Profile of Excellence: The Iconic Ian Boyne

By Peter Ivey

When I learned of the passing of the late multi-award-winning veteran journalist and Deputy CEO of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Mr. Ian Boyne last month, I immediately recalled my Sundays growing up in Jamaica. My typical Sunday included breakfast (ackee and saltfish or callaloo with boiled dumplings and yam), Church service followed by lunch (chicken, rice and peas, vegetables and carrot juice), the Hill and Gully Ride TV show, whose theme song is forever etched in my mind, and Profile. Profile was provocative, enlightening, motivational and moving as the program sought to highlight success stories of persons who have risen above extreme adversity and emerged triumphant against all odds. You might ask why was it important for me to paint a salivating picture of my Sunday meals if the article is about the late Ian Boyne—it is simple like my Sunday meals Profile was a staple on my Sunday menu.

Mr. Boyne was able to maintain this ½ hour TV show for 30 years, and this milestone was celebrated in March 2017. Profile was one of the longest running TV programs in Jamaica and at the time of its 25th anniversary, Mr. Boyne had already interviewed 1,300 remarkable guests. His very first was the late Carlton Alexander, former chairman and chief executive of GraceKennedy Limited. Other outstanding Jamaicans interviewed included former Miss World Lisa Hanna at age 18 and businessman Butch Stewart. WhereItzAt’s Publisher, Dr. Clive Williams, was also recently interviewed on Profile for his contributions to media in the areas of Radio, television and print as well as his leadership in civic and community life in New York. Boyne’s list of decorated interviewees stretched beyond Jamaica’s shores and included singer Dionne Warwick, actor Wesley Snipes and Leslie ‘Les’ Brown American motivational speaker and former politician to name a few.

My co-author and serial entrepreneur, Peter Ivey, has dreamt of being one of Boyne’s guests, in light of  his story – which has been filled with struggles such as depression, failures (over 5 unsuccessful businesses) and now growing success (Ivey is the CEO of The Reggae Chefs, Founder of Scattered Jamaica and a budding speaker).  Peter also grew up watching the program he calls the “sure sign of success for Jamaicans” and vividly remembers telling himself that one day he will be interviewed by Ian Boyne. This proved prophetic when in 2017 his name began floating around as a possible candidate for Profile. Ivey said, “I started to get knots in my stomach simply at the thought of being on Profile.  Such was the impact of Ian Boyne on my life. I may not get to be on Profile with the iconic Ian Boyne, but I had the opportunity to watch journalistic excellence at its best and be gifted with a goal to continue striving for excellence because having a bar of achievement is necessary for the days I felt like giving up.”

Facts, Chats and Views spoke with Lorraine Walker Mendez, the Manager for the Radio Department at JIS regarding the passing of Mr. Boyne ahead of the Christmas holidays. Walker Mendez who has been with JIS since 2006 said, “We’re coping as best we can. The festive season is not a factor per se, (for religious reasons, Mr. Boyne didn’t celebrate Christmas), particularly the December 25th commemoration of the birth of Jesus. We will remember him as supportive, intellectual and knowledgeable and a skillful negotiator/diplomat which enabled him to have the position of Chief State Liaison. He was able to skillfully maneuver discussions and write speeches for the Prime Ministers of successive administrations, regardless of which party formed the government.” We asked her to share one thing about Mr. Boyne that the typical person would not know and her response was rather unexpected. Walker Mendez said, “Mr. Boyne had a fear of flying so he has never traveled on an airplane before.” When we talked about the youth, Walker Mendez expressed that Mr. Boyne had a “healthy respect for young people, he was a big fan of young artists such as Etana, Cherine Anderson, and Chronixx among others.” The day after his passing, The Gleaner published an article entitled #IanBoyne Broke Social Media Sites-Youth React With Disbelief At Passing Of Veteran Journalist And Commentator and reported that “Young people, especially, joined in to pay tribute to the media veteran, many who did not meet him personally, but whose lives he, through his work, touched in unimaginable ways.” One young person shared, “Every ghetto yute one day did see dem self a smile up with Ian Boyne pon profile. He was a source of inspiration.” The respect Mr. Boyne had for youth was certainly mutual.

The February 19, 2012 Sunday Observer article entitled Profiling the indefatigable Ian Boyne – The longest program of its kind on local television by Patrick Foster revealed that Mr. Boyne loved clinical psychology and “conceptualized Profile to explore and expose the thinking behind successful individuals.” The article explained that Boyne “wanted to show what was different about them that brought them to the top of their game, what propelled them. [He] saw Profile as a means of inspiring people, to reach hundreds of thousands of people with the same message. [He] want[ed] them to know how they too can succeed…[because] Whatever the human mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve; that is the mantra of Profile.”

We salute you Ian Boyne. Your profile will be indelibly imprinted in our minds and hearts. It is our hope that your excellent work will be used to continue to motivate people across the globe as they pursue their dreams and their ideals of success despite life’s challenges.

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