Black Immigrant Daily News
Ceremonial and Protocol Consultant, Colonel Merrick Needham, has died. The 89-year-old, who was ailing for some time, reportedly died in hospital Thursday.
Needham was the first Jamaican to receive an honorary commission from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to the rank of Colonel (Hons) in 2018.
Prior to that, Needham was a member of the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), a member of the Royal Victorian Order, and a member of the Order of St John.
Needham was born in England and came to Jamaica as a child. He attended St Andrew Preparatory School and The Priory School.
At the age of 17, Needham joined ZQI Radio, later renamed Radio Jamaica, where he was placed in the record library after an audition. He was eventually promoted to librarian and a regular staff announcer.
At a young age, he also covered Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Jamaica in 1953.
By 1961, he left RJR for the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC), where he became the general manager in 1966.
Over his illustrious career in media and communications, Needham was chief executive officer (conferences) at the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat and aided in the coordination of several heads of government and ministerial-level conferences in a number of countries.
He was eventually requested to return to Jamaica by the Government of the day.