Sierra Leone journalist Clarence Roy-Macaulay dies at 85

DAKAR, Senegal — Journalist Clarence Roy-Macaulay, who in a distinguished profession coated Sierra Leone for The Related Press for almost 4 a long time from the nation’s brutal civil conflict to the Ebola epidemic that killed hundreds there, has died, his daughter stated. He was 85.

Roy-Macaulay had been submitting tales to the AP till a couple of week earlier than his loss of life on Wednesday, most lately contributing to a sports activities piece on Frances Tiafoe, the American tennis participant of Sierra Leonean descent. He already had began sending in copy about preparations for the nation’s upcoming election in 2023.

When conflict broke out in Sierra Leone in 1991, Roy-Macaulay already had been working for the AP for six years and refused to evacuate his nation. Braving insurgent assaults on the capital, Freetown, and years of harsh navy regimes, Roy-Macaulay despatched the world correct reviews chronicling his nation’s turmoil, which lasted till 2002.

Tim Sullivan, who was the AP’s West Africa correspondent after which bureau chief throughout a part of the conflict, recalled how Roy-Macaulay phoned in dictation relentlessly even because the Revolutionary United Entrance rebels had been attacking Freetown.

“One night I might hear heavy combating within the background, clearly not too distant, and was about to recommend he get to shelter when he stated in that unforgettable voice of his: ‘Only a second. I have to get below the desk,’” he stated.

“I heard the telephone scraping as he moved. Then he saved calmly studying his notes. I almost shouted at him to get someplace safer. However he stated he was effective, and simply calmly learn on,” Sullivan recalled.

Roy-Macaulay additionally was there for the AP in instances of tragedy, serving to to repatriate the our bodies of two AP colleagues who had been killed whereas protecting the combating in Sierra Leone: Myles Tierney in 1999 and Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora the next yr.

And Roy-Macaulay additionally traveled to neighboring Liberia, the place he helped cowl the conflict there that was intertwined with the one in Sierra Leone.

He once more confirmed bravery in protecting the 2014-2016 West African Ebola epidemic, which got here at a time when there was no vaccine and no treatment for the illness.

“URGENT! URGENT!! URGENT !!! Ebola outbreak – confirmed case of Ebola viral illness at authorities foremost referral Connaught Hospital in central Freetown,” he alerted editors in July 2014.

Roy-Macaulay coated the complete epidemic that adopted, which left at the least 3,956 folks lifeless in Sierra Leone. Within the years since, Roy-Macaulay’s reporting additionally had shone a lightweight on the long-term impacts of the tragic chapter in his nation’s historical past.

A 1965 graduate of London‘s Polytechnic Faculty of Journalism, Roy-Macaulay joined the AP in 1985 after an extended and profitable profession with Sierra Leonean newspapers and as head of the nation’s nationwide information service. He additionally beforehand held authorities postings in Sierra Leone’s embassies in Berlin and Moscow.

In 2006, he was awarded a Gramling scholarship award and traveled to AP headquarters in New York.

“I’m humble, however pleased with profitable AP’s award, which can inspire me to serve the AP mission higher sooner or later, particularly as Sierra Leone continues to get well from eleven years of a mindless and devastating civilian armed battle,” Roy-Macaulay stated on the time.

That very same yr he additionally acquired one in every of Sierra Leone’s highest civil honors from the nation’s president when he was named an “Officer of the Order of the Rokel,” a particular recognition named after an area river.

Roy-Macaulay is survived by his daughter, Clarice, whom he mentored in journalism and his 2-year-old granddaugher, Vesta. He was preceded in loss of life final yr by his spouse, Miriam. His funeral is to be held later this month in Freetown.


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