Harbour Street craft vendors pay tribute to ‘Butch’

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Members of the Harbour Street Craft Traders Association on Wednseday paid tribute to hotel mogul Gordon “Butch” Stewart during a brief ceremony at the Harbour Street Craft and Cultural Village in this resort city.

A condolence book was also opened by the association in tribute to the late business mogul.

Melody Haughton, president of the Harbour Street Craft Traders Association, said despite a downturn in business due to the impact of the novel coronavirus on the tourism industry, her group will always be grateful for the support given to the craft industry by Stewart.

“This venture is certainly to say thanks to somebody who has considered us in the past. He is no longer with us, but we are showing our gratitude. We are not going to be ungrateful even though things are not up for the craft sector right now, but we are looking at the bigger picture going forward,” Haughton said.

“Some vendors seem not to remember the days when each minute we look, there was a Sandals bus driving in this place [and] supplying us with business. Some of us will remember going on his property and being treated well,” she added.

Haughton said the support given by Stewart and the Sandals properties assisted in the provision of food and education for their children.

“Some of us will remember that the earnings from being on his property have helped our children to be better men and women of today and with those attributes, I personally stand today to say, thank you, Sandals; thank you, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, walk good,” said Haughton.

Audrey Purthass, secretary of the association, who pointed to the support Stewart gave to the vendors’ back-to-school treat for children, is optimistic that the support from Sandals will continue.

On a lighter side, one vendor referred to Stewart as her “lover boy”, claiming he was “a down-to-earth man” who even danced with her during the renowned Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival which was in 2009 renamed Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival.

Stewart, the chairman of Sandals Resorts International, died on Monday night. He was 79.



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