Last week the honoring of the English couple Mr & Mrs Fletcher took place at the Regional Tourism Office, who visited Madeira Island for the forty-eighth consecutive time. The initiative was promoted by the Pearl of the Atlantic Madeira Travel Agency. The ceremony was hosted by the Regional Director for Tourism.
Dorita Mendonça, Regional Director of Tourism paid tribute to Mr. William Fletcher and Mrs Pamela Fletcher, British couple for their almost “Golden Anniversary” on visits to Madeira Island. They become Madeira Ambassadors.
According to Dorita, this is a moment of enormous “happiness” as the Regional Government is delighted with this achievement, stressing the importance of the Travel Agency initiative, as a factor in promoting the Destination, not only in England but as well in other markets, as in its understanding Madeira has unique characteristics.
It all started in 1981 when the couple first visited Madeira Island. At the time, they stayed at the now demolished Hotel Atlantis Madeira, in the city of Machico. Since then, every year they visit Madeira, sometimes visiting, two or three times a year.
The initiative was proposed to the Regional Government by the Pearl of the Atlantic Madeira Travel Agency. This company founded in 1956, known before as a Taxi company, was the first and only company that the couple met on their visits to Madeira.
In 1981 the Fletchers met the owner of the company, João Nunes, better known by the taxi driver Rocha, at the then Hotel Atlantis. The empathy between them was such that whenever the couple came to Madeira, they sought the services of the taxi driver Rocha.
Until in 2015, they tried to look for the taxi driver Rocha, only it had not been possible since he had died.
The couple were staying at the Aparthotel Imperatriz in Funchal, the receptionists contacted the company Pearl of the Atlantic Madeira, curiously the company owned by this taxi driver but now under the management of his son Duarte.
All of this was a huge curiosity, since the owner of the tour company, as well as, Bill did not know each other… until during the tour, Bill said, that he had visited Madeira for many years and that the first Hotel that stayed was the Hotel Atlantis. Duarte, the owner of the company showed a picture of his father… Bill immediately recognized him saying “Rocha taxi driver … very good … great driver”. It was a moment of enormous emotion between them!
It should also be noted that the couple continue to use the services of that company as well as their family and friends.