1900-1996: musician, founder Defence Force Band and Police Brass Band, founding member St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla National.
Edgar Samuel Bridgewater was born at Westbury, Nevis on 3rd October 1900. He was one of eight children born to George Bridgewater and his wife Amanda. As the father was a policeman, the family moved around a great deal. Edgar first emigrated with the family to Antigua, where he attended the Buxton Grove Primary School. At twelve years of age, young Edgar was taught by his father to play the organ. He came to St. Kitts in 1912, continued his education and at thirteen years of age he became a pupil teacher. In 1915, he returned to Nevis where he worked as a tailor. Then two years later he settled in St. Kitts and joined the Defence Force. The first world war was then raging in Europe and the Government in the colony went about the establishment of an enlarged force with vigour. Machine gun sites were established at various strategic locations and a state of military readiness was maintained by regular alarms and surprise calls. Bridgewater served as one of a crew of ten manning a gun sent by the Canadian government to protect its shipping line on which St. Kitts was a port of call.
The decade from 1920 to 1930 found Bridgewater living in Santo Domingo. While there he teamed up with W.J.E. Butler, another Nevisian, to train the Moravian Choir officiating as its organist whilst Butler was its director. He also became heavily involved in the Marcus Garvey Movement and soon found himself functioning as Assistant Secretary of the United Negro Improvement Association.
The Garvey Movement became the target of suspicion by the Americans who then occupied Santo Domingo. One Friday night as the choir practised, they were all arrested and charged with incitement. Bridgewater spent thirty days in jail and at the end of that period he found himself the leader of the movement.
Returning to St. Kitts in 1930, Bridgewater again joined forces with Butler and became a member of both the Esperanza Band and of the Defence Force. He continued to pursue music with a passion and in 1932 formed the Defence Force Band.
He also increased his knowledge through correspondence study and qualified for the post of court stenographer at the Basseterre Magistrate's Court. In 1939 he joined the Civil Service as a temporary clerk attached to the Labour Office. And eight months later was appointed Chief Officer of H.M. Prison. In June 1941 he attended a Prison Officer's training course in Trinidad and was accorded a special mention for passing out at the top of a class of forty-five. In 1942 Bridgewater was appointed Keeper of the Prison, succeeding Knight as prison superintendent. In this capacity he was instrumental in the establishment of the Prison farm in Nevis.
His increased work load did not diminish his interest in music and he continued to serve as leader of the Defence Force Band producing many of the finest musicians on St. Kitts.
When Police Commissioner, John Lynch-Wade attempted to give the Police Force a wider social base, he called Mr. Bridge out of retirement to establish the Police Band. For years that band under Bridgewater's guidance, participated in festivals under the name of Police Brass. When the band made its last march in 1980, Mr. Bridge then 80 years of age marched at the front.
Bridgewater also owned and operated a music shop on Burt Street but his activities in St. Kitts went beyond music. The Prison Keeper before him ran a small penny bank for the poor people of the Methodist Church. Perhaps this was the inspiration behind the St. Kitts Industrial Bank. Along with Stanley Procope, Bridgewater promoted the idea and established a banking office on Central Street.
Hilda Bridgewater tells how, in the first few days of the enterprise, her husband asked her to lend him $40.00 so that he could make a loan to a client. When she expressed concern, Bridgewater told her that the Lord would take care of things. The Penny Bank as it was called allowed its customers to open an account with just one penny and many, who had experienced difficulties in dealing with the foreign banks, took advantage of the possibility of saving for a rainy day. It was this institution which was later to become The St. Kitts Nevis and Anguilla National Bank of which Edgar Bridgewater was a founding member. In a message published on the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the National Bank, Bridgewater recalled those early days.
You can imagine how the Bank clerks where we kept our accounts, used to 'eye' us whenever we turned up with these bundles of pennies to deposit. Often times we were left for the last to be served and as we watched them counting those pennies we got the feeling that they regarded our business as some sort of nuisance business. Edgar Bridgewater died in Nevis at the age of ninety-five years on Thursday, August 29, 1996.
Simeon Daniel was born on 22nd August, 1934 at Barnes Ghaut Village in St. Thomas’ Parish, Nevis, West Indies to Joseph Daniel and Melvina Daniel, nee Archer.
He received his early education at St. Thomas’ Government Elementary School. He entered the teaching profession as a Pupil Teacher in 1950 and attained the Leeward Island Teachers’ Certificate in 1957.
Simeon Daniel began his legal tutorial at the Council of Legal Education School of Law in 1962. While still a student (1960-1966) he worked as a clerk at the London County Council and later as an Executive Officer, and in 1965 received a recognition grant for outstanding meritorious work from the said Institution. He continued his education at the Inner Temple of the Inns of Court in London. In 1966 he became Barrister at Law and was called to the Bar in England.
He returned to Nevis in 1966 and served as Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and was admitted to the Local Bar that same year. The following year he was appointed Crown Counsel and later Registrar of the Supreme Court and Additional Magistrate in the State. He entered Private practice in 1969.
Mr. Simeon Daniel was among the founding members of the Nevis Reformation Party in 1970.
