The lives we lost in 2023
Saying Goodbye to Herry Royer, Pioneer Videographer Par Excellence
For several decades, Herry Royer, who died on 2 October 2023 and was interned at the Roseau Catholic Cemetery on Thursday 12 October, was among the skilled and creative men who have been bringing you news, in living colour, on television, right into your living room. Royer was there from the beginning of the art form in Dominica. He was one of the best.
He carried the heavy tripods, operated the slick cameras and got into the best positions to take the action photographs that kept you, the public, cemented to your seats, your eyes and ears fastened to your television sets.
"Herry was fun, a brilliant photographer and videographer; we did television programmes together when I lived in Dominica, and I used to work out of his business place, Photo One," wrote Caribbean journalist Peter Richards on Facebook. "He was a very quiet person…liked his red Toyota Celica to the moon...Brotherme, Annie and Dieds...our partner has moved on".
Tim Durand, the editor of the Dominica News Online (DNO) website, in a tribute posted on DNO described Royer as " an extraordinary photographer and videographer with a unique personality and exceptional talent."
"I can honestly say that Herry was instrumental in providing me with hands-on television experience that complemented my theoretical knowledge gained as a mass communication student at the University of the West Indies. That experience significantly prepared me for my subsequent role as TV News Editor at Marpin Telecoms and Broadcasting," Durand said.
Cecil Shillingford, former Head of the Government Information Service and a friend added that Royer was " a renowned photographer and videographer, was a professional who took immense pleasure in his work. His presence was a constant at every government event, capturing moments that he would later transform into informative video programmes for local television stations. His creativity shone through in his video productions, which included advertisements and public service announcements".
Duncan Stowe, also a former GIS colleague and friend, said in the DNO tribute that Royer "was not just a colleague, but a beacon of individuality in our midst. His distinct approach to life and work set him apart, making him a go-to person for fresh perspectives and challenging ideas".
Stowe added: "Herry was a man of principles, living by the age-old maxims we were raised on, such as "let your conscience be your guide" and "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay." Mediocrity had no place in Herry's world. He strived for excellence in everything he did, always aiming to meet the highest standards".
Another former GIS colleague, Adina Bellot-Valentine, described Royer as a "reserved, unassuming individual who, at first glance, might seem unaware of his surroundings. However, when he stood behind a camera, the world around him came alive".
Alvin Knight, the Deacon and former broadcaster, said his association with Royer deepened in his later years when he embarked on his solo journey.
"Herry's prowess behind the camera was unparalleled. His keen eye often captured details I overlooked despite my training as a broadcaster. His meticulous approach often challenged me while scripting, but it was this attention to detail that made our documentaries exceptional," Knight said.