Net News publisher dies

| 03/07/2010

(CNS): Desmond Seales, the owner and publisher of Cayman Net News, has died after a heart attack while in hospital in Miami in the United States. Seales had been airlifted to Miami on 23 June for treatment as a result of a serious heart problem.  Earlier this week a family spokesperson said he was making good progress after emergency surgery. However, sources have confirmed that Seales died after suffering a heart attack around 8 am this morning (Saturday 3 July).  Net News staff were said to be attending an emergency meeting on Saturday regarding the future of the newspaper and online news site.

Seales, who was 71 years old had been publishing in Cayman for almost 40 years. The creator of the Nor’wester magazine in the 1970s, he was also involved in Cayman’s early television  service. He introduced Cayman Net News in 2000 which had experienced a decade of mixed fortunes. 
 
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  1. Linda Taylor Landua says:

    I was shocked to hear of Desmond’s passing.  I have known him since the middle 70’s, in the early days of tourism.  He was a great supporter of the DOT office in Houston and of Cayman Airways pioneering the US Western market.  His publications were always in demand and we even handed them out to potential visitors so they could see how sophisticated Cayman was.  His publications were a great lure for tourists. 

    Desmond made his misteps, I do believe he loved to step up to the lineand step over and then step back to keep the controversy going.  He was a master at that. 

    I last saw him at Robbie Hamaty’s birthday party last year and it was as we had never missed a beat.  He was still stirring the pot and loving it.  Never thought we would see the day without a Desmond.

    My prayers and thoughts go out to his family.  Des you will be sorely missed.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I found him to be a forthright person, respectful, but not a yes man. If he did not agree he was not afraid to say so. He did not simply tell you what you wanted to hear. He told you the facts, and his analysis of them. He was a dedicated soldier, a loyal servant of the people and a patriot of Cayman.

    A champion of the Free Press!

  3. Anonymous says:

     

    Desmond had many sides. Others have already said that, so I shall not deal with that issue at all. What I want to deal with is the fact that, while himself not perfect, he set the standard for what is true journalism. 
     As a layout artist Desmond Seales was without equal in these Cayman Islands; he brought true aesthetics to the printed page and stood head and shoulders above all others in this regard. Deep, probing investigative journalism was his passion. Sometimes self serving, sometimes disingenuous, he was at all times seeking to keep the Fourth Estate vibrant, alive and relevant. When he wrote an editorial it had meat, it had passion, it gave a public voice to the newspaper’s perspective on important matters; it had the intention to persuade and meaningful arguments were employed to serve this purpose. None  of these essential ingredients can be found in any other daily print medium on this island. Sadly, his passion for interesting fonts, vivid colours and front page designs that catch the eye are  not a legacy that Desmond has left for Cayman; other sections of the media have been spoiled by widespread acceptance of mediocrity:  many thinking that, if they do not readily perceive what a particular writer is trying to express, it is not the the writer’s shortcomings that should be questioned, but their own inadequacies of comprehension, vocabulary or knowledge of syntax or grammar.  It is not that solecisms did not feature in Desmond’s various media over the years, but his penchant for adding bravura and panache to his writings make his shortcomings forgivable. 
    Oh, that others would seek to emulate this fallen pioneer and hero of Caymanian journalism.
  4. Anon says:

     Later Des, I’ll miss you.

    To his family, I send you my thoughts x

  5. Chris Randall says:

    Desmond had the ability to make white seem black and black, white.  Even in death, it seems, that knack has not deserted him.

    Those who had the misfortune to work for or have business dealings with him will be well aware of his true character.

  6. Charlene Rivers says:

    Desmond Our 70’s Old Friend. We will miss you. I too would like to send condolences to the The Seales Family. Especially the children in the days from Drug Store at The Falls. I used to work for him from those days and he was a very kind hearted Employer and we stayed friends from then. An Old Friends Reunion was started in 2004 by a few ladies from West Bay and he always support it. Finally attending for the first time in 2008 but he really enjoyed it.  Rest in Peace Old Friend.

  7. My Two Cents says:

    He had Passion!

