Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Around the world in 80 (or so) days - May 15, 2022
- Cannes on steroids and gobsmacked in an airport wonderland - May 11, 2022
- A sneak preview of a new wonder of the world - May 10, 2022
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 (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.