Hastings Hotels announces the death of Sir William Hastings

Martha Elwell Martha Elwell Uploaded 18 December 2017

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UK: Leading hotelier Sir William Hastings had died

Leading Irish hotelier Sir William Hastings has passed away peacefully at home following a short illness at the age of 89.

Hastings purchased his first hotel, the Adair Arms in Ballymena, in 1964. He continued to expand his portfolio with the purchase of six railway hotels from Grand Metropolitan in 1971. The Slieve Donard Hotel is the only remaining of these.

In 1993 he purchased the Europa Hotel and transformed it into one of the world's most famous hotels. His success in the industry was recognised when he received a Knighthood in 2009, having already been awarded a CBE and an OBE. The University of Ulster awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters in 1998.
 
He was Chairman and board member of a number of organisations including the Institute of Directors, the Transport Holding Company, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Bass Ireland and a passionate member and past president of the Belfast East Rotary Club for 50 years as well as a parishioner formerly of Drumbeg Church of Ireland and latterly of Downpatrick Cathedral.
 
Throughout his life, he was a proud patron of many charities including Help the Aged, Chest Heart and Stroke and Men Against Cancer. This work contributed towards his Knighthood.

The family commented: "We cannot describe the huge void that he has left in our lives but we take comfort in the fact that he was an inspiration to so many people and has left a lasting legacy which we will remain dedicated in honouring. We have been overwhelmed by the tributes paid to Billy from around the world since his death and would like to thank people for their kind words as they have helped us greatly at this very difficult time. He will be laid to rest in a small, private family funeral and there will be a public celebration of his life in the New Year for which details will be released in the coming weeks."

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