  8. Latina Young says:

    Desmond was a vibrant personality and a great friend in my family’s time of need. I will never forget his kindness, his humour and his insight. To many people he was many things I am glad to have been able to call him a friend.

  9. Lissa Adam says:

    Met Desmond before I even knew I would marry my husband or settlle here. I was 23 years old and Jim Bodden was  King….He did give all of us young people back then the suggestoin that we were important and could change things….I learned alot from him, and admired him…..He inspired, us entertained us, enraged us, shocked us sometimes….but my God,  we have lost our historian….he has catalogued our history,warts and all…kept us on our toes, even though he would step over the line or push the limit himself…..The Cayman Islands will miss him and be poorer for his absence..God bless you and rest in peace, Des. 

  10. FLEADOM says:

     R I P D SEALES  U WHERE A GREAT PART OF TH PIONEERING IN MEDIA ONLY GOD AND YOUR FAMILY KNOW YOUR HEART

  11. Anonymous says:

    No matter who wants to say what a bout Mr. Seales this man was not afraid to say what was on his mind. He was a visonary, a pioneer, a leader, he was charismatic & courageous and that’s what many ppl nowadays lack…CHARISMA. Now say what you will but he certainly had a way of provoking thought & getting under your skin whether in a good way or a bad way he left his mark on everyone he met and Mr. Seales will not be forgotten so ealily which is obvious from some of the comments on here. I believe in speaking truth but if you had a strong dislike for Mr. Seales please be sensitive to his family and friends because I’m sure that those who are on here speaking ill of the dead may have left a sour aftertaste in someone’s mouth along thier life’s journey (as we all do at some point) and how would you feel if people came on and made hateful remarks about you at the tim eof your demise? Mr. Seales lived a full life I’m sure and I’m sure he still had alot of living to do but at this time I just want to wish hima safe journey, may his spirit rest in peace.

     

  12. AngelaMichalik says:

    I had the honor of having a friendship with Desi since 1980. Was intoduced to him by my brother in law Roper and sister Cindi Roper. He was the most articulate, wittiest, funny person I have ever known. He always had a big smile on his face. He loved his occupation, he loved life. I am saddened by his death.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Desmond Seales introduced the Cayman Islands to the real function of the press in a democratic society. 

    Desmond did not publish advertisement brochures.  

    His publications broke loose from our oppressive information controlling governance system by actually publishing “NEWS” and not just what government wanted us to hear.  Over several decades, Desmond published “NEWS” in the public interest, infuriating those within government and the private sector who considered they were the repository of Cayman Islands information.

    Desmond’s vision of press freedom existing in the Cayman Islands contributed greatly to our slow progress  towards becoming a participatory constitutional democracy.

    The Cayman Islands benefitted from Desmond Seales having lived and worked amongst us.

    May his soul rest in peace and God bring comfort to his family.

    William Adam

  14. cr says:

    I am very saddened to hear that Desmond has passed on.  What a colourful character!  I will always think of him with a devilish grin and a twinkle in his eye.  Zestful, zaney, crafty, brilliant.  Always said it and printed it just as he saw it—no flies on him! 

    Des had many a friend and many a foe.  A friend of mine for over 30 years, even though he owed me thousands of dollars for many years, and to this day never repaid….. 

    Rest in peace Desi, may your loved ones find comfort at this time.

    • Caymanian says:

      How can they find comfort when youre on the internet talking about he owes you money?Jeez!

      • Anonymous says:

        Being on this formum telling that he owned him/her money but nevertheless speaking of him fondly should be comforting to them. He may have been a bad pay-master but had the ability to be liked nevertheless. Truth does not hurt in circumstances like this – owing and not paying bills was part of the character Dez was. RIP old friend.

  15. Anonymous says:

    May the Lord grant you eternal rest Des, and may His perpetual light shine upon you. Rest in peace my dear friend.

    Sincere condolences to the Seales family for your loss. Desmond was one of a kind and he will be greatly missed by many.

     

  16. Darlene Ebanks says:

    Condolence to all of the family.

