Tributes have come in from different quarters for John Henry Smith, the chairman of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance who was murdered at his Maraval home on Friday.
Maritime Financial Group’s management in a statement said that the company was “devastated” by his death.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sense of loss that we make this post tonight (Friday). We are devastated to announce the passing of John Henry Smith, the current Chairman of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance,” Maritime Financial Group’s statement said.
The statement added that Smith was a “true patriarch” and stalwart of the Maritime family. He served for almost 50 years as an accountant, financial controller, head of Marketing, chief executive and chairman.
“Because of John, we at Maritime are who we are today. He was a fanatic for service, a believer in people, stickler for time; but moreover someone who was larger than life. Beyond business, John was actor, playwright, musician, singer and ‘mas man’. ”
The statement quoted Smith’s words: “…my whole philosophy in life has always been that there is only one purpose to life and that is to enjoy life and living. It is not money, it is not power. It is simply to have a good time.”
Maritime Group expressed confidence that he enjoyed a full life.
Retired public relations consultant Neil Giuseppi in a Facebook post said Smith was “well respected” in all the companies he worked at over the years.
“John was an insurance expert and a well-respected manager at all the companies with which he was involved over the years. I had the pleasure of working alongside him for several years in the early 2000s when my company was contracted by Maritime to handle Public Relations services on the company’s behalf.”
Giuseppi also said beyond their professional relationship, Smith was a “dear friend” for many years. “He was also a Producer and some of his musical productions were truly world-class. His production of THE KING AND I will always stand out in my mind as one of the best T&T has ever seen. This country has lost a titan.”
He added that Smith made an “indelible mark” on the world and expressed condolences to his family.
“JOHN HENRY SMITH, go now to meet your maker and to sit forever at his feet. You have made an indelible mark in this world and your various contributions will live on long after your physical being is no longer with us. Condolences to your family and friends, especially those in the insurance and theatre communities.”
Entertainer Karen Eccles also posted a tribute on her Facebook page on Smith’s passing.
“When it rains it pours. Why? Why? Why? So many years working and singing together. You were a friend indeed…whenever I needed a friend. You gave me reasons to fulfil my purpose…you appreciated my talent as a singer and pushed me when I wanted to give up. You ensured that I always remembered that my best was all you expected and was willing to accept from me. Why John?…why?”
Smith’s Facebook post
In a Facebook post dated February 1, John Henry Smith urged people to stay out of his private business. In the post he wrote:
To all those maccos, detractors, nay-sayers and false “friends”
My love of my life, my heartbeat…
You have made it your business to continuously repeat false statements and accusations, all of which are unfounded.
I have been off Facebook for these reasons.
I will set the record straight
I have been courting…for well over two to three years and as a very private person, this was my business and no concern to others.
Our close relationship commenced in September 2019 when she accepted me as her one and only true love, as I did her.
I knew I met the person of my dreams and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
It was then and only then that our relationship was made public…
Unlike what you may think and do say, we did not force-ripened overnight romance but a well-developed relationship that WILL LAST A LIFETIME.
Now that record is precisely clear, I say to you all, “Go to Hell with your negative statements.”
Sticks and stones daybreak our bones but words would never break our LOVE.