Well-known journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of the Guyana Chronicle Sharief Khan passed away early this morning at his East Coast Demerara home.
His brother, speaking with Stabroek News briefly via telephone, confirmed his passing and said that the loss has come as a great shock to family, colleagues and friends. Khan, he said, “had not been in the very best health for a while”.
Prior to his death, Khan served as a consultant to the Climate Change Unit (CCU). “Mr. Khan was actively involved in the CCU and has always been actively involved in activities which will move Guyana ahead,” a colleague there told this newspaper.
Khan, who was in his late 50s was also a resident of Campbellville, Georgetown for many years.
In a message of condolence tonight, President Bharrat Jagdeo said:
“I wish to express my sadness at the passing of Mr. Sharief Khan. Sharief was a good, decent human being. He had a kind heart, was congenial, respectful and wholeheartedly committed to his work.
“Sharief was an outstanding journalist and passionate about his vocation as a media practitioner. He was the most senior journalist in the country and someone who exemplified hard work and commitment to his job.
“After he retired from the Guyana Chronicle, Sharief took up an appointment as a media consultant with the Climate Change Unit at the Office of the President. He brought to the job the same dedication, passion and skill which had characterized his years in the media. He was a valued member of the Climate Change team and we will certainly miss him.
“On behalf of the Government of Guyana, particularly the Climate Change Unit, and on my own behalf, I extend sincerest condolences to his grieving family, other relatives and friends.”
Stabroek News Editor-in-Chief Anand Persaud expressed condolences on the passing of Khan. He said Khan had played an important role as a leading journalist in the formative years of Stabroek News. He was appointed News Editor and later become Assistant Editor of the Stabroek News. He later moved to the Guyana Chronicle in 1993.
Khan, who originally hailed from Vergenoegen, began his journalistic career as a free lancer and subsequently joined the newsroom at Radio Demerara, according to Anna Benjamin’s Birth of Stabroek News. He remained there until 1978 when he was offered a position as a senior reporter by Carl Blackman at the Chronicle. He was there in time to cover Jonestown and the following year he wrote a full account of Father Bernard Darke’s murder only to find that it had been replaced with a seven-line statement from the Government Information Service. Khan left the newspaper after it was clear to him that whatever the governing party wanted in the newspaper would go. He later became a CANA correspondent and worked with it until 1981 when he moved to the United States Information Service as an information assistant.
At Stabroek News he was appointed as Chief Reporter in 1987 and eventually rose to the position of Assistant Editor before moving to the Chronicle.