2014-10-02 14:19:00

Gordon Martin: our man in Geneva says goodbye

(Vatican Radio) All listeners of Vatican Radio’s English news broadcasts know who Gordon Martin is! He is the gentleman journalist with the very British accent who has been reporting for us from the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva for, at least, the past 25 years…

Having turned 87, Gordon has decided to make it a day. His farewell report for Vatican Radio was broadcast on September 30, 2014.

All of us at Vatican Radio thank him for all the great work he provided us with, enriching our newscasts with his timely to-the-point reports, infallible news sense, rare writing skills and great delivery. We will miss him. “All the best and congratulations on your retirement Gordon: We wish you tons of happiness in the years ahead!”

Listen to Gordon Martin’s Farewell report:

It’s hard to realise that my 59 years in journalism have now come to an end. And at the age of 87, I am now saying good bye to my colleagues at Vatican Radio’s headquarters in Rome, as well as to the people all over the world who have listened to my broadcasts. 

I am proud to have worked for Vatican Radio. And I hope to have made a modest contribution to the Vatican’s efforts to make its message known. I have concentrated on the humanitarian endeavours of United Nations agencies like the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, whose staff work in difficult and often dangerous conditions like South Sudan. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is also outspoken in condemnation of the violations of those rights which occur unfortunately with growing frequency.  

The United Nations in Geneva is an ideal place to follow these developments, and to talk to officials who are actively involved. My life as a foreign correspondent for Reuters News agency and the BBC has not always been led in such agreeable conditions. In the Congo in 1960, I was attacked by Katangese tribesmen firing poisoned arrows, and narrowly escaped death. In the Basque country in Spain, I was fired at by riot police. I have had several such narrow escapes, and I cannot help thinking of the joking remark made by the great British prime minister Winston Churchill in 1954 when he reached the age of 80: “I am prepared to meet my Maker, he said, but whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter”.

I shall miss my contacts with the wonderful staff of Vatican Radio in Rome, always courteous and helpful, and the pleasure and satisfaction of giving information and perhaps also inspiration to listeners throughout the world. I shall now become one of those listeners.

This is Gordon Martin for Vatican Radio in Geneva.

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