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Birmingham entrepreneur celebrates 30 years in travel

DIAMOND CUT: From left - Beverly Lindsay OBE cutting her cake with Lord Mayor Carl Rice and his wife Deed, Lady Mayoress (photo credit: Tony Brady)

A WOMAN who has held her own for three decades in the face of the world’s travel industry giants celebrated her 30th anniversary as one of Birmingham’s leading independent travel agents.

Beverly Lindsay OBE, OD, DL, marked her milestone serving the community in the world of travel during a Caribbean evening hosted by her own company Diamond Travel and Virgin Atlantic.

Seth George Ramocan, the High Commissioner for Jamaica in the UK, who was guest of honour, called Beverly, a former nurse and midwife and a true ‘diamond’ like the name of her company, which she founded in 1987.

Paying tribute, he said:

“Her earlier work in areas of service like her nursing where she had to care for people, to learn to work with people who needed her at the most crucial time – this taught her how to serve people.

“It was her early experience in nursing school serving others – not business school – that produced the diligence, hard work and excellent customer service that she has always offered at Diamond Travel.

CONGRATULATE: High Commissioner Seth George Samocan, centre, with Beverly Lindsay OBE, left of centre and the Diamond Travel team (photo credit: Tony Brady)

“When our lives are dedicated to serving others this can make us better people – and Beverly is a shining example of this. She is a stalwart of a woman who has made a name not only for herself, but for her whole community.”

Ramocan praised her work as chairman of the Association of Jamaican National (Birmingham) UK and her annual hosting of a gala awards night where local heroes are honoured.

He said:

“The way that Beverly has impacted on the lives of second, third and fourth generation UK Jamaicans – this is something too for us to celebrate. This is something that she has done alongside her business. She has managed to balance all this while serving the Jamaican UK community.”

Ramocan added that in this 55th year of Jamaican independence his mission was to publicly highlight the achievements within the Jamaican UK community which have benefited Britain.

Lord Mayor Carl Rice, who pointed out that he was elected as a Labour councillor to Birmingham City Council in 1987, the same year that Lindsay launched Diamond Travel, said:

“Beverly you are a fantastic ambassador for your community and this city is far better for your presence and for the people of Caribbean heritage.”

TRIBUTE: Beverly Lindsay OBE's son Dean Alexander paying tribute to his mother (photo credit: Tony Brady)

Lindsay, who had invited more than 400 guests to enjoy a Caribbean buffet at the H Suite in Birmingham, said:

“Thanks you so much for being here this evening. Yes, it’s been 30 years of hard labour! I’ve seen good times and bad. We’ve been through a few recessions and world disasters since 1987 but by some miracle we are still standing.

“I would like to thank the Almighty God for his goodness and his blessing, plus all the bishops and pastors who have supported me. Also my mother Lurline, who is here tonight aged 92, going on 60! Lastly and most importantly, I would like to thank my son Dean for his hard work and dedication – a big thank you for putting this programme together.”

She also thanked Virgin Atlantic for having the confidence in Diamond Travel to make them one of their preferred partners.

Earlier, there was a minute’s silence as a tribute to much-loved Jamaican folk singer Enid Rose Weir who died on March 25. A regular supporter of events, Beverly called her ‘my spiritual mentor,’ adding that they had had a much valued private friendship.

During the evening there were presentations from several travel industry giants including Virgin Atlantic, Sandals, the Barbados Tourist Board and Jamaica Tourist Board. There was also singing from Patricia Panton and limbo dancing from Itara Mason

A special presentation was made by Ken Ivey on the co-operative community project Our People Our Legacy (OPOL), which aims to raise funds to buy a building which the West Midlands’ African Caribbean community will own for themselves.

Beverly ended the evening announcing that today was Brexit day. She said:

“I’d like you to turn your thoughts to the Caribbean – remember that we are members of the Commonwealth.

“Britain built its wealth on the Caribbean – the Caribbean made Britain great, hence the name Great Britain, so don’t forget the Caribbean for your next holiday or investment. Walk good. God bless.”

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