M (Tony) Hannan - Journalist
The late TonyHannan was the eldest son ofA Y Hannan (Police)and Raheem Hannan nee Mohammed. He passedaway in 1994at , Ratmalana- Sri Lanka.He was married to Fareena Miskin the eldest daughter of M J T Miskin- retired Inspector of Police.
His eldest son Rohan is presently in the Computer field with Data Technologieswhile his second son Shammi is a Quantity Surveyor/Building Contractor.
Tony was a well known Journalist during the 1960’s and 1970’s. He started his career as the Kurunegala correspondent for Lake House and worked his way up the ladder. He was a brilliant writer and worked not only for Lake House but also for “Sun” –of Independent Newspapers Ltd, as a Sub-editor, and subsequently as the Assistant News Editor Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation before leaving Sri Lanka in search of greener pastures.
His next assignment was as a Copy Editor of the prestigious paper the Teheran Journal. Well known journalist Lloyd Fernando, had this to say about Tony in an article/tribute published in the Lake House papers;
“While in Teheran, even though Tony faced the interview at the Teheran Journal with much confidence, the outcome appeared to be doubtful as he was an alien not knowing Persian. It was here that he met a British woman journalist Anna Francis who paved the way for that much sought after break in life for Tony.”
“What impressed the subsequent interview panel was an exciting headline devised by Tony for a delayed action by the customs at the Iranian-Turkish border. Tony’s headlines “Customs men sitting on toilets” really hit the headlines. From then on it was “Veni vidi vinci”- I came, I saw, I conquered. “
“Within a matter of months Tony was promoted as the Foreign news and Features Editor.”
Anna Francis the editor in chief had this to say about him - “Tony was given an extremely disorganised department, but within a short period of time he built it up into an efficient section that is today incomparable in this organization or any other establishment in Iran. This was due to his efficiency and to his absolute devotion to the job, no matter how many hours that may mean putting in to achieve it.”
Tony was appropriately made Deputy Editor, in addition to retaining the responsibilities as Foreign news editor, and Chief sub-editor.
“Tony was entirely responsible for all activities of the editorial department during my absence and he managed his tasks very well winning praise from the President and the Publisher of the News paper” says Anna.
Anna went on to say ” Tony was personally responsible for the editing , presentation, and layout of the all important page one, the feature and foreign news pages. No request was ever too much for him to handle and he has willingly stepped forward to handle supplements, write news, feature stories, and extra pages when others were absent. “
Anna Francis goes further to say “There was no one on the Teheran Journal staff and there has been none in the past 13 years I have been here whom I could recommend as highly as Mr Hannan. He is one of those unique newsmen ever ready to take up any challenge in a world where standards are dying “
“I am sure the principles of journalism he taught to those working under him and the manner in which he conducted himself with workers at every level from simple typesetter to department chiefs will remain as examples for his co-workers to follow.”
Mr Hossein Baniahmed, the group editor of Teheran Journal in 1979 has this to say about Tony -“ Mr Hannan’s performance has been outstanding.. He is one of those unique personalities born to Journalism and is bound to produce the best of whatever he touches.. Mr Hannan is a top quality journalist and is a big asset to this News paper “
With the dethronement of the Shah , the Teheran Journal ceased publication.
Tony then moved to another prestigious newspaper the “The Strait Times“ of Singapore , where he was special grade Sub-Editor- a rare honor indeed .
Tony’s contribution to Journalism and his reputation and meteoric rise to fame did not surprise those close to him. He had all the required qualities to be successful.
It is with this optimism , confidence and courage that he changed his career in the latter stages of his life overseas. He decided to join the Hotel/ Hospitality industry.
He joined the Swiss managed Hotel Chain - AL BILAD Hotel Movenpick, in Saudi Arabia as a Sales/Marketing Manager.
Tony traveled all over the world discussing and learning new marketing strategies and meeting top Travel Agents, and Company Directors in an effort to further strengthen, co-operation and understanding. As expected Tony fared equally well if not better in the Hotel Industry .
Tony worked in this industry for almost 10 years before his retirement in 1993/94.
Tony always helped others during his stint overseas. He and his wife Fareena were kind and generous and extended their hospitality not only to many of their close relations but to the destitute, the hungry and the needy . Many Sri Lankans benefited from his kindness and generosity. He sponsored his relatives overseas and helped them seek employment.
During his younger days Tony was a keen sportsman. He captained Pelicans SC Kurunegala and played representative football in India. He was also a Referee of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka. He also coached St Josephs Kegalle, and St Marys Elpitiya in Soccer.
Tony was one of the few Malays who reached the top in Journalism.
What well known Journalist, Lloyd Fernando has to say about him summarizes his greatness -
“Some are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them. In the case of the renowned Journalist T M Hannan, greatness was achieved in no uncertain terms “
May he attain Jennathul Firdhouse.
Ratmalana, Sri Lanka