Saluting The Lives Of Two Caribbean Compatriots

artist-impression-ron-bobb-semple-and-colin-moore
An artist's impression of Reverend Colin Moore and Ron Bobb-Semple. (Abdul Wahid: Marketplace Excellence)

By Bevan Springer


News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 21, 2022: The Caribbean American community recently lost two distinguished members: the Reverend Colin Moore, lawyer, professor, editor and civil rights activist; and Ron Bobb-Semple, an accomplished actor and broadcaster.

I met these two proud sons of Guyana during my broadcast career in New York City and journeyed with them both to our beloved Caribbean to attend sessions of the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism, where we connected tourism officials, journalists, young people and preeminent members of our rich and diverse diaspora to discuss the future of the region’s bread earner.

Colin always impressed with his ability to apply his expertise on law and politics to issues affecting the region on shows I hosted on 1190 AM WLIB Radio. He was particularly eloquent and persuasive on the need for marketers of the Caribbean to recognize the often-overlooked potential of diverse audiences, such as the African American and Caribbean American communities.

He was a vocal advocate of unshackling Caribbean people from a colonial vestigial mentality which tended to favor non-nationals, and argued the importance of hiring regionally-owned companies and native Caribbean resources in key economic sectors. It was Colin, and others of his progressive ilk, who helped fuel and sharpen my vision to see my own company, Marketplace Excellence, become the first Black-owned national public relations agency of record for the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

Colin personified a dogged perseverance and kept active while suffering the ill-effects of a stroke experienced while in the operating theater. Discharged from hospital, he quickly resumed his active participation in my radio program, asserting that debate, discussion, and remaining “intellectually active” provided the most effective therapy for his disability.

And wherever Colin went, his lovely, virtuous and immensely patient wife Ela was always by his side, displaying her undying love and care of this Caribbean champion.

Later, I was honored to have played a small part in recommending Colin’s reinstatement to the practice of law in October 2012 after a traumatic period of his life, where a three-year suspension turned into an 18-year exile from the legal profession.

Upon learning of the judgment, Colin wrote his friends: “Your moral support has given me the inspiration to persevere and prevail. I have kept in mind the words of the Almighty to Joshua: ‘Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9-10.’”

Ron Bobb-Semple, a thespian and broadcaster, kept the name, spirit, ideologies and philosophies of Jamaica’s first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey alive for decades with his one-man cultural and educational presentation ‘The Spirit of Marcus Garvey’. His stimulating renditions were featured in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and throughout the United States. Through the years, Ron always maintained his characteristically cheerful disposition.

Ron launched his professional theatrical career at the Theatre Guild in Guyana in 1969, and I reached out to him about a year ago to headline a Black History Month segment for the Marketplace Excellence Caribbean Report. As usual, his professionalism provided a most impactful presentation, and the response from our viewers confirmed the excellence and relevance of Ron’s message.

As I reflect on the lives of these incredible West Indian men, I am inspired by the following scripture: “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity, And clothe yourself with honor and majesty. Job 40:10.”

Colin Moore and Ron Bobb-Semple: The Caribbean owes you both a debt of gratitude for your lives and how generously and productively you lived them. You both personified compassion in action, and the impact of your service to your community will live on as you take a well-deserved rest in the warm embrace of your Savior.

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SALUTING THE LIVES OF TWO CARIBBEAN COMPATRIOTS
The Caribbean American community recently lost two distinguished members: the Reverend Colin Moore, lawyer, professor, editor and civil rights activist; and Ron Bobb-Semple, an accomplished actor and broadcaster.

I met these two proud sons of Guyana during my broadcast career in New York City and journeyed with them both to our beloved Caribbean to attend sessions of the Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) on Sustainable Tourism, where we connected tourism officials, journalists, young people and preeminent members of our rich and diverse diaspora to discuss the future of the region’s bread earner.

Colin always impressed with his ability to apply his expertise on law and politics to issues affecting the region on shows I hosted on 1190 AM WLIB Radio. He was particularly eloquent and persuasive on the need for marketers of the Caribbean to recognize the often-overlooked potential of diverse audiences, such as the African American and Caribbean American communities.

He was a vocal advocate of unshackling Caribbean people from a colonial vestigial mentality which tended to favor non-nationals, and argued the importance of hiring regionally-owned companies and native Caribbean resources in key economic sectors. It was Colin, and others of his progressive ilk, who helped fuel and sharpen my vision to see my own company, Marketplace Excellence, become the first Black-owned national public relations agency of record for the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism.

Colin personified a dogged perseverance and kept active while suffering the ill-effects of a stroke experienced while in the operating theater. Discharged from hospital, he quickly resumed his active participation in my radio program, asserting that debate, discussion, and remaining “intellectually active” provided the most effective therapy for his disability.

And wherever Colin went, his lovely, virtuous and immensely patient wife Ela was always by his side, displaying her undying love and care of this Caribbean champion.

Later, I was honored to have played a small part in recommending Colin’s reinstatement to the practice of law in October 2012 after a traumatic period of his life, where a three-year suspension turned into an 18-year exile from the legal profession.

Upon learning of the judgment, Colin wrote his friends: “Your moral support has given me the inspiration to persevere and prevail. I have kept in mind the words of the Almighty to Joshua: ‘Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9-10.’”

Ron Bobb-Semple, a thespian and broadcaster, kept the name, spirit, ideologies and philosophies of Jamaica’s first National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey alive for decades with his one-man cultural and educational presentation ‘The Spirit of Marcus Garvey’. His stimulating renditions were featured in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and throughout the United States. Through the years, Ron always maintained his characteristically cheerful disposition.

Ron launched his professional theatrical career at the Theatre Guild in Guyana in 1969, and I reached out to him about a year ago to headline a Black History Month segment for the Marketplace Excellence Caribbean Report. As usual, his professionalism provided a most impactful presentation, and the response from our viewers confirmed the excellence and relevance of Ron’s message.

As I reflect on the lives of these incredible West Indian men, I am inspired by the following scripture: “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity, And clothe yourself with honor and majesty. Job 40:10.”

Colin Moore and Ron Bobb-Semple: The Caribbean owes you both a debt of gratitude for your lives and how generously and productively you lived them. You both personified compassion in action, and the impact of your service to your community will live on as you take a well-deserved rest in the warm embrace of your Savior.

May you both rest in peace.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bevan Springer is the President of Marketplace Excellence Corporation and Caribbean Media Exchange, Inc.