Rafiq Ahmad Khan, the highly esteemed Guyanese broadcaster, died on the 10th of October 2014 at the Tony Thwaites wing of the University Hospital of the West Indies, Kingston Jamaica.

In accordance with his express wishes his funeral arrangements were private.

Rafiq was born on 17th September, 1932 at Hunter St. Albouystown. He was the son of Mohamed Azeem Khan and Khairun Nisa Khan. He received his primary education was at Carmel R.C. school and his secondary education at Saint Stanislaus College. A brilliant student, he graduated from Saints in 1949 with the record of having come first in class in every semester he was there.


He continued to be a voracious reader all his life and consumed all the literature he possibly could.


CONTRIBUTIONS TO BROADCASTING IN GUYANA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Rafiq Ahmad Khan was involved in the broadcasting scene at a unique historical moment in the Caribbean. British broadcasting policymakers were grudgingly coming to recognize that the paramountcy of British cultural and political interests in the colonies had to make way for local interests. 

Managing and influencing change in this area was a difficult role that Rafiq Khan played well. Starting out as a radio announcer in 1949, when he was just 16 years old, he came up through the ranks. In 1956 he became Program Director of Radio Demerara, British Guiana’s sole radio station in those days. In 1958 he set up and nurtured BGBS (which later became GBS) as a companion station to Radio Demerara. With both stations operating under the umbrella of the Guyana Broadcasting Company, he was appointed General Manager in 1970. 

By then, British Guiana had gone through tumultuous changes, and had, in 1966, become an independent Guyana. In the year 1970 Guyana went on to become the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.

Throughout the changing scenes, Rafiq Khan coupled management skills with continued demonstration of  his abilities as broadcaster par excellence and master of the spoken word. Notably, he led or participated in radio broadcast coverage of major national events in Guyana. 

He also nurtured local broadcast talents and in some way touched the lives of virtually all professional Guyanese broadcasters of that period. He encouraged the production of local radio drama, comedy, and music, always insisting on the highest standards possible. 

As head of a major media organization, he could not escape the rough currents of political and social change. To his credit, he survived them rather well. 

Armed with the experiences of a unique historical moment, with no textbook to go by, he himself became a textbook in managing and influencing change and development in broadcast communication in the Caribbean. 

Even while Rafiq Khan served the Guyana Broadcasting Company, he became Management Consultant to the Rediffusion Group of Broadcasting Systems in the Caribbean. After resigning from the Company in 1978, he served regional communication organizations in various capacities. In 1979, he began a period of 13 years with Unesco, 10 of them as Regional Communication Adviser for the Caribbean. 

Rafiq Khan continued promoting excellence in radio and television as he advised governments as well as non-government institutions on the development and use of communications nationally and regionally, as he lectured at UWI and  University of Guyana, and as he served as Communications Consultant. 

After retirement from Unesco in 1992, he went into private practice as International Media Consultant in Jamaica which was his adopted new home.

Rafiq Khan has received awards for his contributions to broadcast communications from governments and regional organizations throughout the Caribbean, including induction into the Caribbean Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1996.


Rafiq Khan is survived by two sons Turhan and Rayaad, two sisters Nazaneen Parsan and Swabayreen Roach,  and three grandchildren Gibran, Rebecca and Nicolas.


 In November 2012, he was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years Evelyn Elaine Khan (nee Bacchus).


He is also mourned by many who remember him variously and in combination as genuinely caring boss, teacher, and friend.

It was plain to many who knew him well that the death of his wife was a mortal blow to the Rafiq they were accustomed to. The joy of living was all but lost and he spoke often of meeting up with his Evelyn in the hereafter.



See also: CBU Citation

OBITUARY  - RAFIQ AHMAD KHAN

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