Monday 19 November, 2018

Bajan mum couldn’t be more proud of Copa Airlines pilot, her son

Marva Holford chatting with Barbadian journalists in Panama.

Marva Holford chatting with Barbadian journalists in Panama.

She may not look like she is bursting with excitement and pride, but speak to Marva Holford for two seconds about her son Marc Anthony Holford and you’ll know that she’s super proud of all he continues to achieve in the skies and in life.

Tomorrow morning, Marc - a trained and certified pilot - will be one of two Barbadians at the helm of the inaugural Copa Airlines flight from Panama City to Barbados.

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Chatting with media during an impromptu breakfast interview at Hilton Panama this morning, Marva couldn’t help smiling as she talked about how her 42-year-old son has stayed focused on his dream of being a pilot, and a great one at that, from the age of three.

Casting her mind back, now retired Marva said there’s a story of when he was just a toddler being on his dad’s shoulders and staring into the sky as a plane passed by. She said at that moment they knew the sky was going to be his limit.

Marc worked hard at school and he was rewarded with pilot lessons. The graduate of  The Combermere School flew tourists around his island home – Barbados at first, and today he flies passengers all across South America to every city where Copa Airlines flies. Based in Panama, he has been flying with the airline for four years now and in November/December 2017, he got promoted.

She said, "He was really focused from the beginning, and he's still very focused and very serious about his work as a pilot."

Over the years Marc has also flown private charter flights, as well as worked with LIAT, RedJet and Caribbean Airways. But believe it or not, in all that time he has never flown his mother.

Laughing, she shared an anecdote about how when she heard a plane passing overhead once after he had gone out for a pilot lesson in the early days, she had told a friend who was visiting their home: "Oh that must be Tony!" - as she affectionately calls him. 

Marva is a special kind of excited to have her son take her and all the other passengers home to Barbados on the first-ever direct flight from Panama City on board Copa Airlines tomorrow. Speaking on behalf of her son, she said she knows he’s honoured to have the privilege of being part of this piece of history.

Marc may not have made it home to Barbados too often in the past, but with this new link on Tuesdays and Fridays, his mother Marva is hoping to see her only child and heartstring much more often.

Asked how his dad, former Barbadian cricketer David Holford feels having been blessed to have flown with his son previously, though she never did, Marva said the family will make sure he’s included in the celebrations and understands in his own way.

Marc’s dream of being a pilot was not inexpensive she confessed, but speaking to his mum, knowing that her son is living his dream daily, makes it all worth it and she encourages all parents to help their children live their dreams too.