Farewell to a friend

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

I raced back to my hotel room in Abu Dhabi today preparing to file a story that I had just covered at Abu Dhabi International Airport, conscious as always of an imminent deadline.

Within seconds both the story and the deadline withered into insignificance.

At the top of inbox was a note from Christine Martin, owner of Travel Retail Training, headed ‘The last Ray update’. It was clear what the story would be.

Christine has been keeping industry friends updated on the health of her husband Ray ever since he was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Neither of them lost an ounce of determination nor optimism over the many difficult months that have ensued.

Now, Ray’s brave battle is lost. But he is at peace and he died as all of us I suppose hope we will in time, peacefully and surrounded by loved ones.

Ray was a combative man, a former professional footballer who brought a natural competitiveness to business. But the sportsman in him also shone through in his values – of fairness, straight talking and of team values.

Ray_MM_Christine

Ray (pictured above with Stuart McGuire, Christine and me) helped me greatly in my professional life. When I first edited and then ran Duty-Free News International, he was a major advertising supporter (albeit one with a keen eye for a bargain) but more importantly he always guided me if I was veering from the editorial or strategic path and encouraged me if I was staying on it. After I launched The Moodie Report in 2002, he was a constant supporter, through good times and bad. He was simply a good guy.

Ray helped me through a number of tricky moments in my professional life, just as he had experienced some of his own. His street wisdom, which he passed on to me once again during the economic crisis earlier this year, was of huge value.

We all knew Ray was dying. That does not make his death any less shocking or any less poignant. The industry is a good man down today.

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  • I have known Ray and Christine for over 15 years from way back when I was working with Abu Dhabi Duty Free. I looked forward to Ray’s visits to Abu Dhabi… always laughing and joking yet passionate about his business at Attwood & Sawyer. The industry will miss this great man.

    My warmest wishes to Christine and the girls.

    Gill
    xxx

  • We shared a bevvy or two, a dodgy meal in Singapore, and exchanged occasional stories. Always with a smile, and the feeling that I was spending time with someone who cared and wanted to make a difference. Ray’s advice touched me and made me determined to pursue a life ambition. I will never forget you mate.
    I’ll close with the beginning of some poetry that helped us through similar bad times. Christine, I hope they provide you all with some comfort.
    “You can shed tears because he has gone or you can smile because he has lived…..”

  • Had known him for many years.Was a good friend of all at Dubai Duty Free. Loved how Christine and the girls shared the past year with all of us. Colm and Breeda .

  • I recall a sunny Sunday morning, many years ago, before the TFWA got under way – and I met Ray, Christine, Hannah and Charlotte walking along the Croisette hand in hand…..and I remember thinking to myself – what a fabulous family!

    Ray was one of the people that you looked forward to meeting every time you got off that plane to go to another Show or Conference. His entrepreneurial spirit was an inspiration.

    Life will go on…….but it won’t quite be the same.

    Much love to Christine, Hannah and Charlotte.

    DS

  • How very,very sad. Ray was a lovely guy and brought a certain sparkle to everything he did – as Martin says,we are indeed a good man down today.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Christine and the girls at this sorrowful time.

    Brian Collie