Janet Silvera • Senior Gleaner Writer
HE HAS formed more than 50 companies in his lifetime, all offering value to the Jamaican people while at the same time providing employment and aiding national development.
Antony 'Tony' Hart, retired chairman of the Hart Group of Companies, will tonight become the first person from western Jamaica to be inducted into the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's Hall of Fame at the organisation's 21st annual banquet at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston.
Today, some of the people whose lives Hart has touched over the years speak about the philanthropic businessman who has sacrificed over the years to contribute to nation building.
Kevin Hendrickson, hotelier
Tony Hart is someone who is constantly trying to help to find solutions to enhance the lives of others. He is very innovative in terms of trying to move forward. Everything he has chaired has grown, such as the Doctor's Cave Bathing Club, the Montego Bay Yacht Club, and the Montego Freeport, which has had tremendous growth under his watch.
I cannot remember anything Tony has started that he has not had a success with, which is very rare. His is a proven track record of success. His story has been quite outstanding. And he is always offering recommendations, in terms of identifying areas that need to be improved in terms of moving forward.
Chris Tufton, Senator
Tony Hart is a visionary, he is very pragmatic about his approach to life and to business and, as a consequence, has found solutions to everyday challenges faced by Jamaicans through his entrepreneurial activities and public service.
I have found him to be a good friend, who has provided good counsel to me. He has played a significant role in helping to mould the lives of young people in this country.
Michele Rollins, chairman, Rose Hall Development
Tony Hart's loyalty and dedication to Jamaica goes far beyond the business sector that he is involved in. The creation of Montego Bay Freeport, the recreation of Doctor's Cave Beach, and Falmouth, where he shaped the restoration of the Baptist Manse, which has become a restoration school teaching several at-risk youths. Beyond the business sector he has been involved in the disbursement of scholarships for schoolchildren.
Jason Henzell, hotelier, Jake's Treasure Beach
Tony Hart is my mentor. I had the privilege of working with the Hart Group of Companies in Grand Cayman in the late '80s and in the early 1990s in Montego Bay.
He inspired me to be an entrepreneur to join my mother and expand Jake's Treasure Beach. What is incredible about Tony is that he had a vision for Montego Bay and developed it into what has become one of the most desirable real estates in the country. He is very witty, has a keen sense of humour, and is a committed family man.
Anthony Taylor, principal, St Mary's Prep, Montpelier, St James
Tony Hart is a genuine philanthropist, a true believer in education. He gives without asking for much. He is a community builder, he looks out for the less fortunate, that's one of his hallmarks. His greatest satisfaction is giving to the most vulnerable in the society.
Patricia 'Cerlyn' Lynch, cook, worked with Tony Hart for 30 years
He is one in a million, both he, his wife Sheila, and the entire family. I started working with them as a day's worker 30 years ago. That moved into permanent employment, which has resulted in my children getting good schooling with his help. Two of my children are employed to his son, Mark Hart.
He is very easy to please, in relation to what he eats. He is not fussy. He is very respectful and is not a slave driver. He likes honesty, and will look you straight in the eyes and say, 'the only thing I don't like is a liar and a thief'. We do things to please him, not to hurt him.