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Our David would have told this lot where to go

David White did not care too much for sport but he was passionate about how it should be reported.

The long-time former editor of this newspaper, who died in the early hours of last Saturday, showed little interest in anyone who spent their spare time booting or slapping around a ball.

Why run around a track or jog on the road when there are more efficient ways of getting from A to B?

David — he was never referred to as Mr. White in this newsroom — preferred the arts.

And he liked nothing more than bringing down to earth pompous and arrogant politicians, no matter what their affiliation.

Had sport been his forte, he would have had a field day dealing with certain present-day administrators.

He was a frustrating man to work for. It could be exasperating. Yet after working either alongside or under him, many had a begrudging admiration, more so after his retirement. It was probably only then that they understood the method of his madness.

He was a complex and sometimes controversial character. His leadership could sometimes be perplexing.

His considerable intellect did not always translate to a good newspaper, but he knew how to get the best of his staff, whether they be reporters, photographers or sub-editors.

His strength might have been surrounding himself with solid journalists, whether they be expatriate or Bermudian.

It would be fair to say he employed more expatriates than Bermudians only because he could not tolerate those who were not prepared to learn the trade and, sadly, there were few opportunities to do that here.

In the long term, it was a ploy that worked. Many of those Bermudians who worked under his wing went on to carve out successful careers in either overseas media or locally in public relations.

Gerry Hunt, who left David's side as deputy editor, went on to became a respected journalist in “Fleet Street” as foreign editor of the Daily Mail. During his four years on Par-La-Ville Road, he insists that the Gazette's Godfather enriched his career. For almost 30 years, they remained close friends.

David was enormously protective of those reporters whom he felt were unfairly criticised. He was always prepared put himself in the line of fire.

If he believed they were accurate, honest and wrote without bias, he would back them to the hilt.

Many have been grateful for that unwavering support.

He would have dismissed the Media Council as bothersome, misguided and unnecessary. He believed the media should be self-regulatory. Others feel the same way.

He was happy to apologise if we got it wrong, but was never afraid to confront those whom he felt were challenging the paper's integrity.

He was a generous and engaging host who regularly invited staff to his home. Over the years at leaving parties, he developed the catchphrase, “You'll be back.”

It is astonishing the number of times he was proved right.

David was not sporty but he will be remembered as a good sport.

* * * *

Hate to say “I told you so” but our cricketers just were not up to the challenge at the World Twenty20 Qualifers in Dubai.

They flattered to deceive.

After a cracking start, with victories over Scotland and a very weak Denmark, it was all downhill — six consecutive defeats.

So, it is back to the drawing board, which must be getting extremely crowded by now.

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Published November 29, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 29, 2013 at 8:07 am)

Our David would have told this lot where to go

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