Fred Chin Lee, owner of the Hotel Normandie, died on Sunday night at St Clair Medical where he was warded for the past week. He was 84.
A release issued yesterday by veteran journalist David Cuffy, stated that Chin Lee was a former president of the TT Hotel Association and was a civil engineer by profession, who graduated from the University of Toronto.
He successfully led Fred Chin Lee and Associates Ltd through 30 years in the construction industry, the release said. At the peak of its operation the company employed approximately 1,200 people, with annual revenue between $80 and $130 million. The company undertook a number of major construction projects throughout TT.
Chin Lee later became owner of the Normandie Hotel and Conference Centre in St Ann’s, originally established as a small guest house. He transformed it into a hotel with a distinct local atmosphere that is home to TT’s artistic and creative culture.
In 1993, Chin Lee established Under the Trees at the hotel as a performance venue for celebrations of Carnival, highlighting calypso and steelband music. The idea behind Under The Trees was basic: create a Carnival cameo, away from the dust and sun. Chin Lee was the uncle of former National Security Minister and current Tourism Trinidad chairman Howard Chin Lee. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the Church of the Assumption in Maraval at 10.30 am.