Mel. A. Harding - 1963 - 2021
We celebrate and give thanks for Mel’s life. We invite all who wish to do so, to say to or about Mel what he was to them. Please keep it short as there will be many. We will try to read as many as possible at the funeral. Kindly add your name and country.
MEL A. Harding 1963 – 2021
Mel was born on January 8, 1963 to Hyacinth Phillips (nee Harding) and the late Maurice Phillips. He grew up with his older brother Anthony and sisters Ann, Sonia, Marina and Deborah in the Bayland, where everyone loved him. He was affectionately called Peter by his family and close friends (another nickname he was given was “Pouchie”). Once “little Peter” outgrew his childhood asthma with the loving care of his mother he could hardly be kept indoors. He loved the sea, became a passionate surfer and could be found catching the early morning waves. All his siblings were avid readers and they enjoyed playing many games together. Mel was a thinker from very young and was extremely good at the game of Chess. He went to Bay Primary School, then on to Coleridge and Parry Secondary School and later earned several A-Levels at the A-Level Institute.
At 24 years old Mel lived an independent life as a free-lance cosmetologist and tenanted a house in St. Lawrence gap, where he met Denise Meier from Switzerland.
1987 Mel married Denise and a few months later they moved to Switzerland where they lived for a year. Mel improved his German language skills and when they moved back to Barbados, he found employment as activities host at the famous Sam Lord’s Castle Hotel.
1989 Mel and Denise became the owners and resident managers of “Rio Guest House” in St. Lawrence gap and jointly worked on the improvement of their new business, where they welcomed budget travelers from all over the world.
1989 their first son, Jermaine-Alexander was born and Mel was overjoyed to become a father.
To gain extra income he started working at Hotel Divi Southwinds and became one of the best time share sales executives on the island. However, he spent every free minute with his young family and continued to assist his wife with the management of and improvements to their guest house. In a very short time Mel had developed many valuable skills in different fields and left a lasting impression on colleagues and visitors alike, with his beautiful character, his incomparable conflict resolution skills and his winning smile.
1993 Mel and Denise’s second son, Jamar-Angelo was born and the small family was complete and incredibly happy.
Mel was a devoted father and husband, spent all his free time with his family and always made sure, they had everything they needed. He always put his own wishes last. His hobbies then were playing with his sons, buggy-boarding and swimming with his sons and wife, Tennis and the full-contact sport Kempo Karate, practiced by the whole family.
1993 Mel formed, together with 2 partners, the first recycling company on the island called “Envirotech”. He was the managing director and started shaping the company and its possibilities. He employed over 25 people and they recycled glass, plastics, newsprint, paint solvents, automotive tires and batteries and old cooking oil and under Mel’s management the company flourished and grew quickly. Recycled materials were sent as far as China. Mel visited many schools and lectured about the importance and the possibilities of recycling. He also had several TV appearances to inform and teach the public about Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. He had great plans and ideas and tried his best to get the government on board.
From 1995 to 2002 Mel held many meetings, wrote several detailed proposals, made analyses & predictions and tried his at-most to encourage the government to adopt better practices regarding waste management. No matter which party was in power, now matter which Minister of health in charge, Mel contacted and met them all and never gave up hope.
What happened then was strange to say the least and it came as a wake-up call as to business practices here. Mel and his partners were offered a tempting business deal by one of the large business conglomerates of the island. But because they also demanded majority shares of the company, Mel and his partners refused the offer. Soon after, many things changed and by 2004 Mel was forced to close his business and seek employment again.
2005 Mel was back in the timeshare sales business as he was offered a position as the Sales Manager at the Jolly Harbour Resort in Antigua. But after full-filing his contractural obligations, he moved back to Barbados as he missed his family too much.
He found employment at the famous Crane Resort, first in the timeshare & property sales department and then throughout the years as Manager of many other departments. He became familiar with the whole resort operation and left his mark wherever he was involved. With his amazing skills, knowledge and human qualities he quickly became a friend, colleague and mentor to many and he was an outstanding and dedicated hotel manager. Always punctual, always willing to help, always kind and patient and always leading by example. That was Mel!
After making sure that his sons and wife had everything, he was preparing to finally full-fill his dream to visit Africa. His hobbies now were surfing, studying the bible & old scriptures and researching everything about Africa.
Mel was a very strong and healthy man and after a normal working day at the Crane, he went to bed on August 31, 2021 without any complaints. In the early morning hours of September 1st, he had his first seizure, which came as a great shock to his wife. He was quickly admitted by ambulance to the emergency department. Tests confirmed that he had bleeding in the brain and after almost 3 days in hospital care, Mel passed away, shortly after midnight of September 3rd, 2021.
Mel had an incredible mind and perfect memory and we are eternally grateful that he shared so much of his knowledge with us. He passed on his wonderful skills & qualities to his sons, Jermaine-Alexander now aged 32 and Jamar-Angelo now 28. Mel has tried his best to make the world a better place and we will carry on his work.
A true King on earth, we will love and honor him forever and it comforts us to know that he can now rejoice in the shadow of the wings of The Most High.
Relatives and friends may pay their respects at Downes & Wilson Funeral Home on Sunday, 19th September, 2021 from 3 – 5 pm. The service will be held on Monday, 20th September, 2021 at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, The Ridge, Christ Church, where friends can pay their last respects 2-3pm and invited relatives and friends are asked to meet at 3pm for graveside service followed by interment.
Thursday 1st January 1970
Mel was born to Hyacinth Phillips (nee Harding) and the late Maurice Phillips on January 8, 1963. He grew up with his older brother Anthony and sisters Ann, Sonia, Marina and Deborah in the Bayland, where everyone loved him. He was affectionately called Peter by his family and close friends and another nickname he had was “Pouchie”. Mel loved the outdoors and later became an avid surfer. All his siblings were keen readers and they enjoyed playing games together. Mel was a thinker from very young and was extremely good at the game of Chess. He went to Bay Primary School, then on to Coleridge and Parry Secondary School and later earned several A-Levels at the A-Level Institute.
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