DANIELLA MAISON CONTRIBUTER
Maison died on Saturday in Maryland, USA after a period of illness.
The Crystal Award winner was an iconic member of GBS radio (later GBC) where he was best known for hosting Action Line and Face the Nation and anchored the news on major newscasts “The World at Noon” and “The World at Seven” before it was shifted to the 7.30, and then the 8.00 o’clock news.
Prince Maison’s great-niece, author and writer, Daniella Maison yesterday confirmed his passing and said the Maison family, and wider community has lost an icon saying ‘My Great Uncle Prince was loved dearly by his family. His legacy is iconic and lives on in his loved ones, and in the vast impact he made in the diaspora and across the world. Guyana has lost a true son of the soil.’
Tributes have already begun pouring in from his former colleagues at GBS Radio, one of whom wrote: ‘This one hits hard. He will surely be missed, but forever be remembered’.
These and other reminisces are some of the accolades of endearment for the late Programme Director of the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), Prince Maison, who joined the then Guyana Broadcasting Services (GBS) radio newsroom as a reporter in the 1970’s. One colleague said ‘His work ethic, willingness to learn and absorb ideas within the industry, professionalism, abilities towards mentorship, charisma as a great boss, competitiveness in endeavours; along with the required drive to complete varying tasks, producing, and hosting documentaries and other programmes including ‘Face the Nation’ and ‘Action Line’, helped towards his achievement of becoming one of the Programme Directors.
His ‘last’ meeting where he was seen by a large number of colleagues, was during the 50th anniversary celebrations of Guyana’s Independence, where the ‘Guyana Radio Group’ of North America hosted a ‘get-together’ for those visiting and those at home, where we reminisced of collaborations, competitions, excellence, dynamic broadcasting, and hilarity of faux pas, rounding out the evening, without realisation of this being the last glimpse of our ‘Prince’. You’ve served your country and broadcasting well so, be at peace’.
Prince Maison was born in Golden Grove Village, on Guyana’s East Coast of Demerara. He secured Certificates in Management Studies and Caribbean Studies and a BSc in Public Communications from the University of Guyana and the University of the West Indies. He was a double Ph.D. student in Kansas University, Medical Anthropology, and American University, Cultural Anthropology. He once said one of his real passions was ‘for change and development and growth in a young, independent Guyana.’
Prior to migration, Prince served Guyana as a clerk, high school teacher of a range of subjects, and in the roles of Broadcaster, Programme Moderator, News Writer/Producer, Director of Current Affairs, Assistant Programme Director, and Programme Director.
Wordsworth McAndrew, supervised Prince when the latter was one of the producers of the Today programme in 1977 and they became great friends and Maison was featured in his presidential campaign.
Outside of Guyana, Prince served radio and television stations in various capacities, winning the Crystal Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. He has also served at American University as a research assistant and George Mason University and Howard University as an instructor. At the time of his death, he was Assistant Professor at Kansas University.
Among the many highlights of Prince’s career were radio correspondent for Radio Antilles (Montserrat), broadcaster on assignment with the late President Burnham as he travelled internationally, correspondent for the United Nations radio and television in New York, and radio correspondent for the BBC in London.
He worked for the World Bank in Africa and the Caribbean on HIV/AIDS Awareness, and Social and Behaviour Change, with the main premise of those programmes being culture.