by Linda Straker
- Cabinet of Ministers have agreed to an official funeral for Sir Royston Hopkin
- All public buildings to fly national flag at half-mast
- Adopted Grand Anse RC School in 1992 and establish a scholarship fund
The Cabinet of Ministers has agreed that hotelier Sir Royston Hopkin who died on Saturday in Trinidad, will be afforded an official funeral for his contribution towards the tourism sector and overall development of the country.
In the British Commonwealth, an official funeral is a public funeral ceremony held to honour people of national significance. As part of the protocol, all public buildings, especially police stations, must fly the national flag at half-mast. Police stations began flying the flag at half-mast on Tuesday, 25 February 2020.
Sir Royston, who was the owner and chairman of Spice Island Beach Resort, not only invested in the tourism sector, but as a philanthropist, he adopted the Grand Anse RC School in 1992 and was one of the first Grenadians to establish a scholarship fund for needy children. Every year he gave a minimum of 15 secondary education scholarships to needy students of that school. Since the establishment of the fund, more than 200 students have received scholarships.
In the late 1990s, he collaborated with the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG) and the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), where members of both entities got the opportunity to enjoy the tourism product at his hotel through weekend stays. He hosted 200 teachers and their spouses at his resort. He has also worked with the GUT and the Ministry of Education to enlighten educators about the tourism industry. “This initiative with MWAG provided first-hand knowledge which contributed to members having a better understanding of the hospitality sector,” said a statement of tribute from the association to Sir Royston.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in December 1994 bestowed upon him the “Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George” (CMG) for his contributions to Grenada and Caribbean tourism. In her New Year’s Honours list in December 2004, Her Majesty elevated his rank to that of Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG).
Sir Royston was internationally known for his industry knowledge and served in many positions. He was the former Chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST), the largest private-sector sustainable organisation in the region. He was an Honorary Director of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Honorary Director of the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Queen Elizabeth Home for Children.
Sir Royston who was 75, is survived by his wife Betty – Lady Hopkin – and has 3 children: Ryan, Nerissa and Janelle.