There is no shortage of spectacular places on this planet. Natural wonders that only Mother Nature could have created. Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone has been thrilling people for many years. Niagara falls with it's powerful display of turbulent cascading water. The Grand Canyon, Mount Everest or perhaps something simple as a golden sunset. We stand and view all these
sights and often times, we are made to feel quite small by comparison. We may not always have the words to express how this makes us feel. Beauty and grandeur. All around the globe. We simply stand in silence as we take in all that nature has put forth. People have written great literary works that have only enhanced the already awesome spectacle. Others have captured the scenes with glorious paintings, vibrantly represented on canvas. Still others have composed works of musical artistry that tell their own story.
I walked amongst the splendid giant redwood trees that may be a thousand years old and marveled at the solemnity that I felt. Looking up at these magnificent pillars can only make us gaze in amazement. Silent. Powerful. Inspiring. Humbling.
Then there are the creations that mankind has built. No less inspiring. A huge skyscraper that started out ;as just an idea in some one's mind. Some sketches on a piece of paper that eventually were turned into viable structures that house businesses or living quarters or museums. The
was one mans tribute to a woman he loved. The
creation of a huge damn, holding back millions of tons of water. Then we harnessed that unlimited power. If someone can think it up, someone else can probably make it.
I stood inside the walls of
Dame Cathedral with its
and architecture that was born out of one persons mind. It
all I could do to stand silently,
every corner of the building and be amazed. When visiting the Louvre, I found one glorious sight after another. From the dark colors of a Rembrandt to the Mona Lisa to the statue of David. All these great works of are have been offering their beauty for centuries. Each had an intensity and
that all began in the mind of a single individual.
There was another individual that had a dream, had an image that on one else before him had though about. His name was Abraham
, who, along with his farther, Elias Abraham, born on May 29, 1876, left their homeland of
Palestine, to come to America. They
going to attend the
Fair in Chicago. It was March 1893.
structures which housed the main exhibitions,
several walkways where
vendors displayed their wares. It was there that
Abe and his father had a stall selling rosaries, altar of roses, altar cloths and other
from the Holy land. They did not do so well in this venture. The space was expensive and not well situated since they had stopped in Italy and France along the way and arrived to find the most desirable booths already rented or sold. They lost a great deal of money. Then father and son moved on to the mid-winter fair at
where they broke even on their trading.
Their next stop was to be New York. And from there they planned to take their goods to
. Elias had been there in 1888.
purchased their goods for the voyage.
, table cloths and other dry goods only to learn that new duties had been imposed which would make their journey unprofitable. Now they had a problem and didn't know what to do. Just by chance, Elias happened to go into Palestinian tobacconist who spotted him as a fellow countryman. He told the senior
about an island of
where he had
to the Great International Exhibition of 1891. Many visitors to the exhibition had come from the Middle East and decided to stay on. Most
in Lebanon with others from
in Syria and
The father son team started out primarily as small businessmen
in clothing and other dry goods. It was from these humble
that many of Jamaica's most
industrial and commercial enterprises grew to play a significant role in national development.
They canceled their trip to
and went to Jamaica instead. They arrived on august 11,1894. Jamaica was just being discovered as a tourist resort. There was electricity, portable piped water, an efficient
and telegraph system and railway lines to larger towns. Elias was intrigued. Everyone was on the go and he saw the potential in this emerging country.
father passed away. It
then that Elias took in his brothers as partners and in 1905 they opened a larger facility and it was also the day that the younger Abe was born.
Many years later, young Abe had
many changes and he
his brothers had continued success with the House Of
. Selling clothing goods along with other merchandise. The name of
was now firmly planted in Jamaica.
It wasn't until March 14, 1943 that Abe convinced his father that they should go into the hotel business. They purchased the Myrtle Bank ;hotel in Kingston. Abe was a shrewd businessman and great things continued to develop. Myrtle
became quite the spot for
. There was also interest from a number of guests after four days in Kingston to continue their vacation at a resort hotel on the north coast. That's when Abe decided to build a resort of his own. And he chose
Rios which at the time, was a sleepy fishing village.
It was there that Abe built an 80 room hotel in that quiet cove. On January 15,1949, Tower Isle opened its doors. The rest, as they say, is history.
From humble beginnings,
very savvy businessman, Abe
, went on to gibber and better things.
Throughout his lofty career, Abe handled everything with a personal touch that made everyone feel very welcome. He had a great personality and the gift of gab.
had a vision and he
lost sight of that vision. He took chances, on ;faith alone, and made things work out with
The natural beauty of the cove in
Rios for Tower Isle, along with the
resort itself, have been a winning combination. Combining those two elements
resulted in the
we know today as the
. As it was in ;the clothing goods store, personal service was key. Anyone who ever shopped at The House of
, know that they were getting quality goods for a fare price. The same holds true with the four Couples resorts.
Much of the historical information was taken from the book, "Mr. Jamaica" written by one of Abe's daughters, Suzann. It has been my privilege to have met both Suzanne, her sister Jackie and their two brothers, Joe and Lee
I thank the
family for their
and great contribution to the people and island of Jamaica.