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Jose Maria Orlando still in the saddle at 80

Michael Blair, centre, catches up with former colleagues Jose Maria Orlando, right, and Hector Lopez, left, in Uruguay.

Jose Maria, now 80, lives with his wife Lucrecia in Montevideo, Blair writes. He joined Reuters in 1969 and worked in Buenos Aires, ultimately as manager for Latin America and the Caribbean before leaving the company in 1983. Jose Maria, a slimmed down version of his former self, said that he lost 50 pounds so that he could play tennis again, which he does every Saturday, and he also goes horseback riding three times a week. Jose Maria still works, mostly from home, as the editorial writer of El Observador, one of Uruguay’s leading newspapers.

Hector Lopez, 68, who was with Reuters from 1973 to 1995, joined the company in Buenos Aires, and then was posted to Caracas, Mexico and ultimately Miami, where he set up the Spanish desk. His last job was vice president Reuters Media Latin America. Hector is now the unpaid editor of Urubasket, which publishes statistics and stories about the 16 teams in the Uruguay professional basketball league. He is delighted that the website gets 20,000 hits a day, reflecting the high interest of Uruguayans in the sport. His interest in basketball began with his father who was head coach for the national team in the 1956 Olympics games in Melbourne and the 1960 Rome games.

Blair (Reuters 1966-1985) was in Montevideo as part of a tour of his old stamping grounds of 40 years ago when he was posted to Buenos Aires. ■