Tribute to Mr Alistair ???Massey??? Green: A Tourist Industry Colossus (1927-2013)

admin Ministry News

??
The late Alistaire "Massey" Greene. (Photo compliments the Barbados Tourism Authority)

Alistair ???Massey’ Green was in a sentence a proud, outstanding Barbadian, an iconic figure in the tourism industry of this country.

When one does a 360?? information gathering of Alistair the consensus is clear.?? He was loyal, dependable, honest, generous, and self-effacing.

Born May 19, 1927, Alistair was a product of the ???University of Waterford’ where he picked up the nickname ???Massey’. He attended Combermere prior to its move to Waterford.

From there he delved into the world of work as a dental technician before moving onto journalism at what was Barbados’ leading newspaper the Barbados Advocate.

At the Advocate, the young Alistair distinguished himself as an agricultural reporter.?? His true calling however, was on the horizon and it summoned him in the late 1960’s.

Alistair joined the then Barbados Tourist Board headquartered at the old Marine Hotel.

Although he was probably unaware of it, Alistair epitomised Barbados’ shift from an agrarian society to a services oriented economy and society.

For the next four decades or so ???Massey’ went on to serve that institution with unparalleled devotion and stirring excellence.

He was often dubbed ???Mr. Tourism’; the Public Relations pioneer who gave us the pithy, and relevant slogan even to this day "Tourism is our Business; Let’s Play Our Part".?? This quintessential slogan, majestic in its simplicity, endures as a call to action even to today for sons and daughters of the soil who work and have worked to make tourism our number one foreign exchange earner.

Alistair played an important role in the birth and emergence of the Crop Over Festival.

The popular visitor incentive scheme – the Over 25 Visits Club had its genesis under ???Massey’s’ watch.

In 1982 he worked diligently on American President Ronald Reagan’s ???Working Holiday to Barbados’.

Reverend Sir Wes Hall and Mr. James Paul past and current M.P.’s for St. Michael West Central remember Alistair for his guidance, quiet yet firm manner, knowledgeable advice and dedication.?? He was a rare complete gentleman in the arena of politics.

Everyone associated with him in tourism described him as a gentleman too.??

The universal esteem with which Alistair was held reinforced the decision by the Hon. Richard Sealy, Minister of Tourism and International Transport to honour him with the Minister’s Special Commendation Award in 2009.

Although he touched too many lives in and out of Barbados to recount, his former colleagues, tourism stalwarts Pat Nehaul, former Director of Tourism and Levere Richards, Trade Unionist and long-standing, Barbados Board of Tourism/Barbados Tourism Authority Member, characterise ???Massey’ as "rock solid reliable".?? He was always prepared to go beyond the call of duty whether in the office, interacting with hospitality sector decision makers and personnel, or hosting visiting travel agents at functions long into the night.

Alistair loved the tourism industry and the tourism industry loved him. For the thousands of international travel agents, airline officials, tour operators and industry clientele he knew, down to the rank and file visitors he thanked for choosing Barbados, his calm disposition and ready smile was his signature.?? He worked closely with taxi drivers, hotel employees, ancillary service providers and front line workers among others, designing and arranging training courses for them.???? Alistair was the unanimous "go to" personality in the hospitality sector.?? He easily straddled the public sector, private sector divide of the industry.

As its first Public Relations Officer, then Public Relations Manager, he was dedicated to the Barbados Tourist Board, later renamed Barbados Board of Tourism. He wore the Board’s official uniform the blue blazer with the flying fish crest and white pants with a fervour and joy that resonated.

Alistair worked tirelessly to promote Barbados. His contemporaries remember him burning the midnight oil helping to prepare and pack stacks of collateral material for overseas promotion tours.

In his day promotion tours were a far cry from what they are now.?? Packing and transporting rows of boxes with heavy promotion brochures, posters, rum and give aways, etc. called for energy, sweat and long hours.?? He participated in many trade shows and conferences travelling overseas with tourism delegations.

In tourism, Alistair contributed like no other. He was also the recipient of the Barbados Service Medal. ??He also received numerous forms of recognition for his service to industry and country.?? He retired from the Barbados Board of Tourism in 1992.

Through all the adventures of life he remained committed to God.?? He travelled to Israel and was baptised at the River Jordan.?? Alistair was a fruitful member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church.??

This admirable Barbadian leaves to mourn his wife Linda, his three girls Dominicita, Adrine and Rosalind, nine grand children and eight great grand children.

For those of us who benefitted from his friendship, his wisdom, his reliability, his resolve and his smile, we say farewell and bon voyage Thou great son of the great island of Barbados.

The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport

Share this post with a friend...Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn