble leaves, is a call to people, politicians, leaders, to heed more what they (journalists) write and say, however they say it. Because when they do, like Howell did, while it is their heart and passion they also reflect the passion and feelings of many, often the majority.

May his memory and good works live with us and may he rest in eternal peace.

[vsw id=”I8mo6IR5k3I” source=”youtube” width=”300″ height=”200″ autoplay=”no”]

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

Archives

Howell-Bramble2Long before he became ill, and his passing on April 13, 2013, Howell Bramble had been an outspoken advocate for public causes in a distinguished Montserrat tradition—the writing, editing and publishing of newspapers.

Howell returned from England, where he studied Journalism, in the early 1960s. He soon became editor of the Montserrat Mirror, news and sportscaster at Radio Montserrat, sportscaster at Radio Antilles, and stringer for several international news organizations.

Eventually, he would start his own newspaper, The Montserrat Times. He remained the dean of Montserrat Journalism for most of the rest of the 20th Century, helping to shape both public thinking and public policy.

Insert Ads Here

Howell was the son of Montserrat’s first and perhaps greatest Chief Minister, Willie Bramble, and the brother of the second Chief Minister, Austin Bramble. He married Ruby Wade, scion of one of the iconic families of Montserrat. She represented The Northern Constituency and became a member of Montserrat’s parliament. Howell’s legislative connections added to his journalistic energy and his political passion gave him a powerful voice that has helped influence Montserrat and the Leeward Islands’ character and culture.

After the volcanic eruptions in Montserrat, he moved to St. Kitts/Nevis, where his wife already owned several properties. He published his newspaper there and treated his new home with some of his aggressive journalism.

For most of this career he had strong connections within governments but no party could ever take him for granted. He was always speaking up for political morality and ready to challenge injustice wherever he saw it.

According to our very own historian Dr. Howard Fergus, Montserrat’s first known indigenous newspaper was the Jack Spaniard, published by Richard Piper in the latter part of the 19th Century. It was reputed to be a ‘stinging’ paper, fearlessly reporting on the issues of the day, championing the causes of the common person.

The Montserrat Herald, published by James T. Allen (the legendary Budduh Allen) and James R. Peters, followed the Jack Spaniard in the 1890s. Though considered to be less radical than the Jack Spaniard, the Herald likewise held forth on the issues of the day and championed the advancement of workers.

Howell is the descendent of Budduh Allen, one of the Herald’s editors/publishers. He was destined to be a voice of the people for the people. When the time came in the middle of the 20th Century, Howell picked up the newspaper/journalism mantle, held it high and carried it proudly.

The three signatories of this brief tribute to a distinguished brother, Jeddy Fenton and David Edgecombe and Bennette Roach have all editors of the Montserrat Reporter, which followed the Montserrat Times in 1984. Fenton went on to publish and edit the Montserrat News. I, Bennette am still the editor/publisher of The Reporter, while Edgecombe taught journalism and continues to teach playwriting and public speaking at the University of the Virgin Islands.

We are all proud to have worked with and, at times, fought with Howell Bramble. He was a worthy adversary. More importantly, we recognize and applaud the huge contribution he made to the long tradition of Montserrat newspapers and journalism. He kept alive and advanced the idea that the Montserrat people must have a fearless voice on issues of national import. For this we must always remember him fondly.

By Bennette Roach

Mr. Bennette Roach

For myself I wish to add that I’ve been reminded that I was young when at the time I thought little of my connection to Howell and his work. Although I later contributed to his work, and even having done some studies in the discipline, never saw this as something I would do full time in the future, as much as this was prophesied to me while I was attending school.

Much changed, Howell stopped publishing got into the commercial printing, a field he had some understanding as this comes natural if you are a publisher. Fast forward, he continued his journalism through his publication Leeward Times out of St. Kitts/Nevis,  Prime Minister Douglas gives testament to that. He then constantly contributed also to writing about Montserrat and to the people of Montserrat especially on matters of political morality, wanting Montserrat to always strive for independence. It was then also I found myself in the very midst of it all. I had to study who he was and what he stood for. Like others will say today and for very long time, I too recognized his writing as being as good as or better than many.

It is difficult today to listen or read any bit of journalism and not sense some form of partiality. Howell’s partialism was to Montserrat and if I were ever to be compared, it is for that I would like to be. Much will be said in other tributes to which I concur, but I will eternalise them by publishing them.

He called for Montserratians to remain together: Indeed, the special circumstances of Montserrat call for inclusiveness, which for electoral purposes would include the diaspora, or some of them. “The revolution in communications technology has shrunken our planet  giving persons residing in the United Kingdom, North America and several other parts of the world unbroken connections with their homeland,” he wrote, in what was to be his unexpected last contribution to TMR.

Thus his last public call, ‘Rally to the cause, push the consultation, join the national conversation.”

“Good journalists” are a special breed of people. As I make this tribute, I believe the legacy Howell Bramble leaves, is a call to people, politicians, leaders, to heed more what they (journalists) write and say, however they say it. Because when they do, like Howell did, while it is their heart and passion they also reflect the passion and feelings of many, often the majority.

May his memory and good works live with us and may he rest in eternal peace.

[vsw id=”I8mo6IR5k3I” source=”youtube” width=”300″ height=”200″ autoplay=”no”]