    Desmond will never be forgotten.  He started so many businesses in Cayman.  He ventured where many dared not go. First TV station, one of the first newspapers etc.  But, the best things I will remember about Desmond is he spoke his mind and was never scared to print what he though was right for the public to know.  Cayman has lost a man who helped in the building of Cayman.  He made the media be respected. I hope a book will be written in his honor.

    Love to all the family.  Remember God will be with you.

  17. Robert hamaty says:

     

    It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Desmond Seales. He was always a supporter of the Tortuga Rum Company and I personally greatly valued his friendship.
    He will be missed for his contrarian voice that kept all of us challenged to consider alternate views and question the status quo. In today’s world, it is rare that a community as small as ours has two independent newspapers. It is because of Des and his perseverance that we have all benefitted. He will be greatly missed.
    Robert Hamaty, founder
    Tortuga Rum Company
  18. vocal local says:

    My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Desmond.

    Cayman has surely lost someone who cared and counted!

    My hope is that somehow Net News can continue in his spirit.

  19. CaymanTimer says:

    Des was a visionary and a driven soul who did what he thought was best, and often not best for himself but best for the Cayman Islands.  Anyone who is despised and berated by politicians is one to be respected.  After all, exposing their "dirty laundry" is what a truly FREE press is supposed to do.  Des did this as often as needed and took the pounding for it with grace and his head held high.  Who will stand up to replace him?

    Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.  Please respect the dignity of the family and stop the bashing of the dead.  Des always paid me, both  with respect and for the value of any contribution.

    Heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends and staff in this difficult time.  The loss of a family member, close friend or employer is a sad and stressful time.  Give those who are grieving time to mourn and honor the man.

    Gonna miss you Des.  RIP

  20. 911 HELP says:

    Who is going to fill his shoes???????? .Say what you want to say but he was not afraid to print it just like it was you very rarely saw him went back and make apologies to the public because he had print something wrong I dont know how he got the news so fast and so correct but he did. R.I.P.   Mr.Desmond.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Well we all know who is dancing in the streets, because if nothing else Desmond Seales exposed corruption! Whoever in government that does not want their wrong doings exposed must be jumping up & down in the streets & breathing a great sigh of relief.

  21. joe u know who says:

     May bro D Seales soul r i p . i hope his that his dream continues on because i believe he was a great publisher and a real pioneer for these islands with his media ideas. i also hope that people like big Mac pay there condolence to Mr Seales and his family for the outstanding work he did with bringing things to light that you all are trying to hide in the government.

     

    R I P DESMOND SEALES 

  22. Anonymous says:

    I will miss you, my friend.

    May you rest in peace and spook all those who have it coming to them! You know who I mean!!!

    Love you.

  23. John Evans says:

    All I can say is that it’s the end of an era, Cayman won’t see his like again in a hurry.
     

    • Anonymous says:

      I sure hope not. We can do without another one like that!

      • Anonymous says:

        You are a very cold hearted person and your comment should not have been posted!

  24. Anonymous says:

    No matter what you thought of this controversial person,
    his death is a great loss to Cayman.

    Controversy is exactly what we need more of, and the more
    the better.

    Because the more we have, the more informed are the people,
    and therefore the more informed are their opinions.

    Those, like Premier Bush, attack controversy and shy away
    from it. No doubt because he is always up to something.

     

  25. anonymous says:

    14:25…….What a "Bitter Melon"!!!.It  is the other side of life, and it carries a venue of the next journey that applies to all. 

    Condolences to the Family.  R.I.P. Desmond .

  26. Right ya so says:

    A man who did many things both good and not so good (we all know his history) but he should also be remembered for his fearlessness in bringing things to light.

    Not always popular, sometimes hated, he appeared to have no fear of the consequences of passing on the news, albeit sometimes not quite truthfully, but he went ahead and did what needed to be done so that we as a community could read the other side of the story and come to our own conclusions. He was most definitely not afraid to bite the hand that fed him!

    Unfortunately, if the stories are true, he mistreated his staff and quite badly too. Shame on him for this treatment and for taking advantage of those less fortunate.

