Wallace Fonte Davis *Photo supplied
Wallace Fonte Davis *Photo supplied

Tributes for a popular hotel barman and true island ambassador have flooded in from across the world.

Much-loved Wallace Fonte Davis died suddenly last week at the age of 56.

Friends at The Reefs, where he worked for the last 15 years, described Mr Davis as a “real professional” who always went the extra mile for guests and colleagues. 

The Southampton hotel has been inundated with condolence messages from regular visitors living all over the world.

Nagma Walker, general manager of The Reefs, said: “Fonte touched so many hearts in so many different and individual ways.

“He was a caring, gentle and compassionate soul. Throughout his tenure of 15 years at The Reefs, Fonte was an exemplary employee.

“He very rarely missed a day of work.  He even made it to work on time through hurricanes on his bike and then insisted on riding back home to be with his mother.

“He always carried out his duties with a smile with the best interests of our guests and The Reefs. He was a dedicated and loyal employee.

“Fonte personified what hospitality is and should be.

Mr Davis was nominated numerous times the hotel’s Employee of The Month.

He was the recipient of The Reefs’ Employee of The Year in 2006 and a finalist for Best Bartender in the VIP Awards 2007.

John Harvey, CEO of the Hotel Association, said: “I was saddened to read about the passing of Fonte Davis who, for many years, has been a loyal, dedicated and professional member of the hotel family in Bermuda.

“I first met Fonte when he was at the Elbow Beach hotel where his presence was always welcomed by the many hotel guests who he gave the best possible service from the Food and Beverage Department.

“They loved him and he loved them.

“I recall the time when my Rotary Club met at the Reefs and Fonte knew what each member wanted to drink and without asking, had it in front of them within minutes. This type of professionalism is very rare today.

“He will be sorely missed by the many visitors to Bermuda and residents alike.”

Since Mr Davis’s passing last week The Reefs has received several messages from regular guests sharing their memories of the popular barman.

Ciro Buttacavoli said: “We will miss him and his wonderful, fun-filled, self-effacing attitude, ready smile and cheery greetings each and every day we are at the Reefs, to say nothing about his tasty Dark & Stormy’s.” 

“Since our first visit to The Reefs, in 1959, we have enjoyed everything about the property and its location but key to our returning as many times as we have is testament to the people that make our stay enjoyable and while the list is long Fonte is right up there at the top.”

While Susan and Jerry Waller added: “We have had the pleasure of being guests at The Reefs for 35 visits over 24 years.  We are honored to have known Fonte Davis, not only as the consummate professional bartender, but someone we considered a true Bermuda friend.

“Fonte was a humble and gentle man.  He was always concerned that “his” guests at The Reefs were enjoying their stay.

“His fellow workers held him in high regard and respect and guests spoke about him with the highest accolades.

“When Fonte burst out with his truly honest laugh, it was infectious to those in his presence.”