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Mottley pays tribute to ‘Caribbean man’ Stewart

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Mottley pays tribute to ‘Caribbean man’ Stewart
Prime Minister Mia Mottley (left) chatting with Sandals chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart during a site visit at Heywood’s, St Peter, December 2018. (FILE)

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Although he was “the quintessential Jamaican”, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart never gave into insularity and was also a Caribbean man.

That is how Prime Minister Mia Mottley remembered Stewart, the founder and chairman of the ATL Group of Companies, including the Sandals Resort chain, who passed away in the United States on Monday night at age 79.

The full statement follows:

Today, on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados, I wish to express sincere condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Gordon “Butch” Stewart, on his passing.

Butch was the quintessential Jamaican, from his accent to his antics, and in everything he did he represented his country well — always wearing the Jamaica motto with pride: “Out of many, one people”. It was impossible to share a space with him and not be drawn to his infectious laughter and warm personality, no doubt products of his Jamaica heritage.

But for him, love of country never translated into insularity, for he was always the consummate Caribbean man. The success of his Sandals brand, a name that he has indelibly imprinted on the Caribbean landscape, will no doubt serve as a monument to his Caribbeanness for generations to come.

His association with Barbados and Barbadians has been long, even if at times contentious, but this country has benefited from his investment. There can be no denying that Barbados’ tourism product is the better today because of the presence of Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados.

The region has definitely lost a great son who put Sandals, as a Caribbean brand, on the global landscape.

To his wife Chyril, his children, the Sandals family here in Barbados and across the region, and the people of Jamaica, my thoughts and prayers are with you at time.

May his soul rest in peace.  (PR/SAT)