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Oscar dreamed it into being


SEARCHLIGHT cofounder Sebastian ‘Bassy’ Alexander this week tells the story in his column ‘The Love Vine’ that the idea to establish Interactive Media Ltd, publishers of the newspaper SEARCHLIGHT, was born in the mind of Oscar Allen 22 years ago.

And when Oscar dreamt, he dreamt big. Not only did he want the company to publish newspapers, he wanted us to own a printing press, and once that goal was achieved, he set his sights on owning a radio station; challenges like finances never held much importance for him.

We have dedicated today’s issue of SEARCHLIGHT to Oscar, who died on July 28 at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, after undergoing surgery the week before.

Interestingly, in this issue we also publish on page 21 the very last article Oscar wrote, which he submitted on July 17. That article was supposed to be published on July 18, but was received too late. Then subsequent editions of SEARCHLIGHT were published on July 21, 25 and 28, without the article. The hand of the ultimate editor-in-chief must have been at work there, reserving the article for this special feature.

There are tributes published in today’s paper by several people who knew Oscar well, and the theme which seems to run through all the contributions is Oscar’s philosophy of ordinary people coming together to achieve the extraordinary. These tributes tell the stories of how Oscar touched the lives of the people and the many organizations he brought into being by dreaming big.

It was the American singer/songwriter Usher who said “Strivers achieve what dreamers believe.” This quotation aptly describes the role Oscar played in the lives of many in his home village of Diamonds, St Vincent and the Grenadines and beyond. He saw the potential in others and pushed them to achieve it.

On page 22, we publish a photograph of Oscar on a picket line calling for an Integrity Commission to be set up. Up to press time, we were unable to determine which government administration he was picketing, but when it came to Oscar, that mattered not. He held fast to his principles and stood steadfast no matter what political party was in office. In much the same way that issues like the need for Integrity Commissions and legislation are always current, he never wavered.

Although Oscar never married, he was devoted to his immediate and extended family and was profoundly influenced by them, particularly his sisters who helped raise him. In many of his projects, he received the support and assistance of his brother Sir Errol Allen, also a shareholder of Interactive Media Ltd and a director of the company.

We at Interactive Media extend our sincere condolences to the entire Allen family, particularly our own Sir Errol and our advice columnist Rosanne Small-Morgan, Oscar’s niece. To Oscar, we bid you adieu. Have a peaceful rest.