THE determined son of tragic businessman Gus Robinson has vowed to continue his dad’s legacy.
Daniel Robinson has taken over the reins of Gus Robinson Developments after his 62-year-old father was tragically found hanged in his West Park, Hartlepool, home.
Despite the shock and ongoing heartache over Gus’s death, Daniel says his focus is on continuing what his dad started and leading the town firm that employs 100 people.
Former jet fighter pilot Daniel, who is now chairman of the company, said: “We are all immensely proud of the legacy my dad has left.
“I’m acutely aware that I have very big shoes to fill, but I know that this company will continue to go forward and get stronger.”
The 35-year-old also opened his heart at how his mum, Judith, found his dad hanged on Tuesday, November 15.
Daniel spoke to Gus just hours before over the internet from New York, where he had been working in banking in Wall Street, and was due to fly home the following day.
He told the Mail: “On the Monday, I actually got him out of bed to talk about a couple of things,” said Daniel, who has been involved with his dad’s firm for the last 10 years.
“Now I’m so glad I did. I shared what I had to share with him because it was important and finished by saying ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’.
“He seemed very confused, very upset and wasn’t making a tremendous amount of sense.
“At 5am he went downstairs and my mum went down sometime after 7am. She thought he’d fallen asleep but then found him.”
Daniel soon arrived back in his hometown to be with his family, including sisters Lucy, Anna and Adele, and to help arrange his dad’s funeral. Despite his grief, he also moved quickly to make sure his dad’s company was on sound footing.
He said: “I’m lucky. I’ve had a world class education and careful building blocks have been put in place for me to take over.
“It was always the plan for me to come back to lead this company and dad’s death has simply accelerated this plan by about six months.”
“I’m immensely proud to be taking stewardship of a company that is very well positioned despite the current economic challenges that everyone else is going through. This is testament to my father’s leadership and to strong management of the company. We continue to directly employ 100 people from this town and we are still committed to supporting our amazingly successful apprenticeship scheme that we run in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education.”
“I am very positive about what we are doing and what the future holds as we continue to secure very good contracts.“I have my own ideas of what the future vision of the company is. There are things we need to do to improve even further and we will not be standing still.”
Daniel said he has also been taken aback by the kind people of Hartlepool.
He said: “Every single person has been great. People have been walking up to me and shaking my hand.
“They will often say: ‘You don’t know me but I really liked your dad. Welcome back’. People really appreciate what dad did for the town.”
Daniel, a former flight lieutenant in the RAF who also served with the United States Air Force, added: “I will remember him as a kind, humble, generous and passionate man who was also very plaful.
“He was loved by many people, but he was my dad and I loved him more than anything in the world.”
The former pupil at St Bede’s Primary, in Peterlee, and English Martyrs School, in Hartlepool, was awarded an RAF scholarship in 1997.
He went on to be based at Langley, in Virginia, where he was the first non- American pilot ever selected to fly the F-22A Raptor – the world’s most advanced fighter jet.
Previously he flew Tornados for the RAF when he saw operational action and qualified as a weapons officer.
He also has two Master of Business Administration degrees, one from Georgetown University, in Washington DC, and the other from Esade Business School, in Barcelona, Spain.