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Region In Grief After Death Of Former Caribbean Central Bank Governor

(Credit: HTS St. Lucia) The longest serving governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank has passed. Prime Minister Allen Chastanet led a procession of regional officials in paying tribute to the giant of the financial sector.PM Chastanet Pays Tribute To Sir Dwight Venner
December 24
5:33 AM 2016

The Caribbean region mourns the death of Sir Dwight Venner, the former governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). He died at the age of 70 at the Taipon Hospital. There were attempts to fly him out to the French Island of Martinique for medical treatment.

Sir Dwight was the longest-serving governor of any central bank, monetary authority, or federal reserve, having served since 1989. He was called a visionary and a public servant who had a dream for the development of the region with ECCB as a veritable vehicle for the purpose.

St. Lucia's Prime Minister Allen Chastanet expressed grief as the Caribbean has lost an "unparalleled genius."

"It goes without saying that Sir Dwight was a pioneer and among the most respected men in our region and has served the Caribbean and the financial fraternity with distinction. He is a genius in his own right and is especially dear to us in Saint Lucia because of his role in the early development of our country following Independence. He was one of the key architects of government, intricately involved in our financial framework and the public service," Prime Minister Chastanet said in a statement.

The Prime Minister extended his condolences to the wife and family of Sir Dwight, to the people of Saint Vincent and Grenadines where the former ECCB governor was born.

"The Caribbean has much to learn from Sir Dwight's life and he will be an inspiration for decades to come. Our thoughts also go out to his colleagues and the staff of the ECCB and the local financial sector," Prime Minister Chastanet said as he eulogized on the impact, legacy and great works of the man he considered a visionary.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves remembered Sir Dwight as the man who piloted the Central bank amid the 2008 global economic crisis.

"He helped create many institutions to strengthen and buttress the financial system. He was a regional integrationist... a strong Caribbean man. We will miss the counsel of Dwight Venner. He was a very faithful servant to the people of the region," Prime Minister Gonsalves said.

ECCB said that they plan to honor Sir Dwight at a special ceremony at the ECCB headquarters in St. Kitts and Nevis in recognition of his immense contribution.

"At that time, one of the buildings was to be named in his honor. It may be recalled that one of Sir Dwight's many accomplishments was initiating and overseeing the construction and equipping of the current ECCB Headquarters," the bank said.

The bank also praised his colossal contributions as governor. Under his tenure, ECCB grew in stature and service as he led many reforms.

"Sir Dwight wrote extensively on the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, development of the Caribbean and central banking. He was the architect of affiliate institutions such as the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange, the most modern in the Caribbean, and the Eastern Caribbean Home Mortgage Bank. He was an avid sports fan especially cricket and football," said ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine.

Sir Dwight died a year after announcing his retirement in late November 2015. He dedicated 26 years of his life being the governor of ECCB which serves as a central bank for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin islands.

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