Cayman Free Press celebrates its 45th anniversary on 6
October. In this segment the Journal sits down with Managing Director Brian
Uzzell to talk, briefly, about himself and CFP. For a more detailed report, see
the feature in sister publication Caymanian Compass.
How is your recovery going fromyour heart attack?
Whilst my memory of those 48 hours after my heart attack
on 7 August, 2010, are slightly blurry, I did not see any white light but I
know someone was looking out for me. Luckily I was playing hockey with a group
of long standing and loyal friends, one of which was a doctor, without whose
quick response in giving me medical attention I would not be here today. After
having my bypass surgery almost seven weeks ago I am beginning to feel like a
newer and better version of my former self. I am truly amazed at the wonders of
modern medical science.
What are your thoughts as tothe future given recent events?
I am looking forward to returning to Cayman at the end of
October once I have finished all of the rehabilitation. After 40 years, Cayman
is certainly my home and I miss my routine. This experience however has
answered the niggling query that I do not intend to retire full time just yet.
I have missed the interaction with Cayman Free Press, its staff, customers and
readers. I get a buzz out of going to work and I miss the daily drive this
provides me, that is a sense of purpose. I love the excitement of new product
developments, dealing with challenges and keeping up with technology. Although
I may not return to putting in a 40 hour week, I am looking forward to
contributing and supporting the management and staff of CFP.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to read and have obviously had the opportunity to
read a lot more recently! I enjoyed reading the Steig Larsson series – The Girl
with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire and the Girl who Kicked
the Hornets’ Nest – and I just started to read Tony Blair’s new book – A
Journey. I am looking forward to returning to playing golf in the next few
months, I only took up golf in the last 10 years but find it both relaxing and
good exercise. I love to watch football and am a fan of the English Premiership
and thank goodness for cable TV I have been able to watch all the soccer that I
can find. I never thought I would see the Spurs in the Champions League!
What are some of the most memorable moments of the paste
One advert stays in my mind where we made a boo boo. It
was an advert for a Persian carpet and it had a misspelling. It said ‘with an
air of airthenticity’ instead of authenticity, which for a Persian carpet was
quite good because it meant it was a flying Persian carpet.
George Nowak was able to keep a very embarrassing moment
alive for a long time by always carrying in his briefcase photo copies of one
front page, which showed two men with brown paper bags over their heads with
slits for eyes and the headline ‘Have you seen these men’. He was always
pleased to show it to anyone and everyone.
It came to my first vacation back to the UK.
I couldn’t go because I really did everything on a daily
basis and I didn’t have anybody to oversee the place, particularly do the
editorial. I had journalists doing editor’s work but I had no editor. I had
found this guy who I thought would be absolutely ideal. His family had a weekly
newspaper in the UK.
He’d gone to Bermuda to run a newspaper and he’d been
running that for two or three years and wanted to get out so I engaged him to
run mine here.
The second night I was in the UK, I got a phone call from
David Parchment who said he had just stopped the newspaper from being published
because of the front page headline. And I said ‘what the hell was that?’ He
said in an eerily calm voice ‘let me read it to you, ‘Shades of Nazism in
I told him I would be on the next plane home. I raced
back and gave this guy his marching orders.