He served as Chairman of the Local Council from 1972 to 1980 and was elected to the National Assembly in May 1975 and February 1980.
Following the formation of the historic Coalition Government of the People’s Action Movement and the Nevis Reformation Party, Mr. Simeon Daniel assumed the Honourable Port Folios of Minister of Finance and Nevis Affairs on February 19th, 1980.
Nevis first Premier the Hon Dr. Simeon Daniel, who was the architect of the clause in the Constitution that allows independence for Nevis, Section 113, is saying that persons opposed to the island’s independence are ungrateful.
113.- (1) The Nevis Island Legislature may provide that the island of Nevis shall cease to be federated with the island of Saint Christopher and accordingly that this Constitution shall no longer have effect in the island of Nevis.
(2) A bill for the purposes of subsection (1) shall not be regarded as being passed by the Assembly unless on its final reading the bill is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the elected member of the Assembly and such a bill shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless-
a) there has been an interval of not less than ninety days between the introduction of the bill in the Assembly and the beginning of the proceedings in the Assembly on the second reading of the bill,
b) after it has been passed by the Assembly, the bill has been approved in a referendum held in the island of Nevis by not less than two-thirds of all the votes validly cast on that referendum; and
c) full and detailed proposal for the future constitution of the island of Nevis (whether as a separate states or as part of or in association with some other country) have been laid before the Assembly for at least six months before the holding of the referendum and those proposals, with adequate explanations of their significance, have been made available to the persons entitled to vote on the referendum at least ninety days before the holding of the referendum.
(3) Every person who, at the time when the referendum is held, would be entitled to vote at elections of representatives held in the island of Nevis shall be entitled to vote on a referendum held for the purposes of this section in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the Nevis Island Legislature for the purpose of the referendum and no other person shall be entitled so to vote.
(4) In any referendum for the purposes of this section the votes shall be given by ballot in such manner as not to disclose how any particular person votes.
(5) The conduct of any referendum for the purposes of this section shall be the responsibility of the Supervisor of Elections and the Provisions of subsection (4), (5) and (7) of section 34 shall apply in relation to the exercise by the Supervisor of Elections or by any other officer of his function with respect to a referendum as they apply in relation to the exercise of his functions with respect to elections of Representatives.
(6) There shall be such provisions as may be made by the Nevis Island Legislature to enable independent and impartial persons nominated by an international authority to observe the conduct of a referendum for the purposes of this section and to make reports on the conduct or results of the referendum to the Governor-General, who shall cause any such reports to be published, and for that purpose any such persons shall be accorded such powers, privileges and immunities as may be prescribed by or under any a law enacted by Parliament or, subject thereto, by or under any law enacted by the Nevis Island Legislature.
(7) A bill for the purposes of subsection (1) shall not be submitted to the Governor-General for his assent unless it is accompanied by a certificate under the hand of the president of the Assembly that the provisions of subsection (2) have been complied with and a certificate under that hand of the Supervisor of Elections stating the results of the referendum.
(8) The certificate of the president of the Assembly under this subsection shall be conclusive that the provision of subsection (2) have been complied with and shall not be enquired into in any court of law.
He was a founding member of NRP, which won the first elections in 1983 on Nevis and formed a coalition government with the St. Kitts-based People Action Movement (PAM).
“The founding members of the Nevis Reformation Party fought with all their might to get Nevis where it is today,” said Dr. Daniel who added that when they started, they had nothing.
He lamented: “For the new NRP to saying that Nevis cannot go it alone: Nevis cannot be independent is a slap in the face for the hard work and the sacrifices that our fathers and forefathers and old founders of the NRP have made. It is ungratefulness, but as I have said, and as the Good Book say, ungratefulness does not pay, and the sins will visit the children and their children’s children up to the fourth generation.”
The first premier, who supported the first bid for secession in 1998, even though he had retired from active politics, cautioned the people of Nevis to learn from history, and be wary of advances that are being put forward by those in St. Kitts.
He recalled the days when, even though they were in coalition with PAM, the St. Kitts government would allow salary cheques for civil servants in Nevis to bounce.
He said that the Government in St. Kitts had 80 percent ownership of the bank and “I was the one who passed a resolution in the house of assembly for the government to get 80% control of the bank and when we sent down our cheques, they were told ‘we can’t pay civil servants this month’, or ‘we can’t pay this week’.
Dr. Daniel posed: “So you want to tell me that who have gone through all these things must still trust them? We must still trust them and a leopard does not change it skin?
“It may pretend and what is happening right now is that the population in Nevis is being lured into a false sense of security, but when the time comes and they are ready to put pressure on us, they will say, “you remember when you were trying to get away; you remember when you wanted to become independent? We must not forget because they do not forget.”
Unlike the people of Anguilla who used force in 1967 to stay out of the St. Kitts –Nevis – Anguilla statehood, he advised that Nevisians are able to use the Constitution.
“We hope we never have to do that (used of force), because we now have the opportunity to get our freedom, our independence by the stroke of a pen,” advised Dr. Daniel.
