We will miss Mr Harry Maragh


We will miss Mr Harry Maragh

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

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Easily, three of the people who paid tribute to Mr Harriat Pershad “Harry” Maragh on Monday captured his persona best.

“In light of his tremendous achievements, a notable hallmark of his leadership was his humility, which underpinned his inclusive style of leadership,” said Professor Gordon Shirley, The Port Authority of Jamaica president and CEO.

“A humble man, who never forgot his modest roots, Harry was one of those persons of whom it could be said that 'He walked with kings, but never lost the common touch,' ” stated Mr Grantley Stephenson, deputy chairman, Kingston Wharves Limited, who was a friend of Mr Maragh for more than 35 years.

Mr Trevor Riley, chief executive officer of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), who shared a very close relationship with Mr Maragh, put it thus: “He was also the standard for humility…a man from very humble roots who reached the pinnacle of personal success, but who was truly able to walk with kings and maintain a common touch.”

That is the Harry Maragh that this newspaper came to know and respect. But, even more, we admired him for his industry, fixity of purpose, and unwavering commitment to Jamaica.

Mr Maragh, whose sudden death on Sunday shocked people in this country and, indeed, abroad, spent his life in the shipping industry making an immense contribution to Jamaica's economic development.

A look at his career reveals that and more. After joining Lannaman and Morris in 1977, Mr Maragh, by dint of hard work and a passion to succeed, moved steadily up the ranks, being promoted to sales representative, sales manager, general manager, and managing director within a 10-year period.

When the owners of the company decided to retire, Mr Maragh — a man whose very essence, we are told, was optimism — bought the firm and thereafter set out on what was his life's mission to expand the business, bringing Jamaica economic benefit in the process.

At the time of his passing, Lannaman and Morris was the agent for Evergreen Shipping Line, as well as some of the world's major cruise lines, among them Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America, Norway Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Aida Cruises — all which, before the novel coronavirus outbreak, brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to Jamaica each year.

We note that in 2019 when the SAJ marked its 80th anniversary and fittingly honoured Mr Maragh — who had served as president from 2003 to 2006 — it made much of the fact that it was during his tenure that Assessment Recoveries Limited was established to honour the association's commitment to provide improved services to its members.

Assessment Recoveries Limited, the SAJ noted, has proved instrumental in improving the turnaround time for equipment used by the lines, improving the collection of assessed charges, and providing a source of revenue for the SAJ.

That, added to Mr Maragh's many other achievements, earned him the respect of his colleagues. But we have no doubt that his constant display of humanity was also a significant trait that endeared him to the people with whom he worked and those who worked for him.

Mr Maragh, we hold, was one of a rare breed of people who, while carrying the weight of very competitive business had the ability to extend the milk of human kindness to others.

He was indeed a gentle soul and savvy entrepreneur.

That we will miss him greatly is not in doubt. But we take comfort in our belief that he is now called to higher service.

Our condolence to his family, friends, and associates.

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