Creative maestro says farewell
Master of ceremonies, the very entertaining and engaging, Richard Moss, threatened an evening of 'scandal', warning that the creative genius Weston Haughton was the one in the hot seat.
Moss, the management of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), and Haughton's friends, gathered at a large section of the Island Routes Centre, at Queens Drive, Montego Bay, last Monday to pay tribute to the man credited with transforming the lives of hundreds of entertainers in the hospitality sector.
Everyone who attended the farewell party for Haughton knew that it would probably last about 24 hours as, after 17 years with Sandals and at age 65, the workaholic would be going nowhere soon.
His name has probably been struck off the staff payroll books, but that's all.
"I still expect to see the fabulous decor we have become accustomed to at all our properties," declared SRI's CEO, Adam Stewart, as he spoke of a man who had filled the halls of Sandals with love.
"He is all-rounded, balanced, a quality human being, and will never leave us for good," said Stewart of the man who has earned the reputation of always infusing 'creativity and passion'.
The room was full. The laughter was infectious as Haughton was Jamaica's first male model and boasts a career that allowed him access to the crËme de la crËme of the entertainment industry. "He was taught music by Noel Dexter; radio by Leonie Forbes, and dance by Eddie Thomas," boasted Moss, as if the evening belonged to him.
Haughton's friend, Joy Clark, spoke of the inspiration he gave her, and the four queens of cabaret - Karen Smith, Georgia Henry, Connie Edwards, and Claudette Miller - paid tribute in music. So did Rory Frankson.
Reggae singer Marcia Griffiths sat next to the man of honour all night, while David Roper, Wayne Cummings and Merrick Fray admitted they had never come in contact with a more positive person.
"It's the small things that define Weston. He brought great value to the company," notes Cummings.