Rowe’s heart ‘for business and family’

NEVILLE ROWE was celebrated on Tuesday as a trailblazer in the supermarket business in Barbados and a person who loved his family.

His influence on the retail business evolved from a one-door operation called Julie’N Lady Care on St Michael’s Row to branches in Tudor Street, Swan Street, Oistins and then Julie’N at Bridge Street, The City, and Julie’N at Haggatt Hall, St Michael.

Rowe, whose presence was also felt with the establishment of a Julie’N in St Lucia, was being eulogised at a thanksgiving service in the chapel of Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, The Ridge, Christ Church, Tuesday afternoon.

The entrepreneur, who was in his 70s, passed away on March 13 at Bayview Hospital.

Paul Rowe, in his tribute, was full of praise for his uncle and the impact he had on those who worked with him.

Jessica Odle-Baril described Rowe as her friend and service provider, one of her first clients.

“We have heard words about Neville regarding excellence, determination, visionary, caring uncle, fabulous dad and loving brother. I want to add to those an honest, straight-talking friend. I learned a lot from this discerning businessman,” she said.

Odle-Baril said she was also aware of the tremendous number of challenges Rowe faced, “because he dared to challenge the status quo. I won’t define the status quo but I think we all know what we refer to when we are talking about business in Barbados”.

She said it was not easy for young black men in the 1970s opening supermarkets but Rowe sustained and “survived against many odds”.

Trimane Rowe also spoke glowingly of his father.

“Dad became an entrepreneur very early, helping in the family business, which was called Young Sweets Parlour and then Young Supermarket Ltd. He stepped out and started making earrings with his brother Hallam, who taught him the trade. Moving on from that he opened his first store in Baxters Road named The Shack which did extremely well and eventually the first Julie’N boutique was realised,” he said.

“Coming from humble beginnings, one can say that Haggatt Hall is a monument and testimony to the legacy of Neville Rowe which will be acknowledged for many lifetimes.”

Rowe was laid to rest at The Summit Gardens in Coral Ridge. The officiating minister was Apostle C. Joshua Clarke. ( JS)

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