Veteran photographer Willie Alleyne has died

Alleyne, who spent close to seven decades of his life behind lenses capturing images and scenes of Barbadian life for both private consumption and tourism promotion, died Tuesday night at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at age 91.

His passing marks the end of an era of iconic Barbadian photographers such as the late Gordon Brooks and Cyprian La Touche Jr, who focused their lenses on capturing landmark events in the development and history of Barbados.

From an early age, “Willie” as he was affectionately known, demonstrated a keen interest in and aptitude for still photography, which led to his apprenticeship in that field at the Barbados Advocate in 1984, where he spent 12 years.

He founded his own company, Willie Alleyne Associates Photography Limited, in the 1970s and was in the vanguard of still photography in Barbados and across the Caribbean, where he was sought after particularly for notable national events.

From 1958, he was contracted by the Barbados Tourist Board and its successors the Barbados Board of Tourism and the Barbados Tourism Authority, to do special assignments and promotional tours. He was also at one time chief photographer for the Associated Press in the Eastern Caribbean and also undertook contractual assignments for the two major daily newspapers, The Nation Publishing Co. Limited and The Barbados Advocate, as well as for a number of British and American tabloids and broadsheets such as the Telegraph, the Observer and the New York Times.

Alleyne won several awards during his career, including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Barbados Tourism Media Awards six years ago.

In 2010, the Barbados Government recognised his tremendous contribution with the national award of the Silver Crown of Merit.

Predeceased by his wife Elsie, Alleyne is survived by their three children Wendy, Erwin and Wallace. (GC)

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