    A man I have known since I was a child of 4 and who, every time he saw me, greeted me with a shout of my name and a big hug and a kiss, whether he had seen me yesterday or 3 years before. A man who went out of his way to find me a cover photo from a very, very, very old copy of the Nor’wester to give to me for my birthday.

    Like all of us he had many sides. Hopefully he will be remembered for the good as well as the bad.

    Condolences to his family. RIP Desmond.

  27. kmanprophet says:

    For those of us who knew Desmond Seales, we have not always agreed with his position or the manner in which he went about outlining such position, but it is one thing that was certain, he spoke exactly what he felt. He left you under no illusions as to his views and was bold enough to investigate, challenge the powers that be and the guts to report to the public.

    Sometimes, it was for his benefit, but in most cases it was for those with no voice, so they could be heard. Cayman has not lost a saint, and while he may not have been most charismatic leader or boss, let us not disrespect his contribution as a pioneer in journalism, especially in print media.

    In my mind, that made Desmond Seales a leader in the protection of free speech which is a basic tenet of democracy. Cayman has lost a voice that spoke, when others were afraid to speak.His loss makes those shoes hard to fill.

    My condolences to his family and may he Rest In Peace.

  28. Craig Merren says:

    My sincere condolences to Mr. Desmond’s family & staff at Cayman Net News.
    He and I always talked about where Cayman & Caymanians should have been today. Always bold to tell you like it is. He loved the ground my late father walked on, and would say during our conversations, “Duke Shaft took no s – -t from now one in the day, wish it was more like him round”. And I would say, "But you took his place Des" 🙂

    When I wanted to find the answers that we encounter here in Cayman, I would just tap into him to get some longed versed answer, or he would point me in the right direction to read about it. Des was like a renaissance man, Man.

    Rest in peace brother

    Shaft

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Desmond…for everything. You were great, insignificant, rebel, peacemaker, friend, enemy, builder, destroyer, innovator, the good, the bad, the unforgetable!

    Rest now dear friend

  30. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace Desmond, for you no longer have to expose the corruption and wrong doing in our country, however the people will take up the fight.

  31. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Seales family.

    Rest in Peace Desmond.

     

  32. Anonymous says:

    Sincere condolences to the Seales family. We are sorry for your loss.

  33. Anonymous says:

    a brave man who had the courage to speak his mind and stand upto politicians…. a real pioneer for cayman journalism….rip

  34. whodatis says:

    Wow…

    Rest in peace Mr. Seales.

    Condolences to the family and friends.

  35. Ken P says:

    Thanks Des for always being honest and never being afraid of controversry and standing up to dirty politicians and corruption in Cayman. I enjoyed having such good conversations for you. Rest in peace  and blessings to your family.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Condolences to Seales Family

    I have known Mr. Desmond Seales since 1990 . He is one of nicest person  you would ever meet .  Cayman has lost a great person

    Rest In Peace Mr. Seales

    Sad Day Today .

    We Love You

     

     

    • noname says:

      Thank you D.

      Those who really knew Des personally will always appreciate what we learned from his enthusiasm and positive zest for life and about moving forward despite the difficulties that we all face in life.

      And Des.. Rest my Bro.. You had a difficult life and you did your best! And you made your mark in the world! And I was always proud that you were my friend..

      Shervin Wood

  37. noname says:

    rest in peace  Desi you r in a better place now   yr friend 4 always  D

  38. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace Desmond, for you no longer have to expose the corruption and wrong doing in our country, however we worry that no-one will follow your foot steps to carry on your you good work for the community.

    You were the only one who had the sheer balls to take on what needed to be exposed or reported to the public. You have our respect and appreciation for all the years of hard work you invested in the media on this island.

  39. peter milburn says:

    I would like to add my condolences to Desmonds family.May you rest in peace my friend.

  40. Caymanian Voice says:

    Desmond is a huge loss to Cayman! and, I agree that if in life you had no time for him, perhaps it is best you stay quiet now at his passinng.

    Who is perfect among us? Look in the mirror before you speak!

