By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE Bahamas’ first-ever butler training institute has seen 24 graduates obtain local and international certification, its facilitator said yesterday.
Micklyn Lightbourne, the 22-year hospitality industry veteran and founder of the The Coterie of Caribbean Butlers, said Robert Watson, managing director/president at the Guild of Professional English Butlers, was in Nassau to sign certificates for 12 of his graduates.
Mr Lightborune said the nstitute, established in 2011, provides across-the-board training to current and would-be hotel employees looking to advance their careers in the industry.
“There are basically two types of butlers - residential butlers, and then there are the resort butlers,” he explained.
“Butlers have to function in so many capacities. They have to know how to be a housekeeper, a waite,r a front desk coordinator, how to handle clothing, book reservations and even bar tending.
“A butler wears so many different hats, whether in the hotel or the home,” said Mr Lightbourne, who has worked as a butler for 15 years.
He added that a butler could be a major asset to any resort looking for a distinguished offering. Mr Lightbourne said he as served many Hollywood A-listers over the years, including Robert De Niro, Gabrielle Union, Johnny Depp, Nicholas Cage and others.
Mr Lightbourne, a former Hotel Employee of the Year winner at the Cacique Awards, said: “This school is highly important, and I’m not saying that simply because I’m the facilitator, but it’s the only one in the Bahamas.
“I teach the same curriculum taught in the London schools. To go away and have to do this costs a lot of time and money. This school provides an awesome opportunity for students. You’re’ getting 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry here.”
The Coterie of Caribbean Butlers, according to its website, was founded upon the idea that the Bahamas and the Caribbean must develop world-class butlers and hospitality professionals who are “determined to maintain superior professionalism, efficiency, discretion, loyalty and the iconic English butler manners, while maintaining an innovative mindset if we are to effectively compete in a global market”.