The media fraternity was on Monday thrown into a state of mourning after news broke of the passing of former Evening News Anchor, Tommy Rhodes.
The versatile television personality, who was known for this popular tag out phrase, “I am proud to be Guyanese” can safely be regarded as a ‘mentor’ to many of the well-known journalists and reporters who have been dominating the field in recent years.
Rhodes along with the now Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes were both instrumental in designing the Evening News under the brand Vieira Communications Television (VCT), which was operated by Anthony Vieira.
After being among the top names in Guyanese media for some 10 years, Rhodes migrated to Brazil to be with his family. He resided in a small village outside of the Guyana-Brazil border called “Little San Francisco”, where he lived until his passing.
The founding anchor of the Evening News leaves to mourn his two children, grandchildren and great number of friends as well as progenies in the local media fraternity.
While speaking to this publication moments after learning of Rhodes’ demise, Minister Hughes expressed deep regret in the passing of her former colleague and dear friend.
In doing so, she highlighted that, “I think Tommy must be remembered as being there when we actually started the Evening News. We created what I think was a newscast that set itself above all the rest at the time. The newscast that we designed, the staff that we were able to select and train really brought a different level of newscast in Guyana.”
After the Evening News came on air in 1993, the duo shared the honour of co-anchoring the newscast for over a year. As such, the Telecommunications Minister reflected on the life and works of the late TV personality and thereby outlined the many noteworthy attributes which he brought to the profession.
“Tommy Rhodes really was the epitome of professionalism and grace. I know some people thought that sometimes he was a little too formal but he certainly came from a generation where you watched what you said and that allows young people and children to look at news presenters and learn from the way they spoke and the way they pronounced their words, their impeccable grammar,” related Hughes.
Even as she was still shaken by the loss, the Minister posited that there should be documentation of the life of the later Tommy Rhodes which will set the perfect example for up-and-coming media operatives to follow.