    Desmond as Qunicy quite rightly pointed had many firsts for our small islands.But what his critics seem to only remember was his bullish approach to speaking out. Indeed for all who look critically and have nothing good to say in this respect he was a front runner with no company!

    His was  a lone voice which dared to disagree or agree with a popular position as his convictions led him. That we should celebrate. And, with his passing, who will replace him and speak for the people?  Who will be that voice, irrespective of the cost that will speak out against governments and their particular policies? Who has the courage and the conviction which Desmond displayed?

    As Caymanians we are really good at being critical of others, yes tearing down comes easy to us. The issue here is not whether you agree with the positions which Desmond held from time to time; rather the real issue is that he felt free to speak out as a free man. How many of us stand up and do the same, no matter what the cost? Name them!

    Desmond, you were one loved and hated all at once by so many. One who was used and then discarded by politicans and their cronies; yet inspite of the vagaries of the circumstances which prevailed on your space you were always upbeat and forward looking.

    You leave behind a huge legacy for all of us, if we are smart enought to be humble and learn from you. Just like all the rest of us left behind you were imperfect, your very high profile persona in our small islands made you larger than life and made you a target for any one. But you laughed thru all that and just seemed to rise up again with flair.

    Dear Des., may your soul rest in peace and may your family rise up behind you and do you proud. God bless my dear friend.

     

  41. Marek says:

    Say what you will but the man had a firm handshake right to the end.

    He lived well and saw much.

     

  42. Paul Reynolds says:

    My sympathies and best wishes to the Seales family. I am very sorry for your loss. 

  43. Quincy Brown says:

    Nor’wester Magazine

    Ci tv

    Cayman Net News

    Print and Broadcast Journalist/Editor.

    I think it would be nice if WESTAR CITN/Cayman 27 ran a special called "Remembering Desmond…" as a tv biography.

    May his soul Rest In Peace.

    We pray for the repose of his soul and offer condolence to his family members, relatives and friends.

    He has left an indelible mark on the history of Caymanian news reporting and journalism. He was not afraid to investigate, write and report. Mr. Seales was revered, loved and yet hated by many a clergyman, politician and layman. He will be sadly missed by those in local media houses.

     

    ———————————————-

    Quincy Brown 

  44. Anonymous says:

    Blame mac for messing with the press r I p mr seales

    • RIP says:

      I only pray all those who criticized him when he was alive dont go on like he was their best friend as that will be big disrespect to the great man Desmond Seales.

      Those who did not like Desmond were the criminals that he exposed for the good of Cayman.

      Desmond, you will live on in our memories and we will truly miss you.

      Sincere sympathies to the Seales family and may Desmonds soul rest in peace!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Rest in Peace, Desmond.

    You did it your way.

     

  46. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know Desmond, but I DO know that he had Cayman’s best interests at heart, no matter WHAT any adverseries would like to believe. He could have, had he only had the possibility, led Cayman to greatness…..but fate decreed otherwise. Sincere condolences….Cayman has lost a pillar of strength.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have seriously got to be kidding! Cayman’s best interest??? What planet are you on?  OK – let’s give him the kudos that he deserves. He introduced some great media vehicles, eg. The Nor’wester and other magazines; nice-looking newspapers but….accurate? Unbiased?? I think not.

      Did he believe he could determine the destiny of these Cayman Islands? He sure did. Would it have been a better Cayman Islands?? I thinknot.

      Have you ever spoken to any of the hundreds of employees that have passed through his doors? That he cursed at, spat at and other things?

      I think not.

      Please let us not try to canonise a man who hurt so many and should not have been allowed to keep the high honour of MBE. Let’s be honest and truthful, even after a person has deceased. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you never heard about not speaking ill of the dead.  Do you realize the man has a family that just might read these comments.  Geesh, have a heart man.

      • past employee says:

        were you ever employed by Desmond? I think not … have some respect.

      • whodatis says:

        "Please let us not try to canonise a man who hurt so many and should not have been allowed to keep the high honour of MBE."

        ??!!

        Say wha’?

