Mayer Matalon is dead
ALTHOUGH SHOCKED at the death of his father, Joseph M. Matalon, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and chairman of the ICD Group of Companies, said he is confident the man who was his close friend was now at peace.
"He really had struggled for the last few months. It is very mixed emotions right now. On the one hand, it's a shock, but on the other hand, we have no doubt that he is now at peace and in a better place," said Matalon.
His father, prominent businessman Mayer Matalon, OJ, died yesterday at the age of 89 after ailing for some time.
Matalon said a heart attack in September 2010 led to his father's failing health. Last year, he suffered a stroke, and yesterday morning he had another stroke, which led to heart failure.
Describing his father as a man of very firm principles, who always felt his word was his bond, he said, "He set a wonderful example for his children. He was very very generous and very loving. I am grateful I had the opportunity to work with him for the last 25 years."
Milton Samuda, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, noted with sadness that Jamaica had lost an outstanding son.
"His contribution in building the ICD Group is the most outstanding of his many achievements. He has left a legacy of not just entrepreneurial excellence, but integrity with it, which many in our business community should emulate," said Samuda.
Douglas Orane, executive chairman GraceKennedy Ltd, described the senior Matalon as a wonderful example of how to live one's life as a businessperson and a patriot.
"I had the honour and pleasure to work with him in the business community for over 30 years. He was extremely entrepreneurial, far-sighted and the kind of individual who would invest in businesses he truly believed in, even if it involved considerable risk," he said.
Belief in Jamaica
Orane said he admired Matalon for his belief in Jamaica as a country and its development, which was evident through the investment the Matalon family made in the country.
The senior Matalon, who was once the chairman of the ICD Group of Companies, deputy chairman of the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica, chairman of the Jamaica Telephone Company (Telecommunications of Jamaica) and was also director of a number of companies, retired in 1997.
The Jamaica College old boy and former ambassador for special missions for Jamaica is survived by widow Sarita and five children.