Veteran personality in the media and sports industries passed away last night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Gerald Garbutt had suffered a stroke about a week ago and has since been hospitalized. Glenn Tillett, a media personality as well spoke of his time spent around and working with Garbutt.
“Gerald was a gregarious person; a practical person. I used to consider him Mr. Fix It; very big hearted and he had a dedication to getting whatever he was doing done. He was the kind of guy who would drive miles through all kinds of weather if there was something he thought needed to be done. I think, I’m not sure but I believe I first met him when I was a child and I would go to Radio Belize with my parents. They used to do schools’ broadcast and at that time Radio Belize was the only building that had an elevator and I would go with them to play in the elevator. Through that time I met a lot people, from what your boss, likes to call the Golden Age of Radio; Seferino Coleman, Everald Waight and those; and I later encountered Gerald. When I started doing sports broadcasting with Manfred Atkins in the late 1970s; he was what we consider the technician extraordinaire when it came to outside broadcasting. I think he was a pioneer in that respect. I later worked with him at Krem radio in the early 90s and then again at Positive Vibes, a radio station he founded in the 90s after he left as the Manager of Krem Radio. I considered Gerald a extraordinary personality. He was kind, he was generous, had a great sense of humor but he was also a very no nonsense, he believed in getting his job done but he would go to extraordinary lengths not only to get his job done but for his friends; he thought nothing of going out of his way to help a friend, if need be. He was a great person in terms of media and sports because he was a person you could always go to, you could always talk with and when he would agree to help you that was like money in the bank. He wasn’t a broadcaster, he was a technician but I considered him more of a manager. He was the kind of person who could put all the parts together and get things done. If you had to get a broadcast on the air Gerald would get it on the air for you regardless of what. I remember for, I think it was the 2nd Krem New Year’s Day Classic, Gerald work was that he would drive the entire route a day or two before and check all that he could; this was back in the old days of things like program lines and all of that and he would just go and check all that he could and then he would come back and make sure all the necessary equipment was working. If you were on that crew and you needed to get up at 4am, you tell Gerald, he would make sure you got up because that was the way he was. If he figured everybody needed to be fed he would feed him too and during a broadcast he had no compunction about feeding you whatever information he had or he knew or he discovered during the course of that broadcast. He took immense pride in doing his work and I think as such he mentored a lot of people in the business some of whom are still in broadcasting today.”
While Garbutt was a no nonsense person in his line of work, he did find time to do the leisure things like farming and fishing. Adriel Pelayo was one of his buddies he would take along on his leisure trips either to the village to farm or out on the seas to fish.
“Mr.Garbutt, I had known him for some years now. He was a humble man who loved his fishing and his farm. We mostly are social buddies whenever he would want to go up to his farm he would come for me and we would spend hours, we would cook, eat, fishing, play dominoes and stuff like that. People know him through cycling; about two or three years he was the President of the Cycling Association before he got ill and passed it up. For many he helped a lot of people that he could, he was humble and a straight forward guy. He had his farm in Biscayne and he pushed me to purchase land a couple miles down from him and he encouraged me to try to do something with the place and we would go up and he would give me ideas and be that father figure with whatever I needed, a truck, advice or how to do certain things, he was there to give me that support. According to his wife he was at home, he was in his bathroom when he had a stroke. His wife walked in and found him in a crouched position but they rushed him to the hospital but since he was in there he was in a semi coma so from then he wasn’t responding much until the doctors told us to prepare for the worst and last night he passed away.”
Garbutt leaves behind his wife of many years and a daughter who is a doctor in Canada as well as a grandchild.