He came, he served and bade goodbye. Lambok Thabah, the editor of U Nongsaiñ Hima, a popular Khasi daily, left his earthly abode so suddenly.
Thabah passed away on the way to Bethany Hospital here in the wee hours of today leaving all his colleagues and friends in a state of shock and disbelief.
Born on June 15, 1971 at Umñiuh Tmar in the Pynursla area of East Khasi Hills, Thabah began his schooling at his village. Later he joined Class 7 at St. Paul’s Seminary, Upper Shillong and completed his High School Leaving Certificate Examination (HSLC) in 1988.
After passing matriculation, Thabah studied Mechanical Engineering at Shillong Polytechnic and passed out in 1994.
But his fancy for journalism led him to join the profession. He started his career as a journalist in Rupang in 1994 and later as a reporter in U Nongsaiñ Hima from 1996 to 1997.
Thabah assumed the post of editor of U Nongsaiñ Hima in 2003 and continued till his last breath.
Known for his dedication to duty, Thabah was the first journalist from Meghlaaya to win the prestigious ‘Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award’ in 2014. The award was presented by former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Thabah left behind his wife Mildred Sun and three children. His funeral service will be held on September 24 at the Catholic Church cemetery at Mawlai Mawdatbaki, Pata.
Meanwhile, condolences have poured in for the late Thabah.
The Meghalaya Editors’ and Publishers’ Association (MEPA) while expressing its shock and grief at the sudden demise of the veteran journalist said that he was a torch bearer of the media in Meghalaya since the early 1990s in different capacities.
“He will be remembered for his hard work and constant fight for the truth as a journalist. He was not only dedicated to his profession but also a humble personality who always encouraged younger talents to excel in their journalistic career,” MEPA said.
During a condolence meeting held during the afternoon today, MEPA president Monarch Shabong said the demise of Thabah was a great loss to the journalistic fraternity.
MEPA general secretary, John W. Thabah and all members of MEPA also shared their association with the veteran journalist.
A one-minute silence was also held as a mark of respect to the departed journalist.
The Shillong Press Club (SPC) also held a condolence meet today to mourn the death. Many recalled the vast contributions that Thabah has made in the field of journalism especially in the vernacular press. The members also stood in silence for two minutes to pay their respects to the departed soul.
“He was always a quiet man, kind soul but would never tolerate any nonsense come what may,” the SPC said.
Leader of opposition Dr. Mukul Sangma in his condolence message said that Thabah was one of the active journalists and part of the vibrant and vigilant media fraternity of the State.
“Thabah will be remembered for a long time for his contributions not only in shaping the vibrant fourth estate of the State with his impeccable professionalism, but also in uplifting the society as a whole. The void due to his untimely demise will be felt by all of us for a long long time,” Dr. Sangma said.
Meanwhile, East-Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh has expressed deep sorrow at the sudden demise of Thabah.
“It is a big loss and I expressed my deepest condolences to his family members and loved one,” she said.