Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Untold Stories of National Awardees | Ward’s unrelenting faith in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | August 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera/Gleaner Writer
Ward

WESTERN BUREAU:

When proprietor of Ward's Power Tools, Howard Ward, learnt of his pending Order of Distinction award, for business and community service, he was in the middle of an intensive construction project out west.

"I was busy at work, and would you believe that one of my competitors, who is also my friend, Mr Donovan Chinsee of National Supply, sent me a text saying: 'Congrats OD'. I will always remember that. That stands for unity, which I like to see in the business. Because, although we are competitors and we have similar businesses in some aspects, to see him text me to say 'Howard congrats', that was heart-warming," Ward reminisced.

It took a little while for the statement to sink in, he said, but he remembered that about four months ago, he got a call to submit his biography. "But I had no idea until he told me. I was kinda happy that it was Donovan, because we are friends," he added excitedly.

For his family members, they, like Ward, were overjoyed. In fact, a party is already in the making to celebrate the achievement, following the induction ceremony which will take place on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 15.

"My family was very ecstatic, especially my mother. She lives in Canada and she is 87. Whether they can come (to the ceremony) or not, we will have an after party," he stressed.

 

I BELIEVED IN THAT VISION

 

Ward started Ward's Power Tools in 1999, offering tool-renting services in a 10x10 space his wife allocated him in her store approximately six years after he repatriated to Jamaica.

"The business started humbly. It started with two $5,000 credit cards and has grown into a multimillion-dollar company," Ward explained.

A man with an unwavering faith in the trustworthiness, honesty and decency of the people of Jamaica, he said he was undeterred by naysayers who tried to discourage him from venturing into the tool-renting business.

"I had a vision and I believed in that vision, because when we started to rent tools, everybody said in Jamaica people are going to steal if you rent, and 19 years later, I probably lose only one item. It is a tribute to the people of Jamaica. People were doubting and saying that: 'You can't rent nutten in Jamaica; people going to tief it' - and that has not happened to me," he said.

His vision for Jamaica is to see the island continue on the development path it is on right now.

"I think we are on an expansion second to none in the Caribbean. I want to see Jamaica continue on that path so we can have a better nation, and I will continue doing my part by supporting the community and the environment that I live in," he said.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com