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Butch Stewart passes

Butch Stewart passes
Gordon “Butch” Stewart (FILE)

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Founder and chairman of the ATL Group of Companies, Gordon “Butch” Stewart passed away last night. He was 79.

Stewart, who is also chairman of the Jamaica Observer, will be most remembered for his multiple award-winning Sandals and Beaches Resorts, which helped to establish the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, as a world-class tourist destination.

Last night, his son Adam, who is deputy chairman of the ATL Group, said his father’s passing was “almost unbelievable”, since he was as involved and forward-thinking as ever.

“He chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private and we respected that wish,” the younger Stewart said.

“He was a marketing genius and talented showman, but those who knew him best recognised that he was a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone. It was often said, ‘The best thing for people around him to do is be dream catchers.’ That’s why he always credited his success to the incredible team around him, why he listened intently when it came to creating innovative things that would excite and delight our guests, and why it is so important that I remind you today, of all days, that we will all continue to be his dream catchers.”

“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.

“My Dad lived a big life – husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer. A singular personality and an unstoppable force who revelled in defying the odds, exceeding expectations, and whose passion for his family was matched only by the people and possibility of the Caribbean, for whom he was a fierce champion.” (Jamaica Observer)