REMEMBERING RICHARD EVANSON
21 JUNE 1935 - 05 JUNE 2021
Richard devoted his life to creating one of the world’s leading eco-resorts and was passionately committed to enriching the lives of his guests through building a team who feel proud to belong, proactive partnerships with local communities, and embracing sustainability and innovation.
We are proud of the great work and impact Richard had in shaping the tourism industry in Fiji to what it is today. It all started in 1972 when the warmth, loving and caring nature of the Fijian people captured his heart, resulting in him extending his initial four day stay to a lifetime.
Richard ensured that any development on Turtle Island followed environmental best practices, and used regular environmental audits to measure his progress. He had an unwavering commitment to supporting and developing the opportunities for the local villages in our community. With health clinics, education initiatives and job creation projects, he advanced the economic and social outcomes for generations of Yasawan villagers.
Having fallen in love with the Fijian way of life, he had a concern to ensure that the traditions and culture of the Yasawas was not influenced adversely by tourism. Rather, his vision was to provide an authentic Fijian experience to his guests, choosing to make his model of tourism an opportunity to bring about a sense of pride in one’s own heritage and culture, and how it can enrich the lives of others.
Thousands of our Turtle Island family and friends from all over the world have shared their memories and feelings about Richard. From guests of Turtle Island to personal friends and colleagues, the one thing that ties them together is how they’ve been touched by his passion and the gift he has left behind – the gift of community, the gift of Turtle Island, and the gift of an amazing extended family.
We welcome you to read some of these messages below and invite you to share your own stories here [email protected]
TO THE EVANSON FAMILY
Crystalyn and I send our deep condolences on Richard’s passing. We are 4x visitors, and have another experience booked for next year – your father has built a tremendous legacy.
I recall the first time we landed at the island and Richard Sr. asking us to introduce ourselves – he was genuinely interested in each of his guests. And when he heard on our fourth trip that Crystalyn was a 6th-generation beekeeper, he wanted to show us his latest endeavour, the hives on the island.
Your father will be missed by all of those people he has touched over the many years on Turtle. Our deepest sympathies and regards to the entire Turtle family.
HE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
So terribly sorry to hear of Mr Evanson’s passing. Sending prayers of comfort and peace to all who knew him and loved him dearly. He made the world a better place. No doubt he will be missed by many. Rest In Peace.
A GREAT MAN, WITH GREAT VISION
I first visited Turtle Island and met Richard as a 16 year old and stayed a number of times with my parents (who knew him well). Through Richard, I got to see how he worked so closely with his local villages and supported them as family.
Fortunate enough as a teenager to stay with my sister overnight in the Chiefs house as a guest when our boat broke down late in the afternoon and he made all the arrangements. These are memories that started me on my deeper love for Fiji and its people.
A life well-lived with a positive impact on so many. Condolences to you and the Turtle family.
A GOOD MAN AND A DEAR FRIEND
Richard Evanson (Snr) was a good man and a dear friend. His passing is a great loss for the Fijian tourism industry and the people of Yasawa. We thank him with utmost sincerity for all that he has done in shaping the industry.
His contributions since the 1970s have made an enormous impact on the lives of many Fijians and in keeping the local community and environment protected. He has truly built a treasure here in Fiji, and I’m sure his legacy will live on through his family.
– Hon. Faiyaz Koya
WE HAVE BEEN “TURTLES” FOR MANY YEARS
A place to feel true serenity. I am grateful for the man, Richard, who created this place on Earth and I send my love to his dear family and friends. It’s true, I left my heart on Turtle Island.
Richard, you shall be missed and remembered forever.
– Suzanne and Rob XOXO
TO MY TI FAMILY
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones as you mourn this great loss. The vision, commitment and generosity of Mr. Evanson Sr. will be missed and unmatched in this world. Much love to all the family!
A GREAT MAN INDEED, A ROLE MODEL AND A WISE TEACHER!
Issssa! A great man indeed,a role model and a wise teacher! Vinaka vakalevu B6 for all that you have contributed and all the footsteps that you have left back for us to follow…May you rest high till that glorious morning!
Our deep and heartfelt condolences to the Evansons family…Tons of Love and prayers!
A GENEROUS MENTOR AND PIONEER OF OUR INDUSTRY
Richard Evanson Snr can best be described as a visionary whose imprint will forever be part and parcel of our industry’s journey.
For five decades, he crafted Turtle Island into a destination and brand of environmental integrity and helped model the necessity of conservation for Fijian tourism properties.
His accolades as a successful tourism operator can only be outshone by his environmental legacy and the countless economic, educational, and social developments he provided the people of his island’s home district, Nacula and the wider Yasawa Islands.
Mr Evanson passed away on his beloved Turtle Island on Saturday, 5 June and we join his family, staff and community in honouring a generous mentor and pioneer of our industry.
– Tourism Fiji
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING SUCH A MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH
Our deepest condolences to the entire Evanson Family and the Turtle Family. Thank you so much for creating such a magical place on earth. We will forever remember the impact you have made on so many lives and will continue to celebrate your life and legacy.
Much love, Soto Tale