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Tourism pioneer Hugh Wavel Maitland-Walker was recently invested with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, for his outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in Jamaica.
Mr. Maitland-Walker, who was unable to attend the National Heroes Day function at King’s House on October 16, was presented with the national honour by Acting High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Sharon Saunders, at a special ceremony at the Princess Alice Hospice in Esher, Surrey.
The ceremony, which was attended by Mr. Maitland-Walker’s wife, Monica and five of his six children, featured a special tribute from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), which was read by Executive Director, Camille Needham.
The citation described him as an astute tourism entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian and dedicated family man. “He has consistently displayed a deep love for Jamaica and an unquestionable commitment to the welfare of its people. Hugh’s spirit of determination created a distinguished legacy, not only in various sub sectors of the hospitality industry, but also in agriculture. His extensive community work reflected his deep concern for the welfare and advancement of his fellow Jamaicans,” the citation said.
Special letters of congratulations from former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, Senator Noel Sloley and the Custos of St. Ann, R.O. Walters, were also read.
Mr. Maitland-Walker has had a distinguished career in the tourism sector, serving as Managing Director of the Shaw Park Hotel for 33 years, he created the tour and transportation company Tourwise, and owned the Annandale Estate.
He also assisted in bringing major charters to Jamaica including Apple Vacations, Funjet Vacations and Thomson Holidays.
Mr. Maitland-Walker was also a former vice president of the JHTA; past president of the Association of Jamaica Tour Operators; director of the St. Ann Development Company, the Kingston Cricket Club, the Jamaica Red Poll and Black Poll Breeders Association; a justice of the peace and a long standing patron of the Breadnut Hill Primary School.
Mr. Maitland-Walker and his wife expressed their appreciation for the national honour and said it was wonderful to be recognized. They also thanked the government, the High Commission and the JHTA for arranging the special investiture ceremony.