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Two wounded soldiers got together in Brighton, England this week to discuss their respective recoveries and to look forward to many good days in the future.
The occasion was a visit I took to the south coast seaside city to see Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin, who is currently recuperating from hip surgery. Colm had his operation days after mine in early October – he’d gained a replacement body part, I had lost an old one. And we’re both determined to be as good as new in coming weeks.
In his case there is no doubt of the fact. For a start he has the best nurse in the world – his wonderful wife Breeda. Secondly, he has immense willpower and mental strength; just two of the many qualities that have made this great man such a legend in our business. So of course have his business acumen, his commercial vision, his marketing savvy and his people skills.
But the enduring quality of Colm McLoughlin to me is his humanity and I do not use that important word lightly. Behind all the headlines that he has deservedly attracted over the past quarter century lies a very straightforward, astute individual of great warmth, compassion and kindness. I have been the beneficiary of those qualities too many times to count. I was once more this week as we talked into the late Autumn afternoon and Breeda broke open a bottle (or two) of good New Zealand wine to wash down the apple pie and ice cream.
You can’t keep a good man down, runs the old adage. With Colm McLoughlin you couldn’t even try to keep him still. With his new titanium and ceramic hip in place, expect this finest of industry men to have an extra spring in his step in 2011. And be assured that I will be doing my very best to keep up with him.