Local rum cake king receives Jamaican honour

| 18/08/2010

(CNS): Captain Robert Hamaty, founder and managing director of the Tortuga Rum Company, has been named a recipient of Jamaica’s 2010 National Honour of the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD). The recognition announced on Jamaica Independence Day, was conferred by the Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen, for Captain Hamaty’s service in to tourism & hospitality and manufacturing. “This is a great honor and I am deeply touched by this recognition,” Hamaty who lives in the Cayman Islands said.

The Ceremony of Investiture will be held at King’s House on Jamaica’s National Heroes Day, Monday 18 October.
Born in Jamaica, Hamaty began his career in aviation becoming the youngest airline captain, flying for Air Jamaica at age 24. Captain Hamaty joined Cayman Airways in 1978. While working there, he and his wife Carlene started the Tortuga Rum Company in 1984 to introduce the first Cayman Islands rums to appeal to the growing tourist and cruise passenger business. A few years later they opened the first Tortuga duty free liquor store and Carlene (nee Jackson, from the district of Savanna) began making Tortuga Rum Cakes from her generations old family recipe and aged Tortuga Gold Rum.
Today, the company has become the largest duty free and retail liquor business in Grand Cayman, with franchise bakeries in Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas. Tortuga Rum Cakes are the #1 export of the Cayman Island, shipped to 70 countries worldwide, and a major gift and souvenir throughout the Caribbean.
Among his many honors, Hamaty was named 2001 Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year in Trinidad and was recognized in the field of tourism, hospitality and manufacturing for his “innovative business strategy” in creating a unique success story. He served as the Jamaican Honorary Consul for the Cayman Islands for 16 years. He and his wife Carlene were recognized in 2008 with the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Culinary Excellence” at the Jamaica Observer Food Awards in Kingston Jamaica.
 Hamaty has served as chairman of the Cayman Islands’ Port Improvement and Beautification Committee from 2001 to 2004 and is a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Cruise Tourism (ACT). He also is a founding member of both the Jamaican and Cayman Airline Pilots Association. He currently serves on the Cayman Islands Tourism Advisory Board (TAC).
He was educated at Jamaica College (1958-1964) and the Embry Riddle Aeronautical Institute, Daytona Beach, Florida (1965-1966). He has two grown children, son Basil, a first officer for Cayman Airways and his daughter, Monique Simmonds. She and and her husband Marcus run the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, handling worldwide distribution, mail order, food service and online sales from Miami, Florida.    
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Local News

About the Author ()

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. livingcayman says:

    Congradulations Captain Hamaty and family.