Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bernard Margueritte reflects on the passing of Bob Webb, one of the core group of the International Communications Forum, who died on 23 August.

Dear friends,

I learned about the passing-away of Bob Webb with a variety of feelings. First, of course the sadness after the loss of such a great friend and companion of so many battles. But also the peaceful satisfaction to know with certainty that Bob has reached his goal. He is now where he intended to be: in God’s kingdom.
 
Indeed, since I knew him, Bob was focused on doing God’s work. All the campaigns we led together are coming back to mind, in Sarajevo, in Jamaica, in the United States, in South Africa and in so many places in the world. Everywhere Bob acted with passion, the dedication to help enhance the credibility and the dignity of our trade, to promote media devoted to serve the people and the community. His enthusiasm was able to uplift the spirit of the most disillusioned, jaded and frustrated colleague. What the ICF was and is able to achieve is hardly measurable. But Bob had no doubt we are in a valuable fight, even if we can change the mind of only one person, here or there. I remember his happiness when- after the Sarajevo conference- we received a letter from a well-known journalist, telling us that, thanks to our meeting, he has found back his joy to be a media person. Or when, after our Denver conference, a famous American professor of journalism told us that from this moment he will not teach journalism the way he used to so far!

I remember the time spent in his apartment (where I was one of those who got his bedroom, when he emigrated to the living room’s sofa). The long discussions. The many lunches in the Washington’s Press Club, where he even managed for me to give a talk. Always Bob was there with the same passion.

With the passing-away of Bob the core group of the ICF, so full of enthusiasm and dedication, is losing another of its pillars. Bill Porter is gone, as is Jean-Jacques Odier. But Hugh Nowell and I are still around, holding firm the flame. ‘The Guard dies but does not surrender’, as said Cambronne… There is still a battle to fight, for the dignity of the media, for our service to the people, for modestly trying to do God’s work. We will not surrender, we owe this to the memory of our friends and companions, for Bill, for Jean-Jacques, and, yes, for Bob!