ONE of the icons of Fiji's tourism industry and philanthropist Richard Sydney Smith has died. He was 81.
Widely known as Dick Smith, the founder of the prominent getaway Musket Cove Island Resort died peacefully at his home on Malolo Lailai yesterday, surrounded by his family and friends.
A notice from his family has however, yet to release the details of the funeral. "He will be remembered with much love and devotion from all of us at Musket Cove," a notice from his family said.
Long time colleague and hotelier Dixon Seeto last night, on behalf of his other colleagues, paid his respects to a man he regarded as one of his mentors in his hotel career.
"He (Dick) was highly regarded by his peers and colleagues in the tourism industry, an icon and one of the pioneers in the early days of the tourism industry and saw it through to what it is today.
"He was very generous with information, and he was very active in all aspect of the industry," Mr Seeto said.
He also acknowledged his generosity — helping children and the community at large in whatever way he could — like building schools for kids and supporting the set up of a dialysis centre in the west for kidney patients, among others.
"His passing will be a sad loss to the tourism industry," Mr Seeto said.
Following Dick Smith's arrival into Fiji in September 1959 has seen the construction of schools, and also the birth of some now well known resorts and tourism operations like Stardust Cruises, Plantation Island Resort and Castaway Resort.
He also obtained visionary and lifetime awards for his service and also served in various tourism bodies.
Among this, he was the president and lifetime member of the Fiji Hotel Association, chairman of trustees for the Fiji Excellence in Tourism Awards, president and member of the Mamanuca Hotel Association, founding member of the Fiji Tourism Council, and also served as a board member and then as president of the Fiji Visitors Bureau.
Dick Smith is survived by his wife Carol and his family Josephine, Will and Margie.