Saint Lucia
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Local Broadcasters Honoured on 70th Anniversary of W.I.B.S.

Broadcast pioneers trailblazers and long service veterans honoured.
Broadcast pioneers trailblazers and long service veterans honoured.

TWENTY-ONE members of the broadcast fraternity were honoured Thursday at a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS). They are being honoured for the contribution to broadcasting in Saint Lucia. 

Seventy Years ago, the Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) was formed to provide radio services to the four Windward Islands of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Headquartered in Grenada, the seat of the Governor of the Windward Islands, this regional radio station had sub-stations in the three other islands. With WIBS, radio gained a physical foothold in Saint Lucia for the first time and since then has grown to dominate the media environment in the island.

The ceremony, at the Cardinal Kelvin Felix Archdiocesean Pastoral Centre, Marisule, was hosted by the recently formed group Media Honours Society.  Mrs. Barbara Jacobs-Small, speaking on behalf of the group said, “This dominance has been due, not only to the power of radio itself, but also to the remarkable talent and commitment of scores of amazing Saint Lucians who made radio broadcasting a joy for their fellow citizens during those seventy years”.

According to Ms. Jacobs-Small, the inaugural ceremony recognized contributions under three categories: Pioneers from the WIBS era, Trailblazers whose impact shaped the current broadcasting landscape, and Marathoners with forty years in active service within the broadcast sector.

Winston Hinkson, one of those honoured, was among the first Saint Lucians recruited as a Presenter/Producer by WIBS and who managed the Castries Sub Station.  The WIBS radio network wrapped up in 1972 when the governments of the four islands opted for national radio services as part of their march towards political independence.

“We had a long and extensive list, but it was decided that those being honoured would have served 40 years and over in broadcasting.  We wanted the honourees to know that the nation applauds their valued service, and that their peers celebrate them” Ms. Jacobs-Small added.

The Media Honours Society is intended to be a Peer Recognition mechanism which will expand in the coming months so to be broadly representative of the wider media sector. It seeks to utilize the mechanism of recognition to promote standards and innovation, and reward the commitment to excellence within the sector.