Neville Annibourne, a Guyanese journalist who witnessed the Jonestown massacre in north-western Guyana in 1978, has died at the age of 82 after a short illness.
Annibourne, who was also a member of the ruling Peoples Progressive Party and a captain in the nation’s army, worked for several newspapers. He was honoured by the Guyana Press Association for his contributions to media, a Guyana news site, Demerara Waves reported.
He was also the presenter of a radio programme ‘Focus on Four’ as a government information officer. Demerara Waves said that it was in this role that he narrowly escaped death on 18 November 1978 at Port Kaituma airstrip, where members of cult the Peoples Temple shot dead three members of the US media, a cult defector and US congressman Leo Ryan, who had gone to Jonestown to interview cult members and leader Jim Jones.
Jones later led his followers, many US citizens, into a mass murder/suicide. Over 900 people died, mostly from a chemical concoction laced with cyanide. The events at Jonestown constituted the greatest single loss of US civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the the events of September 11, 2001.