Home The Big Stories Remembering ‘Doctor Amu’: A free-spirited naturopath and a ‘loving and gentle soul’

Remembering ‘Doctor Amu’: A free-spirited naturopath and a ‘loving and gentle soul’


By Gemma Handy

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Naturopath Sylvester Tyrone Mortley was a much-loved feature of Jolly Beach for decades. The amiable Rastafarian used his homeopathic remedies to treat everything from viruses to allergies, while his generous nature earned him friends from across the world.

Mortley could regularly be found plying his trade along the west coast beach, selling aloe lotion to sunburned tourists, calling out his jocular catchphrase ‘you burn, I earn’.

Yesterday friends, family and wellwishers turned out in full force to pay their final respects to the man they affectionately dubbed ‘Doctor Amu’ who died on January 21 aged 75.

Straffie’s Funeral Chapel was packed to bursting as loved ones convened to remember a “loving, kind and gentle soul”.

Born in Gray’s Farm and raised in Liberta, Mortley was a secondary school creative dance teacher before venturing into homeopathy.

His foray into the field was as organic as his products, and began when he was walking the beach one day and was asked by a holidaymaker if he could get him some aloe.

Mortley obliged and was soon supplying aloe to more and more beachgoers. He eventually started bottling it, before expanding into homemade creams and lotions which earned him the moniker ‘Doc’. He later studied his craft in England and developed encyclopaedic knowledge of the healing properties of numerous local plants.

Mortley’s daughter Charmaine Berlioux described her father as “unassuming, intelligent and wise” with “a soul that was unmatched and a smile that was infectious”.

Delivering the eulogy, she said Mortley had been an avid reader whose favourite book was the Holy Bible – one he had read 13 times from cover to cover.

“He was also a lover of the arts, especially creative dance. He was a free-spirited man who later moved to holistic medicine and had a deep love of plants, particularly aloe,” she said.

“If I had an illness he had the remedy. Everywhere he went he was hailed and respected by everybody.

“Jolly Beach was his home; he treated tourists and had many close friendships across the world.”

Even after he became ill, Mortley’s “beautiful spirit remained”, Berlioux added.

Mortley, who also leaves behind two granddaughters, was a music buff and a fan of reggae legend Peter Tosh.

In addition to song, prayers and psalms, the service led by Pastor Ivor Davis included a musical tribute by pannist Aubrey ‘Lacu’ Samuel who performed a version of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’.

Tributes to Mortley have flooded in on social media in memory of a “lovely man” who had a “cure for everything”.

“He was an inspirational man that helped me on so many occasions,” one regular visitor to the country wrote. “He was so correct and true in his belief of the healing power of plant healing, long before it became fashionable.

“A real character, and for me always a happy memory of my time in Antigua.”



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