THE media fraternity reacted with shock on Tuesday on learning of the death of Angela Martin, 60, editor of the popular Express Woman magazine.
Her brother, Kevin Martin, told the Express by phone that Martin (A), who was diabetic, passed away at her Morvant home.
He said someone called out to Martin at her home yesterday and when there was no response, her brother, who lives across the street, went over and found her unresponsive.
He said the ambulance was called and the paramedics confirmed Martin had died.
Martin said an autopsy is expected to be performed on Wednesday to determine the actual cause of death because although Martin was diabetic, it was not certain whether she died from this ailment.
He said Martin was always passionate about journalism and entered the field at the tender age around 18 or 20 when she enrolled in a media course.
He recalled the late Express editor Keith Smith was the one to recognise Martin’s talent and hired her at the Express.
“She was a person who loved to read. She was always abreast of the news and current affairs, and she was an extremely helpful person,” he said.
Martin (A), he said, was the second-born of ten children—five brothers and nine sisters.
He said he last saw his sister on Friday and she had asked him to do some errands for her. He said Martin was ailing from diabetes and the family knew this could have dealt a blow to her health.
“She loved the Express, she loved her family and friends,” he said, noting she would have celebrated her 61st birthday in November.
Martin worked as a features writer for both the Guardian and Express newspapers and last held the position of editor of the Express Woman magazine.
At Express House, Port of Spain, staff were in shock when news broke that Martin had died. It was later confirmed by her brother, Arnold John, who posted on Facebook: “To my Friends & Family, Breaking News today my Sister Angela Martin has passed away.”
John, who is in New York, told the Express he was informed of Martin’s death by his other sister.
Express editor-in-chief Omatie Lyder said apart from being a creative editor and writer, and treasured by the Express, Martin was a warm, kind person, full of love and compassion. “She had a strong sense of justice and hated discrimination with her whole being. The staff cannot believe she’s gone. She will be missed,” she said.
Express publications editor and friend of Martin, Deborah John, yesterday recalled her first encounter with Martin in the 1980s.
“I first met Angela in the early 1980s when she came to work at the Express. She was hired by the late journalist Keith Smith who knew her and felt she should be given a chance.
“She was tasked with the first ‘Action Line’ consumer help column, which was not an easy undertaking. She, however, proved herself equal to the task and ended up helping many grateful citizens. She was also an excellent entertainment reporter and was the first person to predict with a cover story that Bunji Garlin was destined for great stardom, and this was way back in his ragga soca days.
“She is perhaps best known as editor of the Express Woman magazine, to which she has given her own inimitable style. She was passionate about it and gave it her complete devotion. Just recently she was kind enough to include in her pages my poem, “Chemo (Prayers and Therapy)”, and she gave me words of encouragement. My condolences go out to her family at home and at the Express. Sister journalist... you will be missed,” stated John.
The Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago expressed its condolences to Martin’s family, stating: “It is with great sadness we mark the passing of media colleague Angela Martin, editor, Woman magazine, Trinidad Express Newspapers.
“Angela was deeply loved and admired by her friends and colleagues and we especially extend our sympathy to her family at this time of grief and loss. Rest in Peace, our dear sister.”
By Anna Ramdass, Express