It's now Godfrey Dyer Boulevard

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 15, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — St James Municipal Corporation has renamed Montego Bay's Sunset Boulevard Godfrey Dyer Boulevard in honour of respected hotelier and businessman.

Dyer indicated that at age 15, he fell in love with Montego Bay and wanted to relocate there on his first visit to the St James capital. But he could not convince his mother.

“The first time I came to Montego Bay I was about 15 years old. I was a countryman from Spaulding, Clarendon, never seen sea before, so I was excited. I came on a church excursion and I just fell in love with Montego Bay. I went back home and I said to my mother, I just love Montego Bay, I would love to live in Montego Bay. And, of course, she laughed at me. 'Not in your dreams could that be possible she responded',” Dyer recounted.

But, as fate would have it, Dyer, enlisted in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and was reassigned to St James and arrived in Montego Bay at 2:30 pm on October 3, 1963.

Speaking at the renaming ceremony, Dyer recounted that in 1972 he was “bitten by a little bug” and left the police force to get involved in a number of business ventures.

“I took a gamble fortunately, it paid off. I got involved in a number of things,” Dyer said.

He recounted that he got involved in villa management, general insurance, hotel operation, housing development, among other businesses.

“And I did reasonably well for myself,” said Dyer, now chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

He also served at the highest level in business and service organisations, becoming president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, as well as vice-president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

He also served as a Kiwanis president and lieutenant governor for northern Jamaica and Grand Cayman, governor of eastern Canada and 14 Caribbean islands; president of the Kiwanis International Foundation — headquartered in Indianapolis, Minnesota — with responsibility for Kiwanis in 90 countries across the world.

“It turned out, up to today, I am the only Jamaican to has held that position (president of the Kiwanis International Foundation) and the only non American,” Dyer revealed.

For his outstanding contribution to country and organisations, Dyer, who has been conferred with the Order of Jamaica for exceptional contribution to tourism, and who also received the JHTA's lifetime award and the highest honour by Kiwanis; however, he had no clue that a street could be named in his honour.

“All of these awards were somehow in the back of my mind. I felt one day maybe I would get them, but today (Thursday) it has never crossed my mind that a street could be named after me. It never crossed my mind,” he said.

Tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, who delivered the keynote address at the renaming ceremony, said that Dyer was deserving of the recent accolade.

“There can be no doubt that the decision of the St James Municipal Corporation to rename this Sunset Boulevard the Godfrey Dyer Boulevard meets any criteria that could be laid down. He is most deserving of the honour,” Bartlett stated.

He added: “It is also his record of service in both the public and private sectors, and his proven capability that resulted in him being appointed chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund for a second term.”

Mayor of Montego Bay and chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation Homer Davis said the decision to rename the street in Dyer's honour was unanimously supported by the 17 councillors in the St James Municipal Corporation.

“The St James Municipal Corporation is absolutely pleased that we are bestowing yet another honour on the Hon Godfrey G Dyer…our man for all seasons,” Davis said.

Dyer, now 81 years old, was very moved by the honour.

“I am simply elated, I am humbled. I will forever remember it. My children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will all remember it. And I want to say thanks to all of you,” he said.


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