Jamaican billionaire Michael Lee-Chin’s mother, Hyacinth Chen, has died at age 89.
Chen is also the mother of Wayne Chen, the chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority. Wayne confirmed the news in a tweet on Saturday before other well-known Jamaicans started reacting, including Minister of Entertainment and Culture Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
“Our beloved mom, grandma, great-grandma, loyal friend and mentor, passed away this morning, at home surrounded by people she loved, and who loved her back,” Chen tweeted. “May she rest in eternal peace
“I wish to express my sincere condolences to Wayne Chen, Michael Lee Chin and the rest of the Chen family on the passing of their mother Hyacinth Gloria Chen who made the transition earlier this morning,” Grange wrote. “May perpetual light shine upon her.”
Hyacinth Chen, who was the family matriarch, along with her husband Vincent, started the family-owned business, Super Plus Food Stores, in 1964 in their native parish Portland. The supermarket chain grew to become one of the largest retail chains in Jamaica, with 30 stores across the island at its peak.
Michael Lee-Chin is one of the most famous Jamaican businessmen globally with an estimated net worth of US$1.4 billion, making him one of the wealthiest Jamaicans. His name is often mentioned in lyrics by dancehall artistes who aspired to acquire his level of wealth.
In December, Urban Islandz reported that his newly acquired AHPO superyacht was docked in Portland, drawing scores of onlooking admiring the engineering wonder. The massive boat, designed and manufactured in Germany, is the only of its kind in the world and embodies class and wealth.
In 2008, Michael Lee-Chin established the famed Hyacinth Chen School of Nursing at Northern Caribbean University’s main campus, named in honor of the pioneering businesswoman. Lee-Chin credited his mom’s ambition and entrepreneurship for inspiring his own ambitions as a successful businessman.