Celebrating The Corona Beer Boss Who Made Everyone In His Village A Millionaire In His Will

Celebrating The Corona Beer Boss Who Made Everyone In His Village A Millionaire In His Will
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It's my 50th birthday this week and I am going to drink a lot of alcohol. In fact, to be more specific, a lot of beer. In fact, to be even more specific, a lot of Corona.

There are many reasons why this makes sense - it's a refreshing drop, especially with a slice of lime, and it's showing support for a country I love, Mexico, at a time when a bit of solidarity doesn't hurt.

It's also a toast to the Antonino Fern√°ndez, the sadly deceased boss of the firm that makes Corona beer, for his amazing demonstration of what I call "good works".

His passing shot wasn't a tequila - it was to leave the residents of the tiny Spanish village of Cerezales del Condado £2million each in his will, to make each and every one of them rich beyond their wildest dreams. To transform their lives in one single posthumous swoop.

Fernández, who died aged 98 in August, left a total of £169m to the 80 residents of the tiny hamlet in north west Spain where he grew up and lived, before emigrating to Mexico in 1949, aged 32.

His family had lived there in poverty and he had to leave school at 14 because his parents needed him to work in the fields.

Fern√°ndez moved to Mexico after being invited by his wife's uncle to go and work in the warehouse of beer makers Grupo Modelo.

He rose through the ranks and was in large part responsible for making the company's beers, including Corona, some of the best-selling in the world served as the brewery's CEO from 1971 through to 1997.

It wasn't the first time he'd done "good works" - Fern√°ndez has been honoured for his charity work over the years after he set up schemes in both Spain and Mexico to find jobs for people with disabilities.

Why is this so lovely? Well, for so many reasons but let's start with never forgetting where you came from - one of the most beautiful and underestimated of human qualities.

Then let's add in a splash of sharing and caring - not an everyday occurrence for the super-rich, who are usually busy trying to find complex tax loops and trusts to protect their inordinate wealth.

Then think of the power to transform lives, a gift so rarely available.

Finally, Antonino Fern√°ndez didn't want thanks or glory - he bequeathed the money, rather than splash it around in his lifetime.

My philosophy behind "good works" is based on karma - that what goes around comes around. That if you always try and do right thing for people and the wider world, good things will happen to you.

As well as transforming the lives of so many people, maybe with this parting gift, Fern√°ndez just wanted to be celebrated at the next Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Day).

Whatever his motives, it's a genuinely beautiful thing that he's done and one that makes me want to say '¬°Salud! ' to this marvellous man - what a fiesta that village Cerezales del Condado will have.

I just wish I could be there to celebrate my 50th with them...


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