Cruising with the Monday Club
Noel Thompson, Gleaner Writer
Prominent Montego Bay businessman Fred Smith (second left) with friends on-board the Reggae Baby II during an evening cruise with members of the Monday Club, comprising Montego Bay's elite businessmen, lawyers, doctors, bankers and administrators. Monday's event was sponsored by Smith, the managing director of Exclusive Holidays and Tropical Tours. Others in photo are (from left) Orett Clarke, operations manager of Western Regional Health Authority; Everton Anderson, chief executive officer of Cornwall Regional Hospital; Dr Curtis Yates; Dr Winston Jadusingh; and Rohan Chopra, accountant. The Monday Club was conceptualised more than 10 years ago by Ralph Smith and William Craig, the late custos of St James. - Photos by Noel Thompson
WESTERN BUREAU: Gentlemen! drop your pens, roll your sleeves up, close your diaries and organisers. It's Monday, and members of the Monday Club are going for a cruise on-board the Reggae Baby II in the Montego Bay harbour.
The Monday Club is an all-male social-networking organisation which comprises some of Montego Bay's elite businessmen, lawyers, doctors, administrators, bankers, accountants, among others, who meet one Monday monthly at various locations across the western city.
Their purpose is primarily to socialise, network, discuss old and new business ventures and to meet old and new friends. In most cases each is a potential or established client of another club member.
Each month's event is assigned to a particular business entity, which underwrites the cost of sponsorship. Monday, January 18's outing was assigned to Exclusive Holidays and its parent company - Tropical Tours Limited, whose Managing Director Fred Smith said he wanted to do things differently.
He invited club members to join him for a drink at Doctors Cave Bathing Club, but to their surprise, when they showed up, it was for a three-hour cruise around the harbour.
And it was the first time that the vessel, Reggae Baby II, had been booked for such a sail.
Disc jockey Christopher 'Diamond' Dixon, realising that it was a mature gathering, selected music by Alton Ellis and several other Studio One artistes for the trip.
"It is a social event for the people who make business happen in Montego Bay. If there is an issue between two parties, for example, chances are that they can fix it without having to go through the court," Smith explained.
"If someone new comes into town, it would be advisable for that person to link up with a group like the Monday Club. Come eat, drink, socialise and network," Smith stated.
The Monday Club was formed more than 10 years ago by prominent Montego Bay businessman Ralph Smith (Fred's father), chairman of Tropical Tours, and William Craig, the late custos of St James and founder of Billy Craig Insurance Company.
David Holland (left) and Ken Radtke, partners of Archway Caribbean Information Business Records Management, talk over dinner on-board the Reggae Baby II.
Montego Bay businessmen Ralph Smith (left), chairman of Tropical Tours, and Lachu Ramchandani, in discussion during the evening cruise.
Accountants Peter Pearson and Tim Nurse (first and second left, respectively), of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Linley Reynolds, Scotiabank's Montego Bay branch manager, in discussion on-board the Reggae Baby II. Dr Marco Brown (second right) and Peter Williams, an accountant, are in their own conversation.