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JM | Jun 16, 2022

Honoured to have greatness thrust upon me, says Godfrey Dyer on UCC Doctorate

/ Our Today

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Godfrey Dyer

Tourism titan and businessman Godfrey Dyer has earned numerous national and regional awards, but his first from academia has brought him increased fulfillment for having served Jamaica for several decades.

Dyer, a celebrated hotelier and chair of several tourism bodies including the Tourism Enhancement Fund and a distinguished governor of the Kiwanis Movement in the Eastern Caribbean and Canada, is one of three eminent professionals to be conferred with the honorary doctoral degrees ( Honoris Causa) by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) at their graduation on July 17, 2022.

He is being honoured for his exemplary work in the hotel and hospitality sector along with Leighton McKnight, territory leader for PwC Jamaica and PwC Caribbean’s Leader for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Dr Sandra Reid, senior lecturer, Psychiatry, Deputy Dean, Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad.

” It has come as a surprise as there was never any indication of it being in the making. But, I am reminded that some are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

Godfrey Dyer, recipient of an honorary doctorate from the UCC

Expressing his pleasure at the UCC designation, Dyer said: “It truly is an honour to have been chosen by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean to be bestowed an Honorary Doctorate Degree. It has come as a surprise as there was never any indication of it being in the making. But, I am reminded that some are born great and others have greatness thrust upon them.”

He added: “This honour places me in the category of those having greatness thrust upon them and I am humbled by the thought. On reflection, I must believe that this honour is underlined by service to country and, in that light, I am pleased to accept it.”

The Worthington Avenue, St Andrew campus of the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) in Jamaica. (Photo: ucc.edu.jm)

Born in Spalding, Clarendon, Dyer served the Jamaica Constabulary Force ( JCF) for 13 years before resigning at the rank of detective corporal and venturing into private business- an insurance agency and a resort villa management company.

He bought the 16-bedroom Wexford Court Hotel and expanded the hotel to 66 rooms which he operated for more than 29 years.

He has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial and voluntary activities.

In 1983, he co-founded the Hot 102 radio station and served as its executive director for more than 25 years.

Ten years later, he co-founded Jamaica’s number one music festival, Sumfest, and served as its chairman for the first three years and thereafter as deputy chairman.

Dyer served as chairman of “National Hotels and Properties”, a government agency that operated in the 1980s, owning more than 19 hotels, including Holiday Inn, Royal Caribbean and Intercontinental.

Also in that same period, he actively supervised the operation of the Oceana Hotel in Kingston and the Mallards Beach in Ocho Rios.

Serving for two terms as president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) 1983 – 1984 and again 2003-2005, Dyer was instrumental in assisting the government in the setting up of the “Jamaica Retained Account“ credited with helping the Government for a number of years to stabilise the Jamaican dollar.

He was named JHTA Hotelier of the Year in 2002 and again in 2005 and is also a recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was president of the Montego Co-op Credit Union during the 1980s and again in the 1990s, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Jamaica and as vice president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica 1984.

His directorships have included The Jamaica Telephone Company, JAMPRO, Jamaica Credit Union League, Caribbean Hotel and Tourist Association, Jamaica Pegasus Hotel and Jamaica Tourist Board.

Dyer has achieved at the highest levels as a member of the Kiwanis International Movement and served in various capacities including as president of the Kiwanis Club of Falmouth and as Lieutenant Governor for Kiwanis in Northern Jamaica and Grand Cayman 1976. He is a past Governor for Kiwanis with responsibility for Eastern Canada and 14 other countries in the Caribbean and past president of the Kiwanis International Foundation— the only non-American to have held that position.

Godfrey Dyer

Dyer holds the National Award, Order of Jamaica, and CD for exceptional contribution to tourism, the Distinguished Lieutenant Governor, Kiwanis International Award, Distinguished Governor’s Award for leadership, the Robert F. Connelly Distinguished Award, Kiwanis International’s Highest Award, the St James Parish Award for service in Tourism, the Prime Minister’s Distinguished Award for Service in Tourism.

He also serves on several advisory boards of public and private sector entities.

UCC Honorary Doctorates have been presented previously over the past decade to Professor Errol Morrison, former president, the University of Technology; Bruce Bowen, former president and CEO, Scotia Bank Group; Dr Henry Lowe, executive chairman, Environmental Health Foundation; Richard Byles, former president and CEO, Sagicor Group; Gary Hendrickson, chairman and CEO Continental Bakery; Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Democratic Member of US House of Representatives; Dorothy Pine McLarty, chair of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica; Marlene Street Forrest, managing director, Jamaica Stock Exchange and posthumously to the late Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, founder of Sandals Resorts, the Jamaica Observer and ATL Ltd.

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