Stewart: ATL provided a secure future for many families
The ability to provide retirement plans for his staff, in addition to creating a secure future for many families, was among the achievements that Gordon 'Butch' Stewart highlighted as he reflected on the 50th anniversary of Appliance Traders Limited (ATL).
Stewart, group chairman of ATL, said that one of his objectives had always been to ensure that he created avenues through which the common man could build a secure future.
"In 1983 we decided to start a pension fund. All my friends said no, but we started. It had it's problems, but today it is the single largest private pension fund in Jamaica. When you look outside at the quantity of people who do not have the security of a retirement fund, you know that there is a crucial need," Stewart told the gathering at the anniversary service that was held at Stella Maris Catholic Church in St Andrew on Friday.
"The following year, we started our own medical [scheme]. More than 80 per cent of the people who make up the hotel sector do not have a pension. They could work until they are tired [but] they don't have a pension. Sandals Resort has a pension scheme," he declared.
Stewart took the time, also, to express his gratitude to persons who continued to contribute to the company's growth.
"I know that there's a bigger power up there; we never got here on our own. We got here with the hands of the Man above. We also got here with the strength and dedication of the people who make up our company," he said.
"This company has offered a future to staff and their families, thousands and thousands of them. Many of them are still with us, many of them are overseas seeking greener pastures, but it has been a company that has never done anything but good," declared Stewart.
In delivering the homily, Father Howard Thompson encouraged individuals to see the opportunity in all situations to give thanks.
"Whatever gifts you have, use it for the service of others. It is no secret that Mr Stewart's love for God and his church has opened a channel of grace and vision to guide the ATL family along the smooth and sometimes stormy path of business. We are not to take this journey and milestone for granted, but in a spirit of gratitude," Thompson advised.