Black newspaper publisher Egbert Gaye dies at 67

‘A big hole left in the community’

Egbert Gaye

Egbert Gaye, the founder and managing editor of Montreal Community Contact, died last Sunday. He was 67.

Gaye ran the paper since its launch in 1992.

He was also a regular columnist on Montreal radio station CJAD.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Monday, Montreal Community Contact said Gaye’s death “leaves a void that will be felt by the entire community, especially his beloved wife, son and daughter-in-law”

“He was a pillar for the Black and Caribbean community across Quebec, passionate and devoted to amplifying the voices of the voiceless and empowering his community,” the statement said.

Rodrick Rodney, owner of the Kustom Kutz barbershop in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood who knew Gaye for 30 years, remembers him as both a pioneer and a friend – someone who always made time to help people close to him.

“He was always there,” Rodney said.

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Gemma Raeburn-Baynes, who organizes the annual Spice Island Cultural Festival and has been a writer with Montreal Community Contact, said she was shocked and devastated to hear of Gaye’s death.

“Egbert is the last person I expected to die. He was just so full of life,” Baynes said.

“There is a big hole left in the community,” she added.

She described him as “a confidante” and a person who “kept the community together. He was like the glue.”

“Whenever someone needed to know anything about what happened in the Black community,we called Egbert.,” she added.

Elysia Bryan-Baynes, Raeburn-Baynes’s stepdaughter, who also worked for the Montreal Community Contact, recalled that Gaye was “hands on with every facet of the publication.

“He ran the paper from top to bottom. He found the writers. He put it together. And he was the one who delivered it,” she said.

Last year, Montreal Community Contact was nominated as part of  CBC ‘s Black Changemakers series.

At the time, Yvonne Sam, a board member and columnist with the paper was asked what the paper had done for the Black community. She replied: “What has it not done? Without it, we would be adrift.”