Mayer Matalon - Jamaica's 'chairman of the board'
The Matalon family wasn't immune, and over the years suffered some of the most vicious abuse, especially from
the lunatic Left during the same 1970s while the family served Jamaica in many ways. Turnbull Farms owned thoroughbred superstars Kandahar (by Mountain Music - Ski Run), Nicois (by British stallion, Nice Guy, out of the French mare, Rosie V) and the exciting 2000 Guineas winner Harlequin [by Mr FJC out of top-class imported mare... Gifted with natural speed, he was unbeaten in seven races as a two-year-old (1976), including the one-mile Jamaica Two Year Old Stakes. Mayer Michael Matalon was an original and Jamaica's chairman of the board. The creation of a family business empire was his life's work, but his work wasn't his life, nor was his life his work. and thereafter continued as chairman of the new merged entity Telecommunications of Jamaica Ltd, and then of Cable and Wireless until his 1998 retirement. One of 11 children born to Joseph Isaac Matalon and wife Florizel, Mayer grew up in a very modest home in Rae Town. It was a 'first' in every conceivable way and created real, affordable opportunities for civil servants, teachers, nurses, et al to own their own home. Harlequin was one of the best local-bred horses ever to race in Jamaica and unparalleled at up to a mile. Mona Heights was followed by Hope Pastures, Harbour View, Duhaney Park
and Hughenden, ensuring the Matalons' legacy of community is forever etched on Jamaica's landscape. He sat on the Bank of Nova Scotia (Jamaica) Board since 1966, serving as deputy chairman for many years until shortly before his death. The Matalons contributed more than their fair share to the Allied effort in World War II. Isaac Matalon served in the British Army in North Africa, rising to major. Upon returning home, they joined sister Pauline to form the first family business, Commodity Services Limited (CSL). Telecoms' solid foundation in Jamaica was achieved thanks to Mayer's invaluable guidance. Meanwhile, Jamaica lost a founding father and a man among men. He joined the Jamaica Telephone Company board in 1961. and ICD (born, like Jamaica, in 1962). It's an unfortunate fact that, in Jamaica, success often encourages envy. We imported the best bloodlines from Europe and bred the best to the best, resulting in a racing product second to none. Mona Heights was a self-contained town with its own road network (each road named for flowers). His name was Mayer Michael Matalon. The Matalons weren't the only Jamaican family targeted, but they seemed to be the bullseye at which most of the invective was aimed based on a widespread but uninformed belief that their success was, somehow, an unfair gift. West Indies Home Contractors. Mayer cast his influence far and wide, making his wise counsel available in several areas of national life. It might shock readers to know that Mayer Matalon had neither silver nor gold spoon thrust into his mouth at birth. During our 50 years of Independence, one man eclipsed all others in business and national development. Mayer Matalon was a leader in that effort. Harlequin finished fourth but, as it turned out, he lost no caste in defeat as the winner became another all-time great. a powerful diuretic and masking drug on most athletic prohibitive substances lists) and bute (phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), thus hiding genetic or conformation-related flaws which we blithely pass along to our current... It's a reflection of racing's current disconnect that, when Mayer died, no flag was lowered at Caymanas Park. "I've loved, I've laughed and. He invested his energies, spare time and gazillions of his personal dollars in this industry as a leading breeder (with his friend and trainer, Paul Newman, under the name Turnbull Farm) and owner (by himself. The sight of Harlequin in full flight leading that field of international champions past the stands for the first time with young Charlie Hussey, both feet on the dashboard, trying in vain to restrain him, will stay with me forever. Today, expediency trumps quality, so we import moderate American bloodstock who've lived their lives on lasix (furosemide. Family aside, his abiding love was horse racing, where his influence was also pervasive. led the 15-strong field comfortably for a long way, but was headed over two furlongs out first by Arizona and then by the eventual winner Legal Light. That first reality from that concept was a housing development named Mona Heights. There's no more fitting tribute to this Independence icon than the final verse of My Way , whose poignant lyrics, written by Jacques Revaux, Claude François, Gilles Thibaut and Paul Anka, say it all. Mayer was married to Sarita for 60 years and his devotion to her was total and complete. Like Mayer, neither it nor Frank has been equalled. And so it was that the Matalon dynasty had its unassuming origin in family togetherness. Jamaican turfites' 'glad bag bus' when, in 1977's Caribbean Classic, Harlequin produced a magnificent performance, despite finishing only eighth. Harlequin was voted 1977 Horse of The Year. From CSL's modest beginnings came forth iconic names like Homelectrix. As a three-year-old, he towered over his age group and made a mockery of the 2000 Guineas, but met his Waterloo in the Derby because of his inability to stay extended trips. Mayer served as civilian supply officer in Panama's canal zone. Joseph worked hard but wasn't a huge business success. Early in life, his children learned to work for whatever they needed. That loud grunt you hear is Mayer turning in his grave. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise and helped shape Mayer's lifetime philosophy. Adopting the simple principle that no amount of paperwork could improve upon an unpretentious handshake and a gentleman's clear-cut word of honour, Mayer rose from humble businessman to colossus. Like Cheers , in Mona, "everybody knows your
name". I've lived a life that's full. Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it. my way. As is the case with most successful businesses, this was, and is, hogwash. a major force in the 1970s bauxite negotiations which resulted in the priceless bauxite levy. The Matalons conceptualised the building of community that was so breathtaking in scope. a community centre with outdoor and indoor facilities for community meetings, sports and games. Soon, their brother, Aaron, who had been running their late father's business, came on board. Mayer was definitely multidimensional. Eli, subsequently a national security minister in Michael Manley's 1970s government
, was a pilot in the Canadian Air Force and flew a number
of bombing missions over Germany. and may I say, not in a shy way,. He was a friend and mentor to his son and four daughters and adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. and latterly with Pat Rousseau) and as chairman of the racing promoter. In those days, Jamaican breeding was among the world's most sought after. family man. My friend, I'll say it clear. This was a place where children could grow up. make age-appropriate friends. Also, there was a slight overreach, location-wise, named Caribbean Terrace. That's racing in the new millennium for you. And more, much more than this, I. did it my way. did it my way. and its own bus route (#22). blows and did it my way. And more, much more than this, I. did it my way. Arizona, second, also proved a top-class performer. In the early 1950s, the company moved into the pharmaceutical and construction industries from which it further expanded into importation of electronics and food supplies. three separate, spacious parks and recreational areas. CSL began from the very bottom as a distributor of products for local and overseas companies.