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“The Most Incredible Man” Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart is gone; profound grief in a Corporate memo

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Hon Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, OJ, CD, Hon. LLD - Chairman & Founder of Sandals

#Caribbean – January 5, 2020 — “Unbelievable” is how his son and Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart described the passing of his father – the founder of Sandals Resorts International – in a memorandum to general managers and Directors of their resorts and companies around the region.

Butch Stewart with Peter Beckingham, former governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands

It was just last week that Butch Stewart was reaffirming his commitment to these islands with the reopening of Beaches Turks and Caicos on December 21.  In a joint statement Stewart had said:  “We are committed to this long-term agreement and working together for the betterment of the country. I wish to commend those who work tirelessly to put Turks and Caicos on the map; our incredible staff and the dedicated executive team led by the steadfast Adam Stewart. We will now turn our attention to what we do best: introducing the World to the beauty and hospitality of these extraordinary Islands.” 

Those were the Chairman’s final publically expressed words to Turks and Caicos as the largest employer in the private sector and a 25-year investor. 

The Stewart Family Honored With Outstanding Leadership In Social Responsibility Award At 2019 World Travel Awards

Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart died at hospital in Florida informed one news agency out of Jamaica; after 52 years in business on his own, he had amassed the most celebrated all-inclusive resorts in the world.  A Caribbean man, employing some 10,000 people across more than 20 hotel properties in the most sought after islands at the most stunning vistas in the region.

St. Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and his home country of Jamaica will be especially grieved by the passing of this business titan and Caribbean icon.

TCI Premier bestows TCI Golden pin in honour of Butch Stewart’s long standing confidence in Turks and Caicos; the two are captured in a cordial embrace; 2017

The Hon Stewart had reportedly been ailing a long time and the younger likeness of Butch, Adam Stewart explained: “he chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish.”

Already there is an outpouring of shock and sadness at the loss of the resort mogul who is hailed as a marketing genius, who “lived a big life – husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer…” said Adam Stewart in that memo.

“Together, we have all been part of something bigger than ourselves, led by a man who believed in us and who gave us opportunities to learn, grow and the tools to make dreams real.  For him and because of him, we will continue to dream big and deliver on his certainty that true luxury is always best enjoyed by the sea.”

Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart at the opening of the Balmoral Tower of Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas in 2012. Photo by The Bahamas Investor

There is also concern among some staffers spanning industries including hospitality, travel, automotive, resort and media and to quell fears, there was this from Adam:  “While I need to be with family right now, I look forward to speaking with you soon and sharing thoughts about the incredible future of this company built by this most incredible man.”

Adam and Butch Stewart share an impromptu moment in 2017 at a family celebration. Photo by the Jamaica Observer

A big dreamer, said his son, who could dream bigger than anyone; he now rests and his many companies and dreams live on with an indelible legacy which will undoubtedly be played and replayed over the coming days and as the region comes to grips with the death and the loss of Gordon Stewart.

The Chairman was 79 years old.

Caribbean News

RBC donates $175,000 to Hurricane Beryl relief efforts

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PORT OF SPAIN — In the wake of Hurricane Beryl, RBC Royal Bank (RY on TSX and NYSE) (“RBC”) and RBC Foundation USA announced a donation of C$175,000 to the Canadian Red Cross and the American Red Cross in support of Caribbean and U.S. relief efforts.

The devastating hurricane impacted several Caribbean and U.S. communities where RBC operates, including Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and Tobago.

RBC’s contribution will support emergency relief efforts, including shelters, hygiene kits, and social assistance to those in the affected communities.

“The intensity of Hurricane Beryl this early in the season is concerning and our thoughts are with the individuals affected in the Caribbean communities as well as in the U.S.,” said Chris Duggan, Head of RBC Caribbean Banking.

“At RBC, we believe it is our responsibility to support our communities in times of need. Our donation to the Red Cross, will provide immediate assistance to those impacted, ensuring they receive the necessary resources to recover and rebuild.”

Commenting on the Caribbean generosity as well as that of our larger RBC community, Duggan added: “The response of the RBC Caribbean Banking employees, as well as that of our larger RBC community has been generous and unhesitating. In response to the disaster, our colleagues are coming together in many unique and incredible ways and donating personally to help those affected.”

Those that would like to support the relief efforts can donate to the Canadian Red Cross at www.redcross.ca or the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

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PM Proposes Municipal Status for Negril

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#MontegoBay, Jamaica, July 13, 2024 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has highlighted the need for Negril to have its own local authority, which will enable the town to better manage its affairs.

The Prime Minister, who was speaking to members of the Negril business community and other stakeholders on July 12, said the resort town has outgrown its current governance structure, posing challenges both to infrastructure and administration.

“Negril as a town is growing far beyond its infrastructure, it is also growing far beyond the system set up for local governance. Our system is that the towns are within a parish and the boundaries determine which local authority has control over the town,” Mr. Holness said.

“We will now have to do the necessary consultations and make the necessary legislative changes to give Negril its own Municipality. Towns and cities must be managed and managed from a local level,” he added

The Prime Minister said that due to the growth and expansion of Negril, the town has crossed over from Westmoreland into Hanover, leaving the question as to who is in charge.

“Based on all the communications I have received the stakeholders want to do things for themselves in Negril. I know there will be a challenge because of the parish boundaries, but we will have to work that out. Currently both Westmoreland and Hanover can take ownership, leaving the question as to who really is in charge,” he added.

Mr. Holness said that while there have been discussions on the matter in the past, it was time to give Negril its own Municipality.

“I know when we talk about this, especially for those who don’t live in Negril, there are indeed questions as why we would want to do this and upset the governance architecture that currently exist,” the Prime Minister added.

“Where the problem lies is where the solution should be. If the proper structure is put in place, I am convinced you could see an improvement in how the town is managed. Negril is going through what Portmore went through…to manage its own affairs. Any superior authority should empower the residents to do things for themselves. Negril has also outgrown not only it’s physical infrastructure but its management structure,” Mr. Holness further noted.

Negril, renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant tourism industry, has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years.

 

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

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Repair Bill for Trelawny Estimated at $30 Million

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#MontegoBay, Jamaica, July 13, 2024 – The Trelawny Municipal Corporation is reporting a preliminary repair cost of $30 million, due to the impact of hurricane beryl on the parish.

Mayor of Falmouth, Councillor Collen Gager made the disclosure during the Corporation’s monthly meeting held on Thursday (July 11).

He said that the damages were minimized due to the massive drain cleaning work carried out early in the hurricane season, across the nine divisions in the parish.

He stated that emphasis was placed on the clearance of storm drains, culverts and sink holes, particularly those in flood-prone areas.

“I must emphasize that we were well prepared…and we must also note… how quickly the roads …were cleared,” Mayor Gager stated.

He credited the relatively low repair bill to the work done by the Corporation’s Disaster Preparedness team, other members of staff and volunteers before and after the hurricane.

“I could see the councillors…from all nine divisions …out working after the storm…seeing to the welfare of residents,” Mayor Gager said.

He also informed that major damage was done to the Trelawny Infirmary, the nearby building which houses the Poor Relief Department, the roof of the Falmouth Market, and the recently established Falmouth Transportation Centre.

The Mayor however said that repair works were already underway.

He projected that ongoing sanitizing of the male and female wards, kitchen and bathrooms, as well as repairing the perimeter fence to the infirmary property should be completed within days.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gager said he was pleased that Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie has committed funds for repairs to the market.

This, he said, would contribute to maintaining public order in restricting the selling of agricultural produce and other consumer goods to that space.

 

Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS       

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