“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without (integrity), you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
This is a quote taken from Warren Buffett, an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist who is considered by some to be one of the most successful investors in the world, and the second wealthiest person in the United States with a total net worth of $78.7 billion.
It is not Buffett’s wealth that THE NEW TODAY is focusing on but the key words in the quotation above – integrity, intelligence, and energy.
These are the words that can be used to describe our late Editor, Wayne Moses Modeste who passed away last Thursday after a prolonged illness.
Wayne spent most of his working life as a print journalist with over 20 years of experience with the now defunct GRENADA TODAY newspaper and then THE NEW TODAY newspaper.
He was a dedicated and committed servant to the profession and a true and professional journalist.
He was a product of one of the very first workshops held for local journalists after the demise of the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.
As someone who had just left secondary school and was looking for a career, he decided to attend the workshop and it was no looking back afterwards.
The profession had found a worthy soldier who was prepared to learn the craft and he did quickly.
The late Wayne Moses Modeste spent the initial stages of his career at the GRENADA INFORMER newspaper.
However, when the opportunity arose to join the Staff of the GRENADA TODAY newspaper that was in the making, he quickly agreed and jumped on board with the newspaper that many skeptics felt would not survive since the market already had two established newspapers.
Wayne and the team at GRENADA TODAY proved them wrong – as the new kid on the block was able to break stories and became the leading newspaper on the island in short order.
The young Wayne was the writer of the very first front page article on GRENADA TODAY that attracted the attention of readers and got them to look forward to the next edition of the newspaper.
It is impossible to mention all the major breaking news items that Wayne was involved in over the years as he helped to maintain the supremacy of the then GRENADA TODAY as the most-looked forward to weekly newspaper on the island.
It was Wayne’s idea to bring out a special edition of the newspaper on the Monday after the convictions of the 16 persons charged for the murder of late Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop and his Cabinet colleagues arising from the bloody events of October 1983.
Within a few hours of the paper hitting the streets all the copies were sold out and our competitors were left licking their wounds as this strategic move engineered by Wayne shovered up further the ladder and distanced us from the others.
The late Wayne Moses Modeste was not only a key journalist at the newspaper but the “journeyman” who made the trip frequently to Trinidad and Tobago to bring the material down to the printers in Port-of-Spain.
Our late Editor who worked with this newspaper from its inception, a committed and practicing Roman Catholic, showed his tenacity even in the final hours before he was called home to rest by the Creator.
Despite the pain and weaknesses brought on by his illness, Wayne had written several articles on the day before his death and was in the process of preparing others on the day of his death.
That is what Warren Buffett was talking about when he said: “…In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy”.
Wayne Moses Modeste possessed all three as a journalist. He might have started to lose the “energy” due to illness but he was as determined and passionate as ever to make sure that THE NEW TODAY remained as The No.1 selling newspaper in our tri-island State.
He left a path for those who are currently in the profession already and those who will one day enter, to understand that there is no shortcut to success for many of us except through hard work.
This dedicated journalist cannot be replaced overnight.
Wayne might have been ready to say goodbye to us at THE NEW TODAY as his illness took a toll on him but we were not ready to say goodbye to him.
As someone once asked – “Where is the good in goodbye?”
Farewell Wayne Moses Modeste – it’s only the Creator that know your final destiny.