The evening began with reggae music playing softly in the background. The large upstairs reception room at the Georgetown Club was filled with enthused Washingtonians sipping various concoctions of Blackwell Rum and rockin’ to the music. The purpose of the event was to showcase Island Outpost Resorts and Jamaican Rum in the Nation’s capital and among its most influential residents.
Hosted by the Georgetown Club under the auspices of Ambassador Audrey Marks, the event was attended by representatives from the White House, major news organizations, travel agencies and the Georgetown Club Board and members.
In her introductory remarks, Her Excellency, Audrey Marks lauded Mr. Blackwell for his continued love and work in Jamaica and the continuous promotion of Brand Jamaica.
The multiple businesses you have built and your philanthropic work in Jamaica and St. Mary in particular which is my parish, is a testament of your love and dedication to your country’s economic and social development.
Over the course of the evening, Mr. Blackwell and his team shared with guests many stories about how he came to purchase GoldenEye, the home of Ian Fleming and property where the James Bond series was created.
The Marley-GoldenEye Connection
GoldenEye had his mother’s favourite swimming spot so when it came up for sale he was interested but at a time when he was having cash flow challenges. Instead, he reached out to Bob Marley, whom he was managing at the time and convinced him to purchase the property as an investment.
About three months into the deal, Bob Marley came to look at the property and decided that this property wasn’t his type and asked to cancel the purchase. Luckily, Mr. Blackwell’s finances had recovered during this time and he was able to purchase the property.
I never envisioned using the place as a resort. It was only on the urging of my friends and visitors who stayed on the property that I began to make additions and improvements until it became what it is today.
Mr. Blackwell also shared his story of Blackwell Rum which started when a friend with extensive knowledge and experience in the rum and liquor industry advised that the market was developing an appetite for dark rum and having the name Blackwell would make a perfect fit for a dark rum label. Having an interesting connection with one of Jamaica’s largest spirits manufacturer, J. Wray and Nephew, Mr. Blackwell started on a fascinating journey that eventually led their production of Blackwell Rum.
Ambassador Marks closed off the event by inviting the representatives from the media houses and travel agencies to feel free to reach out to the Embassy whenever they were ready to either travel to Jamaica for pleasure or for work. She informed them that the Embassy stands ready to assist in anyway their interest in making documentaries or films about Jamaica or the Jamaican Brand.