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Retiring honorary consul honored for years of service to Jamaican community Cayman Islands

CAYMAN ISLANDS – Jamaica’s first Honorary Consul to the Cayman Islands, Captain Robert Michael Hamaty retired last December, after 16 years of service to that community.

Following his appointment in March 1992, to be Jamaica’s first Honorary Government Representative in the Cayman Islands, the first such Honorary Consular office was then officially opened later, in November of that year.

At a recent farewell reception, in Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths paid tribute to Captain Hamaty expressing appreciation for the sacrifice and service with which he carried out his mandate in the Cayman Islands protecting Jamaica’s nationals and representing those interests to the governmental authorities of the Cayman Islands.

In recognition of his ‘selfless dedication and leadership to Jamaica and her Diasporic community in the Cayman Islands”, the Consul General presented Captain Hamaty with a proclamation on behalf of the Government of Jamaica. The Honorary Consulate serves a large population of Jamaican nationals resident across the region.
According to Mrs. Griffiths, an appointment for replacement is to be announced shortly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

The Consul General in acknowledging the invaluable work of the Consular staff team providing additional support, and singled out Ms. Elaine Harris, who serves as Honorary Vice Consul for yeoman service. Mrs. Griffiths stated that the commitment of the staff was also testament of their dedication in taking an active interest in helping our Jamaican nationals in various ways.

These persons, she continued interface on social, trade and consular issues, providing guidance on the pulse of the community.

Cayman Islands is but one of several Honorary Consular offices in the Caribbean under the jurisdiction of the Jamaican Consulate General in Miami which also has responsible for the thirteen Southern States of the USA. The others are Bahamas n the Eastern Caribbean, and in the Southern United States, Atlanta, Georgia and Houston, Texas.

In praising the efforts of Captain Hamaty, Mrs. Griffiths said that “the Jamaican community in the Cayman Islands have been well served by the by a man who distinguished himself not only in the consular sphere, but in entrepreneurship, commerce, manufacturing and tourism.”

Captain Hamaty in partnership with his wife, Carlene, have created a unique success story in the establishment of Tortuga Rum Company since 1984. A few years later, they opened the first Tortuga duty free liquor store and introduced the now world famous Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake, the number one export of the Cayman Islands.

Today, the company is Grand Cayman’s largest duty free and retail liquor business with 18 locations and three bakeries. The cakes – in several varieties and flavored with rum are exported to 70 countries around the world. The success of the family run business has impacted positively on the development of the Cayman economy.

Also in attendance at the reception was the Governor of the Cayman Islands, His Excellency, Hon. Stuart Jack, who also honored Captain Hamaty for his commitment to the development of the Jamaican Diaspora and his innovative spirit to the growth of that area.

Among his many honours, Captain Hamaty was named 2001 Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year, recognized for his innovative business strategy in the field of tourism, hospitality and manufacturing. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Association for the Advancement of Cruise Tourism (ACT), a Caymanian organization promoting the growth of the tourism industry there.

An airline by profession, Captain Hamaty began his career with Air Jamaica becoming the youngest captain, and then on to Cayman Airways, where he rose to the rank of chief pilot. Health problems forced him to retire from commercial flying in 1990 at which time he devoted himself to his business endeavour.

Also in attendance were Mrs. Hamaty and their two children, Basil and Monique and their families,

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