Shipping industry commemorates the life of Noel Hylton
This is part one of a series covering the shipping industry's tribute to Noel Hylton, delivered at a service commemorating his life by Charles Johnston, honorary board member of the Shipping Association of Jamaica. The service was held at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on March 10.
"It is with a deep sense of loss that we commemorate the life of the Hon Noel Hylton, but even as we do, we are able to see the great work he has done and the unmatched legacy that he has left us all.
"It was Tony's dream, as it is for many of us, that Kingston would become the Singapore of the Western Hemisphere. His stage was a global one and he helped to shine an international light on Jamaica as a maritime nation. Indeed, in the words of Grantley Stephenson, one of the past presidents of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Tony Hylton was to shipping what Usain Bolt was to athletics.
"This fact was recognised not just by Jamaicans. All of the shipping lines that call Jamaica shared a deep appreciation for Tony. One of them, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, helped to start Jamaica's trans-shipment business in 1972 and has been here to this day. Many of their executives, past and present, have sent messages and I will read from a few of them."
"Eli Glickman, the current president and CEO of ZIM wrote on behalf of his company: 'For us, in ZIM, Tony was much more than a colleague or a business partner; for many years, ZIM people had the privilege of calling Tony a true and loyal friend.
'His long-standing cooperation and friendship with a succession of ZIM managers embodied the strong bond between ZIM and Jamaica and personalised it. We are certain that his legacy will live on.'
"Another former ZIM executive, Eli Steinbuch, shared that, 'I had the privilege of being associated with Tony for many years, he as the CEO of the Jamaica Port Authority, and I as ZIM's president in the Western Hemisphere.
'I got to know Tony well, I respected him and admired his personality and virtues. He was a good man, an incredible businessman, brilliant, and a great negotiator, a friend and a wonderfully likeable person. He was worthy of praise as a decent honourable man, even long before the title of Honorable OJ was bestowed upon him.'
These views were echoed by Matty Morgenstern and Yoram Sebba, both also past presidents of ZIM.
A FRIEND TO MANY
Tony was equally a colossus in the cruise shipping industry: Listen to John Tercek, vice-president of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines:
'We mourn and honour the passing of Tony Hylton, a friend to so many in Jamaica and internationally; a leader of the community for decades, and an exemplary personality of grace and goodwill.
'I knew Tony as a friend and business partner for a long time, and enjoyed sparring with him while putting together the Falmouth Jamaica cruise port in 2009 and 2010. He was clever, employing charm and anger (often feigned) to advance negotiations of the deal in a manner most favourable to Jamaica and the Port Authority's interest.
'He had vision, imagining a Jamaica of excellent roads and ports, with a productive economy and a high quality of life for all.
'He enjoyed a good steak and a decent glass of wine, and loved to trade stories from his years of deal making and political strategy.
'He represented an earlier era of gentlemen in ties and ladies with hats that traditional Jamaicans remember fondly.
I respected him greatly, and will miss him.'"