Recipient of latest honour calls on more fortunate individuals to give back

Billionaire Calvin Ayre

By Carlena Knight

Special Economic Envoy for Antigua and Barbuda, and successful businessman, Calvin Ayre has called upon individuals of a higher economic status to give back by assisting the less fortunate in any way possible.

This call follows the latest award conferred on Ayre yesterday at Government House by the Governor General His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams.

Ayre received the Faithful and Meritorious Cross award, which is the highest honour in that category, for philanthropic services and contribution to national development.

“Well, I just think that everybody should

[give back]

. It’s just a core philosophy that I’ve always had for a long time, which is that anybody that’s been fortunate to have success in their life should give back to those less fortunate because, honestly, you don’t even know for sure how much of your success is hard work and how much of it is just being at the right place at the right time. So I just think there are a lot of reasons to give back.

“Usually, when I win any type of award, I always just remind the rest of society and those who are fortunate enough that we are all in this together. It would be nice to see other people do the same thing.”

Ayre also gave some words of encouragement to young and upcoming entrepreneurs.

“Not everybody can take the pressure of becoming an entrepreneur, because there is a lot of uncertainty involved. I think if you are going to try and become an entrepreneur, I would recommend that you try and focus on an industry that you have some passion [for], because it doesn’t feel that much like work if you are doing something that you are passionate about, and mostly that’s what I’ve been very successful at. It’s actually targeting industries that I have some interests in so it doesn’t really feel like work,” the awardee said.

The Canadian-Antiguan is the founder of the Ayre Group and Bodog entertainment brand, an online gaming company, which was launched in 2000 and has provided jobs for over 500 Antiguans and Barbudans and made Ayre into a billionaire.

His newest business venture, Canada Place, located on Lauchland Benjamin Drive, will officially open its doors next Friday.

With this newfound success, Ayre has contributed to a number of entities to include, The Halo Foundation, the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, Friends of the Care Project, the National Housing Project, and the restoration project on the west wing of the Government House.