Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Untold Stories of National Awardees | Dyer's dedication to duty

Published:Tuesday | August 21, 2018 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera/Gleaner Writer
Godfrey Dyer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Sunset Boulevard in Montego Bay, St James, is to be renamed the Godfrey Dyer Boulevard, and the Jamaican businessman's name is to carry the distinguishing mark, Order of Jamaica, within weeks.

Dyer, an adopted son of Montego Bay, is being conferred with the Order of Jamaica for his outstanding contribution to tourism.

"I am really excited about it. I feel very privileged, honoured and humbled," the elated businessman, who has served twice as Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) president and who holds the position of chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, told The Gleaner last weekend.

No stranger to national honours, this will be his second walk on the lawns of King's House accepting such an award. In 1984, he was awarded the Commander of the Order of Distinction.

This latest accolade is one of the highest to be bestowed by the Jamaican Government and comes months after Dyer was recognised by the JHTA with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Clarendon born and bred, the well-decorated Dyer first came to the tourism capital, Montego Bay, in 1963, while employed as a policeman by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

After his resignation from the force in 1972, he ventured into the insurance business, and soon after he owned and operated the popular Wexford Hotel. Twenty-nine years later when he threw in the Wexford towel, the hotel had become a favourite of both locals and tourists.

It was during this period that he moulded his name in the halls of the tourism sector, gaining tremendous respect from his peers, who named him Hotelier of the Year twice - in 2002 and 2005.

 

LONGS FOR THE PEACEFUL, CARING JAMAICA

 

One of the foundation members of the celebrated Reggae Sumfest, Dyer and his partners have been recognised for their contribution to the annual event, which attracts lovers of Jamaican music from all over the world and substantially benefits the tourism capital's economy.

Lauded for his chairmanship of the former National Hotel & Properties, a government agency that owned 19 hotels, Dyer, who obviously has tourism in his blood, was also a director of The Jamaica Pegasus hotel and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

As president of the JHTA from 1983 to 1984, a time when the country was facing major foreign-exchange problems, he assisted the Government in establishing and managing the 'Jamaica National Retained Account'. This was a mechanism that played an essential role in addressing the concerns of the tourism industry and stabilising the Jamaican dollar, said the JHTA in June when he was being recognised.

Dyer remains a strong voice for the west, and his advocacy, volunteerism and commitment to nation building have not gone unnoticed.

All he wants now is "To see Jamaica return to what it used to be many years ago: a very peaceful place where people cared about each other."

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com