Altamont Court founder gets emotional farewell

BY KELSEY THOMAS
Observer reporter

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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FAMILY members, loved ones and well-wishers on Saturday bade farewell to Terence “Terry” Jarrett, founder of the Altamont Court Hotel, at an emotional funeral service Saturday at Stella Maris Catholic Church in St Andrew.

Jarrett died at age 81 after a short illness.

Close friend Carlton Ferguson recalled Jarrett's life and achievements, comparing him to civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr who, like Jarrett, he said, “had a dream”, noting his service to Jamaica as a hotelier and the Order of Distinction award bestowed on him.

However, Ferguson noted that the greatest thing about Jarrett wasn't his achievements nor business endeavours but instead his love for people.

“Terry had a big heart and an abundance of love for everyone he met,” Ferguson said in his tribute.

Classifying Jarrett's love as agape, Ferguson said “That's who Terry was to me, and the Terry I will emulate, celebrate, and memorialise.”

He ended his tribute with a recitation of Mary Elizabeth Fyre's poem, Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep, and the reading of Isaiah 41:10.

Jarrett's grandchildren also gave tributes, describing their grandfather as a mogul, pioneer, and visionary.

“According to the Oxford dictionary, a grandfather is the father of one's mother or father, but Terence Jarrett was so much more than that,” said Saige Jarrett, who led the tribute along with Phoenix Jarrettt.

“He focused on the future, a future filled with ideas that he made into reality,” read the tribute.

The Jarretts owned and operated a 58-room hotel in Kingston — Altamont Court — and a 31-room hotel in Montego Bay — Altamont West — for decades.

Along with a 2008 Observer Business Leader nomination for their achievements as a family business, in 2012 Jarrett announced he was taking his first step towards branching out into managing non-owned properties.

“Our grandpa didn't stay in the shadows of the world; he always did what he set out to do,” Saige added.

Dr Douglas McDonald, in delivering the remembrance, noted that the kind tributes at the ceremony itself were sincere expressions of love and affection for Terence Jarrett and his family.

He described Jarrett as a friend and brother, but pointed out that his passing was a reminder of the “certainty of death and of the uncertainty of its hour of visitation”.

He added: “It is a lesson in how we should live and how we should die. In those aspects, Terence Amos Alexander Jarrett was a master of the craft,” McDonald told mourners.

The first lesson was read by Jarrett's son, Terence Jarrett Jr, and the second by grandson Jason Jarrett.

Throughout the mass, the Stella Maris Steelband performed along with the choir, while soloist Kevin Williams sang The Holy City.


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