A Synopsis of
‘Young Man You Forgot Your Overcoat’
Around the World in Fifty Years
This is the autobiography of Tony Lawrence, who in 1966 left a somewhat provincial Ireland to live and work in Pakistan, a perceived exotic, distance destination unknown to many Irish people then. Thus, began his nomadic life!
He fell in love and married a Hindu girl in East Pakistan, experienced the imposition of martial law, witnessed riots, the death and destruction that followed and the seeds of revolution sown for the creation of Bangladesh.
Tony, his wife RajLaxmi and baby daughter Erika fled this troubled land to visit friends, in Syria before continuing to Kenya and their next assignment.
A fortnight stopover in Damascus extended to two months. Unresolved issues between Israel and the Arab World following the six-day war exposed the fragility of both domestic and international relations. They witnessed Israeli aircraft attacking Syria and within Damascus the mysterious disappearance of political opposition.
In Nairobi they opened the InterContinental in 1969, relishing the tranquility, shattered only later that year by the assassination of Tom Mboya a prominent government minister, riots ensued, and two people died, with many injured.
One year later Tony and family moved to Europe working in Ireland, Germany and England, opening the London InterContinental Hotel.
In London the family decided to return to Ireland, Tony joined Great Southern Hotels to manage the Kenmare Hotel. Twelve months later it was sold, and the family moved to Northern Ireland. Dangerous challenges surfaced as the “Troubles” still raged, and when offered to partner ownership of hotels in Canada they accepted, however that partnership soon dissolved.
Moving to Bermuda Tony became advisor to Bermuda College hotel school. During their three years there, life was sailing, and beaching interspersed with work. Until Hurricane Emily roared through early one morning in 1987 wreaking havoc, devastating the Island.
The family returned to Canada, it was 1988 and Tony joined Sheraton Hotels in Nova Scotia where they lived until 1991.
The tropics beckoned to Tony who moved to Sint Maarten in the Caribbean and to what was to become the notorious Port de Plaisance Resort. It was a cornucopia of the bizarre, where several attempts to open the property failed, development was suspect and Tony’s life endangered.
In 1994 Tony was with the Sheraton Casino Tunica, Mississippi with his family living in Memphis. Just one year later they were back in Canada for the final six years of Tony’s career.
As he prepared for retirement and his dream of sailing across the Atlantic, he purchased a sailboat and an apartment in Spain to where they would retire.
In June of 2003 Tony sailed from Nova Scotia to cross the Atlantic bound for Spain, a voyage of five weeks. Retirement in Spain disappointed and so he and Raj Laxmi consider their options and moved to Goa, India, restored an old Portuguese Goan house where they have lived for the past twelve years and where they will most likely remain.