Journalist David Renwick, one of the founding directors of Daily News Ltd, publishers of Newsday, and former CEO of this newspaper, died 4 am on Friday. He was 81.
His daughter Olivia Renwick told Newsday: “Within the past two weeks he was taken to Mt Hope after he fell off the bed. They diagnosed him with AFib, (irregular heart rhythm), and he would have probably had some heart complication. They discharged him from Mt Hope after four days and we took him home by us in Chaguanas.”
“He stayed home for two weeks but he deteriorated this week and then he died this morning (Friday).”
On her father’s contribution as a writer, Olivia said: “His writing was great, and especially everything to do with the energy sector was wonderful. I actually typed a lot of articles for him but he still typed. He typed the last article before he fell off the bed. He usually typed on a typewriter and I transferred his pieces on the computer for him.”
Olivia said she was happy to accompany her father to most of the functions he had to attend.
“Personally, growing up with him was good for me because I was the daddy’s girl. He spoilt me and my mother spoilt my brother but he was also very lenient on stuff while my mom was the strict one,” said Olivia.
Unfortunately it was just two years ago on December 13, 2017, Renwick’s wife of some 50 years, Brenda Hilary Enid Renwick died.
Olivia said: “My mom did a lot of the going out with us and dad was the one that stayed home to work. Sometimes when people came over he was always in his room doing work. Work was the number one and he instilled that in us as well. He was very funny and pleasant but he always worked. He worked non-stop.”
But, said Olivia, every single thing he did later in his life was for his grandchildren.
The proudest memory Renwick had of her father was when he was awarded with a Hummingbird gold medal in 2008, as she accompanied him to President’s House.
Of his days in Newsday, Olivia said: “I always use to look forward to the board meetings because he would bring home lots of goodies from the board meetings for us, and I’d been up to Newsday office several times when he was the CEO. His first cell phone came from there.”
Renwick was the second CEO at Newsday, the first being Daniel Chookolingo and following Renwick was Therese Mills who died in 2014.
Newsday’s Shirley Roban, an employee for 25 years, recalled the years Renwick was with the paper. She said: “He related to staff pretty well. I never saw him aggressive. He was a very open to the staff, a very down-to-earth person.”
Renwick, who was known as the energy journalist, began his career in the media in the 1950s, following his stint on the famed Fleet Street in London.
Renwick later co-founded Energy Caribbean magazine with Discover TT’s publishers, MEP. He was an editor of the Express, and a longstanding energy journalist with the Guardian.
Energy Minister Franklin Khan, said on Friday, Renwick was a pioneer in energy reporting, who developed that skill over the last three or four decades, and had perfected it into a fine art.
“He was by far the premier energy reporter in the Caribbean. He had the ability to report on energy matters in a very transparent manner and lucidly.”
Khan said the new generation of energy reporters can learn from Renwick by going back and reading his articles. “His articles were very professional, factual and very, very analytical. He showed no emotion and no preconceived ideas. He will be remembered as the premier energy reporter most definitely in TT and possibly the Caribbean.”
Khan then extended condolence to Renwick’s family and friends.
The Media Association of TT too, expressed its condolences to Renwick’s family and friends.
Dr Sheila Rampersad, its president, described Renwick as an energy journalism pioneer.
She added, he was an informed energy journalist, deeply familiar with the content and language of his beat, and created a notable network of senior contacts in the sector.
“His knowledge of energy matters generated analyses that were widely respected by energy tzars and ordinary citizens alike.
“Grenadian by birth, David will be remembered by his close colleagues for his kind spirit, his generosity with young reporters and for his gentlemanly ways, the last, a characteristic that was always accompanied by charm and a soft smile. We trust that his legacy will live in the conscientious work of young journalists.”
Former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine said in a release, on Friday, Renwick was a journalist to the end.
“In his last days, he maintained his energy column in the Business Express which was a must read for many. His weekly columns were staple reading for anyone who wanted an in-depth understanding of the energy sector.”
Ramnarine added Renwick’s passing will leave a void in the energy sector of TT and the region, as Renwick was a voice of independence and integrity when it came to his analysis of the local and regional energy sector. “His journalistic work on energy went a long way to de-mystifying our complex energy sector.
“He was a Caribbean man to heart and believed in the role that energy could play in bringing the region together.
“He was excited about the developments in Guyana and frequently wrote on what was happening there. The TT and Caribbean media fraternity has lost a giant from among its ranks.”
Renwick’s funeral has been set for December 24 at Belgrove’s Funeral Chapel in Trincity at 2 pm. He leaves to mourn his daughter Olivia, son Garvin, two grandchildren and brother Roger.