Good Afternoon,

Today, I am honored to have been given the opportunity to represent the Antigua Commercial Bank Group in its tribute to Sir Louis H. Lockhart who was at the time of his death, the last surviving founding father of the Bank.

In October, 1955, Sir Louis together with eight (8) other visionaries formed the Antigua Co-Operative Bank, as it was then called. The Bank started its operations on Newgate Street with a capital base funded by 32 ordinary Antiguans and Barbudans totaling just over $4000. It had a part-time Manager with a full time clerk and a Secretary/ Accountant personnel.

In 2016, the Bank is proud of its diverse shareholding register with over 5000 shareholders, over $36 million in share capital, a staff of over 112 with a full time General Manager supported by her Management Team. It also maintains its current position as one of the strongest indigenous financial institutions operating within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

It is without question that in the absence of a strong foundation as laid by Sir Louis and the other members of the first Board of Directors, the landscape of our local Banking industry may have been significantly different.

In a piece entitled “Random Thoughts” by Sir Louis in 1980, he stated that “The creation of an indigenous Bank as distinct from a branch bank of a metropolitan banking institution, in which the people of the country could have a real stake, was always one of my dreams.” During his lifetime, he certainly not only realized those dreams but exceeded them.

Sir Louis played a critical role in determining the Bank’s direction for growth and was a valuable member of a Board of Directors that was characterized at the time as being strong and dedicated, comprising members drawn from all sections of the community, guided by wise business ethics. During the first two (2) years of operations, Directors received no remuneration, choosing instead to sacrifice their own self-interests to that of the Bank.

From the information on record, Sir Louis’ skills as a distinguished Attorney-at-Law made him a force to be reckoned with in the Boardroom. He displayed the type of leadership skills that eventually led to his elevation to the Office of Chairman at the ACB Board level and subsequently on the Board of Directors of the Bank’s wholly owned subsidiary, ACB Mortgage & Trust Company Limited.

Sir Louis served the Institution that he loved so dearly for over thirty-four (34) years, retiring by virtue of age in compliance with the Company’s Bylaws on October 17, 1992.

In recognition of his pioneering work and in keeping with the Bank’s commitment to education, the Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship was launched in 1993. This full Scholarship was designed to provide the required financial assistance to deserving students who had excelled academically.

I stand here today as a proud former Scholarship Recipient, eternally grateful for the personal and professional impact the Scholarship has had on my life. True to the name sake of the Scholarship, if one can imagine, one can certainly achieve.

Allow me to digress a bit to give you an insight into the interest that Sir Louis maintained in the Scholarship over the years. I can recall in 2008 when I first joined the Bank and in my first conversation with him, he expressed his delight that a former Scholarship Recipient was also now an employee of the Bank. He indicated that empowering young Antiguans and Barbudans was always his vision and that it was commendable that I had decided to give back to the Institution he still loved so dearly.

I would be amazed that each year when I would write to him to advise him of the new Scholarship Awardee and the achievements of past Scholarship Recipients, I would receive a reply and follow up inquiries. I will certainly miss that interaction with a man who without question was respected and highly regarded. He will be missed by all.

Sir Louis’ tenacity and determination to succeed has driven the corporate culture of the entire organization for the last 60 years and will continue to be a source of inspiration for many years to come.

His spirit lives on through our dedicated employees, the several Scholarship Recipients throughout the years and through his daughter, Mrs. Patricia Samuel, whom we proudly call a member of the ACB family.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the Antigua Commercial Bank Group, I express our deepest sympathies to Sir Louis’ dear wife, Lady Lockhart, family, friends and colleagues and register the Group’s commitment to continue to honor his legacy of dedication to the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

May his soul continue to rest in peace.

RHODETTE PAIGE
LEGAL COUNSEL/CORPORATE SECRETARY