Jose Luis Cobas Garcia (1963-2015)

Martin Hopewell remembers ILMC’s favourite bar manager and long-serving team member, who passed away in June 2015.

It’s not surprising that you come across first-class people when you’re organising events at 5-star hotels, but it’s less usual to find someone who also becomes a real friend – not only to the organising team, but also to scores of our members. Luis Cobas was one of those rare and special people. As the manager of our annual ‘delegates’ bar’ at the Royal Garden Hotel it was his big, beaming welcoming smile that most people will remember. To many others he was a late-night confidant and ally – always happy to lend an ear to our various moans and groans, or swap stories from his own long history of dealing with the world’s glitterati.

Luis was someone for whom nothing was too much trouble. The consummate professional, he was always obliging – often to be found patiently supervising his domain of some 30 years until the wee small hours of the morning during the conference weekend, and shrugging off any of the many problems we confronted him with as if they were nothing. He often said that the ILMC was one of the highlights of his year, and – in spite of the massive workload – he looked forward to that weekend in March just as much as many of us did.

There are many ways that you can achieve a level of greatness during your lifetime, and not all of them are to do with wealth or celebrity. Luis was a great bar manager, a great friend, and a great human being who touched the lives of thousands of people. His loss will cause as much shock and sadness around the world as if he had been one of the many rich and famous people that he served.

Hasta la vista, mi amigo. Gracias por todo.

“Mister Martin”