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Vanterpool, a life well lived

Gercine Carter

Vanterpool, a life well lived

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Journalist Patrick Anthony “Tony” Vanterpool was remembered today as “a model print journalist” who spent 60 years in the newspaper field and who “though feared for many decades” left  “without an enemy”.
In an appreciation prepared by Editor Emeritus of The Nation Harold Hoyte, and read by the newspaper’s former Executive Editor Roxanne Gibbs, Hoyte painted a picture of a man whose “professional attainments were written with such sustained purpose, that there was little time for pauses occasioned by punctuation marks.”
Hoyte gave generations of journalists attending the morning funeral service at Abundant Life Assembly on Bank Hall, St Michael an expose on a journalism career that saw Vanterpool distinguishing himself in the newsrooms of Barbados’ two leading daily newspapers, and on a life devoted to helping others recover from the alcoholic addiction to which Vanterpool himself once fell victim,  and from which he celebrated sobriety up to his death.
“Barbados and journalism are better and stronger for Vanta’s long life, strong social conscience and his wit, words and worth” Hoyte wrote about the former Nation editor who “knew the importance of seeing people face to face”.
For many years Vanterpool wrote the Nation columns “From the Gallery”, “Lives Lived” and the Sunday Sun column “Rocking Chair” in which even after retirement he continued to share life stories of senior Barbadians.
His children Jackie and Kim Vanterpool gave glimpses of another side of their father, the family man, in a eulogy in which children and grandchildren shared personal  experiences, highlighting favourite memories.
“He was my father yet he was much more to so many” said Jackie Vanterpool. “It is through his example that I learnt the importance of giving back, of helping unselfishly, of love and being whom you are…”
Former West Indies cricketer, Reverend Wes Hall  in his sermon, recounted those early Advocate days when he himself aspired to work among the stalwarts at the Broad Street newspaper. Hall said love of family and journalism were Vanterpool’s passion.
Journalism colleagues from the days at the Barbados Advocate newspaper on Broad Street, such as Paul Foster, Al Gilkes, photographer Gordon Brooks and George Hall as well as Nation Publishing CEO and Publisher Vivian-Anne Gittens, Editor Emeritus Harold Hoyte and chairman of One Caribbean Media Sir Fred Gollop were among those attending the funeral service.
Vanterpool passed away at the Gentle Folks Nursing Home last week at age 85.