On Wednesday, 9 September 2020, we lost a true inspirational figure known for his monumental works and contribution in the world of journalism, Jakob Oetama. We crossed path 9 years ago and we were given the chance to design an invitation for his 80th birthday. Initially, his family members and closest relatives were planning to organize a grand celebration as a special gift.

At the times, it felt right and then we were given time to meet the late Mr. Oetama or known amicably as Mr. ‘Jo’. Because it was an abrupt decision to meet, his secretary was present to take the meeting on his behalf, though he already prepared a thorough and detailed brief for us. That afternoon, we were given the tour of his office where he spent most of his days working. His space was remarkably unfussy and modest despite surrounded by his colleague’s heated and busy atmosphere.

On the way home, the idea of a newspaper that would be wrapped in white cloth appealed to me, something simple and meaningful, rather than a fancy approach from the initial plan. Thankfully, this idea was very well received by Mr. Jo. Therefore, the final invitation concept take the form of a newspaper in tabloid size, folded and we also received an extra pair of hands from Kompas’s editorial team to create the contents inside.

I also asked Mr. GM Sidharta, a well-known cartoonist to illustrate a caricature specially of Mr. Jo. Albeit, his health condition began to deteriorate, GM Sidharta did his best to make 1 caricature as a birthday present for Mr. Jo. The invitation came in the form of a newspaper with a nicer and thicker paper wrapped into a white cloth embroidered with a blue 80 years logo. And as requested by Mr. Jo, we add an accent of Semar’s crest inside the number 80.

At last, the invitation came with a headline: “TO ALL”, inviting anyone who wants to attend his 80th birthday celebration on 27 September 2011 held in Bentara Budaya, a cultural institution founded by Pak Jakob himself, inside the Gramedia and Kompas Group complex at Jl Palmerah Selatan.

A very intimate and yet simple, an incredibly modest celebration and yet very memorable..

Farewell… Mr. Jakob Oetama