Maritime industry stalwart awarded OD

Friday, October 12, 2018

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RUEL Constantine O'Solavan Gibson, justice of the peace, has been made a member of the Order of Distinction in the rank of officer (OD) for his sterling service to the maritime industry.

Gibson entered the industry in 1972 after spending some time in the public service. He joined the management team of Newport Warehousing Ltd (customs bonded warehouse, freight consolidators and forwarders) as warehouse manager and soon after became its executive director, a position he held for eight of the 10 years he spent there.

During this period, Gibson attended a number of management courses and related disciplines having to do with the maritime industry, transportation and logistics.

He represented his company at various fora, locally and abroad, and served on the managing committee of the Shipping Association of Jamaica on several occasions.

In 1982, Gibson decided to start his own enterprise, XARS Equipment & Trucking Co Ltd, dealing with container/heavy haulage, commercial warehousing, freight consolidating and forwarding.

The seemingly strange name of the business was linked to his family in every way.

“The name of the company actually represents the first initials of my family: son, Xan; wife, Adris; and of course, Ruel; and my other son Sheldon,” Gibson told JIS News.

Starting a business can be a daunting venture, even at the best of times, and Gibson's case was no exception.

“It was very challenging. Imagine leaving what was then a rewarding engagement to take up what would be quite a challenge and a drastic pay cut to boot. However, it turned out to be quite satisfying after all,” Gibson pointd out.

“It's never about how many times you fall, but that each time you find the strength to get back up and continue to persevere,” he added.

Gibson acknowledged that along the way he received valuable support from others.

“That's why my motto is: 'Be your brother's keeper'. I didn't make it all on my own, hence I want to always be able to give support to those who genuinely need it,” he said.

“I believe that most people, given the opportunity and assistance, would do quite well for themselves and others,” he added.

Gibson served as president of the Port Trailer Haulage Association on three separate occasions spanning 17 years, and continues to be a director on its board. This has taught him the importance of continuity amidst change, which he is implementing in his own enterprise.

“I have already delegated a number of my functions. Additionally, my son is being prepared to take over from me. I believe in succession planning. This should always be looked at in a positive way,” he said.

Gibson said he is heartened by the award, which has taken him by surprise.

“When I received a congratulatory call from a friend early on Independence Day (August 6) in relation to this award, I went to the newspaper and was, in fact, flabbergasted to see my name among those who were being so honoured,” he said.

“We are going to huddle with family, friends and colleagues,” Gibson tells JIS News.

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