BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 2ND, 2017 (PRESS SEC) — The late Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner, the second Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the longest-serving one, was honoured today, Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 during a naming and unveiling ceremony at the Bank’s headquarters in St. Kitts.

The Phase 1 building, which was officially opened on October 29th, 1994, is now named in honour of Sir K. Dwight Venner who served as Governor from December 1989 to November 2015.  Sir Venner passed away in St. Lucia on Thursday, December 22nd, 2016 at the age of 70.    

The late Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner’s widow, Lady Lynda Arnolde Winville Venner, and other family members attended this morning’s ceremony.  His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP was also in attendance.  Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, current ECCB Governor Mr. Timothy Antoine, and other representatives of the governing bodies of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank – namely its Monetary Council and Board of Directors – were present, too, along with members of the Bank’s Management and current and retired staff.

Speaking at the naming and unveiling ceremony, Ms. Zinga Venner, said that, “On behalf of my mom Lady Lynda Venner, all of my siblings and myself, I would like to thank the Monetary Council of the ECCB for showing such great appreciation and recognition for our father’s work through bestowing this honour of naming this building after him.  While he is not physically here with us today, he is with us in spirit.”

Ms. Zinga Venner divulged that, “Thankfully, he was also aware of this great acknowledgment before he transitioned to the next life, and he was very pleased and touched when he was updating us on this development.”  She added: “I can assure you that he is looking down at us at this very moment with a large smile.”  

Prime Minister Harris noted that, “In the early part of 2016, the Monetary Council appointed a legacy committee to put forward ideas by which we could honour the contributions that Sir Dwight Venner had made, not only to the ECCB but to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union and the wider Caribbean as a whole.  Unfortunately, Sir Dwight, as he was affectionately called, passed to the great beyond before the activities that were planned in his honour were brought to fruition.  One of such activities was the naming of the Phase 1 building here on the compound of the Bank’s headquarters as the Sir K. Dwight Venner Building.”   

Dr. Harris went on to expound on Sir K. Dwight Venner’s contributions, saying: “His role in the establishment of sister organizations of the Bank – the Eastern Caribbean Home Mortgage Bank, the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Banking and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange, all of which are housed here on the Bank’s compound – will not be forgotten.  Sir Dwight saw these institutions from their birth to their present status of being well-established and respected organizations that have helped to modernize the financial architecture of the Currency Union.” 

Prime Minister Harris continued: “His 26 years as Governor of the Bank was not an easy road, especially during the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis.  It was a trying time, but with his sterling leadership the banking sector throughout the Currency Union – and the EC currency – remained stable and for that we are all grateful.  The Eight-Point Plan that he prescribed to take us out of the crisis is still of enduring value and has remained the blueprint for action by the Monetary Council and its Member States.”    

This morning’s ceremony coincides with the holding of the 87th ECCB Monetary Council Meeting today, Thursday, March 2nd, at the Bank’s headquarters in St. Kitts.  The 86th Meeting of the Monetary Council was convened via videoconference on Friday, October 21st, 2016.

The Monetary Council is the highest decision-making authority of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.  It comprises eight Ministers of Finance, one from each member government, namely Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is the Minister of Finance in St. Kitts and Nevis.  Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne assumed the one-year chairmanship of the Monetary Council during its 85th Meeting held on Friday, July 22nd, 2016 in Antigua.

Speaking at today’s ceremony, the Honourable Gaston Browne said that, “At its 85th Meeting, the Monetary Council approved the renaming of the Phase 1 building to the Sir K. Dwight Venner Building.  The Council also approved that a naming and unveiling ceremony be held and that is why we are here today.”   

Tomorrow, Friday, March 3rd, the 64th Meeting of the OECS Authority will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.  St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is the Outgoing Chairman of the OECS Authority.  The 63rd Meeting was held on Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 via videoconference under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Yesterday, Wednesday, March 1st, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank held a Growth Forum with Social Partners at its Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium, which is named in honour of the Bank’s first Governor.  ECCB Governor Mr. Timothy Antoine presented on the topic “Growth and Employment in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).”

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