SHILLONG, Nov 06: The Shillong Press Club with deep regret and a great sense of pain has announced the demise of one of its oldest members and much loved Walton Jyrwa Lytan fondly known throughout Meghalaya as Ton.
Having crossed half a century at 52 years, Ton passed away on Tuesday at 4:15 pm after a brief battle with a life threatening ailment at his residence at Lumbhalang, Nongthymmai Lawjynriew, with his wife Kong Pynroilang Kharshandi and his son and two daughters by his side.
Ever an affable and jovial person, Ton began his journey in photo journalism way back in the late 80s after a successful stint as the founding general secretary of the Hill Farmer’s Union, an organisation that till today continues to fight for the welfare and rights of farmers.
He was associated with several publications both English and vernacular and his last assignment was with the Assam based UB Photos, a widely known photo news agency.
Ton was popular with everyone simply for the fact that though he was simple and appeared demure, yet never once did he shirk away from discharging his professional duties. Be it politics, curfew, chaos, encounters, Assembly and District Council sessions, government or private events and functions, he would always be the first one to reach the spot. Short in stature but he would always be the tallest everywhere.
“In fact, most of us will miss the unassuming man because he would, on most occasions, be the one to inform others about anything taking place, be it a breaking event or a planned one,” the president of the Shillong Press Club, David O Laitphlang said.
He was known to people across all spectrum of society from politicians to the layman and perhaps one of the few journalists who had friends across the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills and even neighboring Assam. His unique and simple manner of communicating with people won him friends all over. It was simply difficult to dislike him.
“As a grieving family, the Shillong Press Club expresses its deepest condolences at the loss of one of its most loved members and sincerely prays that ‘Dear Ton’ rests in everlasting peace. The Club also prays that God grants solace to the bereaved family members,” Laitphlang said.