Tribute to The Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner KBE, SLC
Her Ladyship the Hon. Dame Janice M. Pereira DBE, Chief Justice, Judges, Masters and administrative and support staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) join the Caribbean community and particularly the OECS region in mourning the death of The Honourable Sir K Dwight Venner, KBE, SLC.
Sir Dwight Venner served as Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), from December 1989 until he retired in November 2015. It must be noted that Sir Dwight Venner is the second longest-serving governor of any central bank, monetary authority, or Federal Reserve in the world.
Sir Dwight made an immense contribution to the ECCB and regional integration. His constant exaltation of and vision for the political and economic union of the Member States and Territories of the OECS region, his sterling defence of their sovereignty in the face of harsh pressures from international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, deserve no less of an international recognition. Sir Dwight was able to finesse the ECCB through the dark and turbulent global recession of the late 2000s.
It was Sir Dwight’s firm belief and one that he shared at the ECSC 2007 Annual Judicial Conference in Saint Lucia that “Justice, Law and Order is a prerequisite for social economic development in the OECS.” Additionally, he was convinced that the attention being paid by the international community to the modern success of the Court and the Central Bank was as a result of having the concentration of critical human intellectual resources in centralized institutions, a strategy that has paid dividends to the OECS region.
Sir Dwight’s leadership gave inspiration to his colleagues at the ECCB and the region at large. His foresight in the understanding of the modern world, and courage and power as a leader was unmatched. Sir Dwight was vigilant, energetic, diligent, intelligent and witty. However, he was equally modest about his own achievements; displayed a deep personal kindliness to others; was unfailingly courteous; and had a genuine interest in the individual well-being of others.
Sir Dwight’s was the quintessential Caribbean man and a symbol of possibility. His death is a loss for the OECS and Caribbean region. The enormity of this loss has been noted by numerous others. It therefore falls to us to embrace and strive to fulfil as best as we can his vision of an economically empowered region; to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; and to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
Sir Dwight was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. He was a Vincentian by birth. However, Sir Dwight lived the regional integration experience. His extensive publications and his sterling service on corporate, academic, labour and cultural bodies had a significant impact at national, regional and international levels and endeared him to many people. His legacy is etched into the hearts and minds of the Caribbean people and the stories they share about him will last forever.
The Hon. Chief Justice, Judges, Masters, Management and Staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court offer heartfelt condolences and gratitude to Sir Dwight’s dear widow, Lady Lynda Venner, his children, relatives and many friends. May he live on in our hearts and the hearts of all those who loved him and may his soul rest in peace.