        Perhaps you ought to examine the actual list of OBE / MBE’s – you will find characters there that were FAR more controversial and hurtful than Desmond Seales e.g. Sir Denis Arthur Greenhill, Baron Greenhill of Harrow, GCMG, OBE (1913–2000) … Google him if you dare.

        How I long for the day when more people will awake from their misguided misconception that all things and individuals deemed "honourable" by wayof the "British empire" are actually as presented.

        Anyway – not going there today, not the time or the place.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          Ah yes, Whodatis. Sir Denis Greenhill, your infamous "Tarzan" and "Man Friday" bogeyman. His remarks were thoroughly egregious, though alas, in large part in keeping with the times in which he lived. I can find remarks by Sir Winston Churchill (especially about Ghandi and Indians in general) which are horribly racist as well as being completely incorrect. I think it can be argued Churchill had some good in him as well, however, despite, like Greenhill, being a product of his time and upbringing.

          I suggest Mr Seales had some good and some not so good in him too.

          By your posts, you reveal deep bitterness and hatred for Britain, British people (at least your version) and its Empire (long a thing of the past, thank goodness). Such passions prohibit balanced thought on your part, I fear.

          And just for the record, we all get your much repeated point about the disgraceful Diego Garcia affair and, like many citizens of countries carrying out these types of outrages, wish that they had never happened or that history could be reversed.

          • whodatis says:

            You’re getting me wrong – this goes beyond the Chagossians.

            This has to do with Britain, the FCO, the "empire" and the way how us colonies (OT’s) have historically been governed, administered and addressed by such disregarding and despicable individuals and entities.

            I don’t give a hoot nanny if a single Brit is offended or annoyed by my words – Brits are not in my consideration at times like this … my people are. (If it was up to me this episode of British history would be mandatory in the curriculum of our Caymanian students rather than the insulting "Commonwealth Essay Competition.")

            The longer and stronger that we believe that Britain loves us and views us as their own the deeper and faster we will fall.

            Honestly, I don’t know why so many Brits jump all over such posts of mine … I am NOT talking to you guys at times like these.

            (Queue thumbs in 4 … 3 … 2… 1)

            *Seriously, I am not about to embark on a lengthy exchange here out of respect for the deceased.*

        • PRUFLAS 26 LEGIONS says:

          whodatis 

          you just went there.

      • Anonymous says:

        You may not have any respect for the man, but at least have some for his family. Shame on you to be using this occasion to show your disrespect for the dead.

        As the saying goes, you spit at the sky and it will fall in your eye.

        I sincerely hope that I wont be reading similiar comments about you someday.

        • Anonymous says:

          Live your life in such a way that they will not have room to be mean-spirited about you when you pass on.  Personally, I am not one of those people who believe that once a person has died they suddenly are beyond reproach. Neither do Ibelieve that what we write now will change anything about the person – for better or for worse.

      • Anonymous says:

        How mean-spirited can one get.

        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, I call it being honest: in life and yes, even in death.

        • Anonymous says:

          But that was the message that Des spent his life trying to get across. Tell the truth as you see it, dont sugar coat things or hide them under the carpet.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is a hard thing to say about one who is deceased a sits not nice to speak ill of the dead, but you are 100% right. Desmond was not a nice employer. Truthfully, he was a right horrible and mean spirited man who abused all his employees (including me) mentally and physically in the worse way.

        He was not a good employer to work for and I only managed 1 year of the torture.

        But I am sure he must have been special person to his family and people who did not work for him and were subject to his daily diatribe tongue lashings.

        He is gone now so lets all hope he finds peace and comfort wherver he is resting now.

        From,

        A former employee who did not like the man but did respect him for always standing his ground on his beliefs.

  47. Peter says:

    Dear Desmond, Rest in Peace!  

  48. A. Colin Panton says:

    My sincere condolences to Desmond’s family and indeed the staff at Net News. I hope that the publication will survive and continue.

     

    Colin Panton

  49. Anonymous says:

    Our sincere condolences to the Seales family.  Desmond was a dear friend 

  50. past employee says:

    My sincere condolences to Desmonds family at this time – this is a sad day in Cayman’s history