PM Douglas: Will Kelsick – a man of prodigious talent, energy and determination

Photo: William Kelsick

Describing the late William A. Kelsick as a man of prodigious talent, energy and determination, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas paid tribute to the late legislator and prominent businessman who was a constructive force.

"As Prime Minister, however, and as one who is keenly aware of the political and economic foundation on which we continue to build our nation, I am also aware that in the 1950’s, as our people’s desire for greater involvement in the affairs of our islands was being expressed with ever-increasing clarity and frequency, William Kelsick was appointed to both the Executive as well as the Legislative Councils of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla, where he served for four years. Indeed, as the 1950’s drew to a close, William Kelsick was elected president of the St. Christopher Sugar Producers Association, and in keeping with his region-wide interests and involvements, also represented St. Kitts on the West Indies Sugar Association," said Prime Minister Douglas in remarks at the Service of Thanksgiving at the St. George’s Anglican Church on Monday.

He pointed out there was a time, now unknown to the very youngest in the Nation, when sugar was central to the social and economic life of St. Kitts and Nevis.

"And at that time, William Kelsick was both a director of the Basseterre Sugar Factory, as well as a director of St. Kitts Holdings Limited, representing the island’s land-owners. In this capacity, he was a part of the team that negotiated the historic sale of the sugar lands to Government. And when the St. Kitts Sugar Manufacturers Corporation was established, he served as a director there as well," the Prime Minister told mourners.

He added that William Kelsick was a man of prodigious talent, energy, and determination, and in addition to all that I have already outlined, and in addition to all that others have – and will – mention, he also served as director of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (Montserrat), the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (St. Kitts), and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

"During the seventeen years that I have had the honour to serve as Prime Minister of this country, I have made the establishment of strong public/private partnerships a priority because if St. Kitts and Nevis – or indeed any nation – is to achieve its full potential, partnership, collaboration, and cooperation between business, on the one hand, and government, on the other, is key. William Kelsick understood this. He shared this vision. And in my Cabinets and my ongoing efforts to demonstrate that Government and business can, indeed, work together to advance the interests of our nation, William Kelsick repeatedly proved himself to be both a receptive, as well as a constructive, force. Indeed, not only did the man we honour today prove himself to be a receptive and constructive force during my tenure as Prime Minister, but years before, when I was Leader of the Opposition, he similarly made himself available as a willing and reliable source of wise and steady counsel," said Prime Minister Douglas.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader said William Kelsick was a man of extraordinary business acumen and his wisdom and insights, so readily shared with his Government, were pivotal in determining the shape, direction, and structure of the private sector as it exists today.

"For this, my Government thanks him. For this, I thank him. And to his family I extend my deepest sympathy. May his soul rest in peace," concluded Prime Minister Douglas.