Ambergris Caye attracts people to its beautiful shores year-round.
However, one aspect that has visitors returning to this hub of Belize's
tourism industry is the friendliness of the island's residents. This
week, The San Pedro Sun is honored to introduce a man whose laughter
and outgoing nature keeps his patrons coming back for more -
Raymond "Mr. Ray" Sankar of The Villas at Banyan Bay.
Marie and Francis Sankar welcomed baby Raymond into this world on
February 12th, 1950. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, he enjoyed the
beautiful waters and sandy shores of this South American country in the
company of 11 siblings (five brothers, six sisters).
Raymond attended Georgetown Tutorial High School; however, due to
the family's financial challenges, he had to drop out and he went to
work as an automobile mechanic for Auto Supplies Limited. By the time
he was 19, Raymond had been promoted to supervisor of the
electrical/mechanical repair department.
In his free time, Raymond was very active in the Boy Scouts and
eventually began training younger scouts who wanted to join Troop 63.
In 1969, Raymond enrolled in a four-year part-time marketing
training program at the Neal & Massey Company. After leaving Auto
Supplies Limited in mid-1975, he was hired as an auto mechanic at
Associated Industries. In November of that same year, he was
transferred to the Materials Control Department. Acting as supervisor,
Raymond's responsibilities included purchasing and inventory control.
In 1981, Raymond was transferred again to the sales department to work
as a representative for the company.
While attending a Christmas party, Raymond met Judith Aird. The two
fell in love and on June 20th, 1981, they were united in Holy
Matrimony. They are the proud parents of two children: Rhonda (22) and
Ryan (18). Raymond and Judith are also grandparents to three adorable
grandchildren, Haylee, Kaylah and Kiona.
In 1991, Judith took a trip to Belize to visit her brother in San
Ignacio, Cayo. Liking what she found, Judith decided to stay and found
a job at the Belize Bank. Three months later, Raymond joined his wife,
although his only knowledge of the country was from a documentary
created by National Geographic. In just a short time, the family
decided to try their luck and remained in Belize on a "permanent"
Raymond first went to work for Durham's Grocery Store as a cashier,
a post he held for the next eight months. From there, Raymond accepted
a position as a supervisor at a plywood production plant. Although he
enjoyed working at the plant, in late 1994, he was given an opportunity
to work with machinery again and joined the Macal Co-operative
producing milk and juices for the entire country. Raymond's job
included not only maintaining the equipment, but also overseeing the
overall production of the plant. Comfortable with his new life in
Belize, he remained at the cooperative for the next two years.
Meanwhile, Judith was employed at the San Ignacio Branch of the
Belize Bank but, in early 1996, she was transferred to the San Pedro
Branch. Raymond and the children later joined her on "La Isla Bonita"
and in June of that same year, he met Seferino "Chefy" Paz, of The
Villas at Banyan Bay who offered him a job managing his new warehouse.
Raymond's responsibilities include controlling the resort's inventory,
but he says the best aspect of his job is taking care of the arrivals
and departures for this first-class resort. Eight years later, Raymond
can still be seen driving the eight-seater Banyan Bay golf cart through
the streets of San Pedro Town. "I have met a lot of people throughout
the years, guests from all around the world who have remained my
friends. I have met some 'great guns' in my profession; Senators,
Company Presidents, Chief Executive Officers and loads of other
interesting people," he said.
In his free time, Raymond cherishes spending time with his family
and grandchildren. He also makes time to enjoy the company of friends.
He loves making new friends, but thinks it very important to always
maintain his old friendships. "Laughter is medicine to the soul, it is
always nice to share a laugh with someone!" he exclaimed.
Raymond loves his life in San Pedro Town and would not trade his
job for anything in the world. Always willing to make his guests' day a
little happier, Raymond Sankar, without a doubt, has "charmed" his way
into the hearts of "Our Community."