IT IS a fitting tribute to one of Virgin Atlantic’s most popular cabin crew members.
Sir Richard Branson has vowed to honour the memory of Hampshire’s Quinton Garrathy by naming a plane after his four-month-old daughter, Olivia-Rae.
The touching gesture has come as a huge comfort to the 38-year-old’s family, who are still struggling to come to terms with his sudden death in the Caribbean.
As previously reported, Quinton, from Bassett, was killed in a road collision in St Lucia earlier this month after going out for drinks with colleagues.
Hundreds of people are expected to pack Romsey Abbey on Friday for his funeral, including dozens of his colleagues who will wear the famous red Virgin Atlantic uniform as a mark of respect.
Since his death his family has received a letter of condolence from Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson, and the airline has now announced that it will name one of its new 787s Olivia-Rae in memory of Quinton.
His widow Naomi, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary with Quinton just last month, said: “I think it’s an amazing tribute to Quin, it’s very fitting and I want to thank Matt Dockray, who was one of Quin’s friends, who made it happen.
“Every time the plane is in the air it will feel as though Olivia-Rae is a little closer to Quin.”
Brother Ash said: “It’s an amazing gesture from the Virgin family, it just goes to show what Quin meant to the company.”
A crew member of 15 years with Virgin, the former Peter Symonds student had flown to the Caribbean island on August 1 and had gone out with colleagues on August 2.
He was hit by a black Hyundai SUV at around 1.38am near to Rodney Bay Marina, and died as a result of his injuries.
The driver of the car, an 18-year-old man, was questioned by police before being released pending further investigations.
His funeral is set to take place at 1.30pm in Romsey Abbey on Friday and his family believe there could be more than 500 people attending.
Dad Doug said: “Virgin have said he was one of the most popular members of staff they ever had – he was hugely popular.”
Quinton’s family say anyone who knew him is welcome to attend the funeral and have asked anyone going to wear bright clothes.
Ash, who flew out to St Lucia to identify his brother’s body, added: “We want it to be a celebration of Quin and for that reason we are asking people to where bright clothes and to make it as joyous an occasion as possible.”
Ash has also set up a tribute website in memory of his brother, with donations going towards Olivia-Rae’s future.
You can donate at quintongarrathy.co.uk