STATEMENT: Chamber of Commerce mourns passing of former president Laurie Barnard

Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture

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Laurie Bernard, former Chamber president

We at the Chamber are joined with the many other organizations, associations, committees and sectors locally, regionally and internationally that he so passionately and efficiently represented.

Laurie Barnard, with his diverse interests from agriculture to manufacturing to hospitality, was literally and figuratively an exceptional and outstanding son of the Saint Lucia soil. As a member of the Chamber, he was deeply involved, dedicated and committed in all that the Chamber did and fashioned. As President from 2005 to 2007, he was the exemplar, the creator, the innovator, and left a significant legacy for the Chamber when his term of office ended.

His many and varied contributions to the modern day Chamber were substantial.  He was astute, savvy and directed the Chamber’s endeavours with a single-mindedness of purpose. Indeed, he changed in so many ways the landscape of not only the Chamber, but also his own distillery and hotel businesses, which he modernised and made successful.

In the areas of Government policy that directly affected the manufacturing, retail, and distributive commercial sectors, his ideas were always innovative and of great value, resulting from his extensive knowledge and research. Though tough and firm, there was fairness always in his participation particularly when dealing with Government Legislation and Policy that he and the Chamber felt would impact the running of the Saint Lucia private sector in particular and the country and society in general. One such case in point is the recently passed Labour Code, where his primary vision, for such an important piece of legislation, was to try to ensure that all sides were treated fairly.

The many accolades, honours and awards which were bestowed on him in his lifetime were all well-deserved and marked the measure of the man. In 2005 he was the Ernst and Young “Caribbean Entrepreneur of the Year”, a most prestigious and keenly contested award and no mean feat in achieving. Laurie, a man of integrity, was definitely larger than life and his sterling advice given over the many years of his Chamber Stewardship is still remembered, quoted and continues to be executed.

The Saint Lucia Chamber takes this opportunity to offer their sincere condolences to his wife Pauline and his children Joey, Samantha, Kimberly and Scot; his brothers, sisters and indeed, his entire family.

He was a consummate hardworking and successful visionary and will be sorely missed.

May he rest easily. He has been a good and faithful servant and the landscape of his country, Saint Lucia, is all the better for his having been a part of it.

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