Mr Adrian Robinson — professional, patriot and first-class human beingThursday, September 02, 2021
Jamaica is blessed to have people with talent, a deep sense of patriotism, and entrepreneurial genius that combine to make this country a formidable force within the international community. One such individual was Mr Adrian Robinson, the former radio broadcaster as well as advertising and tourism executive who died Monday night at the age of 87.
His contribution to the growth and development of Jamaica is without question, for he excelled in his three core areas of service, especially in tourism during his tenure at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), first as director of tourism during the politically turbulent 1970s, and again as chairman many years later.
It is worthy of note that, despite the political turmoil that engulfed Jamaica during the time he led the JTB, Mr Robinson and his team were able to maintain the island's lure as a visitor destination, especially in our main supply markets.
We recall the JTB's 'Discover Jamaica' campaign, which he created to push domestic tourism and which, we are told by the current tourism minister, continues to influence the industry's domestic marketing programme to this day.
Older Jamaicans will also remember that it was Mr Robinson who, during a brainstorming session in Miami, came up with the name Sandals for the first hotel bought by the now late Gordon “Butch” Stewart. Mr Robinson, we suspect, must have looked on with pride as Sandals grew to become the world's leading luxury all-inclusive chain.
Mr Robinson's contribution to media was no less stellar, and he was known and admired for his talent as a broadcaster at both Radio Jamaica and the now defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. Indeed, we have Radio Jamaica to thank for sharing the following bit of commentary he delivered to listeners on the night of August 5, 1962 when, at midnight, Jamaica gained political independence from Britain:
“The lights are now out in the National Stadium. When they go on again the flag of Jamaica will fly on the flagstaff where just this moment the flag of Britain held sway. It is perhaps a symbolic thing that out of darkness we move to the light of Independence. From darkness to light, this is the moment of a nation's creation. And now the black, green and gold flag of Jamaica flies proudly from the flagstaff. The stadium really is jammed tonight, everyone anxious. And now that the moment has come, there seems to be an almost perceptible lull as people begin to wonder what next, and I suppose begin to look forward to the dawn tomorrow when everything will be different perhaps for many people.”
His venture into the advertising industry was equally superb and his founding of The Marketing Counselors Limited in 1978 was basically the icing on a life that met the highest standards of professionalism.
Throughout the years that we at the Jamaica Observer interacted with Mr Robinson we came to appreciate him not only for his proficiency in the industry but his decency, affable nature, and the respect he had for his fellow human beings. We found him to be a man who was sincere in his thoughts and acted with integrity.
We will miss Adrian Robinson, the epitome of marketing and advertising, a true son of the soil, and a man who was really a first-class human being.
Our condolence to his family, relatives, friends, and colleagues.