He pointed out that those who have benefited from the efforts of the old NRP are now turning their backs on what they fought for and said “then I say this is ungratefulness and they will pay for it, maybe not right now but they will pay for it. God’s work for sure. It takes time, but it is sure.”
Ms Lornette Esdaille Manners
Service to her community is one of the outstanding characteristics of Lornette Esdaille manners. She has contributed to her country’s development as an educator, church worker, social worker and community worker.
Her education commenced at the Gingerland Infants and Junior School and Charlestown Secondary School and later continued at the South Central Community College, New Haven, Connecticut, from which she graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Journalism. She also attained qualification from the Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, Connecticut when she graduated in 1975.
Ms Manners was appointed Graduate Teacher at Gingerland High School, Nevis from 1977 to 1988. She was awarded British Council Scholarship Grant to study at Moray House of Education, Edinburgh, Scotland. She was appointed Headmistress of the Gingerland High School and served from October 1988 to August 1993.
Following this appointment Mrs. Manners served as Education Officer with responsibility for primary Schools’ management from 1993 to 2004. During that tenure she deputized in the absence of the Principal Education Officer and managed the Education Department and Ministry from September 2003 to November 2004 when she retired from Public Service.
She was the first Assistant Examiner for English A to mark CSEC scripts from a high school in Nevis. She was also an item writer for CSEC Paper 1 examinations for a three-year period
Outside of her professional career, Mrs. Manners was involved in Lions community service organization. She was a charter member of the defunct Lioness Club and rose to the rank of President. She then became a member of the Lions Club and served as Leo Club advisor. Although a former member of the club, she is still called upon regularly to advise and motivate young Lions and Leos because of her experience, knowledge, commitment and willing nature.
Ms Manners is also an active Church Worker and holds the position of Chairperson of Education and Organization Committee for the Nevis Circuit of the Methodist Church. She is also a choir member, class leader and unofficial adviser and resource person to the various youth groups and organizations in the church. She is also a member of the Woman’s League.
Having retired from the public service Ms Manners is still determined to continue educating the federation’s children. She is pursuing a Post Graduate Certificate Course in Dyslexia and Literacy, with the Dyslexia Institute in England. She also tutors dyslexic students since her mission is to help children and adults learn to read and write so that they can feel a greater sense of self-worth and limitless boundaries.
In the same way that Ms Manners has an affinity to youth, she also has a connection with the elderly. She makes the time to visit them, including the sick and shut-in and the needy providing them with comfort, advice and material benefits where possible. Her involvement is social, community and humanitarian projects and activities has given her the dubious title of “Mother Therese.”
Ms Manners was given the "Medal of Honour" for her Public & Community Service during Independence 2006.
Malcolm Guishard was born on 13th January, 1952 to Myrtle and Claude Guishard. He attended the St. Johns and Prospect primary schools, and Charlestown Secondary School. Between 1971 and 1973, he taught at the Gingerland junior school and then at the Gingerland high school from 1973 to 1975. He pursued his tertiary education at the Caribbean Union College (CUC) in Trinidad, majoring in Business Education.
The late Honourable Guishard was employed as an accountant of Higgs and Hill, a construction company between 1975 and 1977. Between 1977 and 1980, he was owner and manager of Hamilton Quarries. Between 1980 and 1985, he worked as an accounts clerk at Shell Antilles and Guianas Ltd.
Mr. Guishard contested the Federal Election as a Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) candidate in 1989, but he lost to Premier Simeon Daniel. In June 1992, the late Honourable Guishard contested the Nevis Local Election and won. Mr. Guishard lost Mr. Hensley Daniel in the July 2006 Nevis Island General Elections. The NRP won the elections by a three seats to two victory, after 14 years of CCM’s reign.
He died on Monday 11th June, 2007 after complaining of breathing difficulties following an early morning swim at Gallows Bay. He was rushed to the Alexandria Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. At the time of his death, Malcolm Guishard,was Leader of the Opposition in the Federal Parliament.
Joseph Walcott Parry
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne, as well as children and grandchildren.
The Honourable Joseph Walcott Parry, a contemporary man of traditional values. He is a dedicated family man, hard working, with an unfailing love for his country. He was born in Cotton Ground, educated in Charlestown Secondary School and The University of the West Indies where he achieved an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Economics.
Mr Parry has proven his dedication to service to his country and indeed this region in numerous areas: In sports, he served as President of Nevis Cricket Association for over ten years. He was a representative for Nevis on the Leeward Island Cricket Association for six years and sponsored a number of sports teams in his home parish of St. Thomas over the past years. He also represented Leeward Island Cricket Association on the West Indies Cricket Board of Control.
Mr. Parry has been very active in Church as a member of the Lowlands Anglican congregation, serving on the Vestry for a number of years. Other charitable organizations have also benefited from his knowledge and experience.
Mr. Parry was a teacher at the Charlestown Secondary School for the majority of his Civil Service Career. He has been a positive influence in the lives of many Nevisians who have gone on to excel in their own careers--many of them would, if asked, relate a story or anecdote of Mr. Parry's positive influence on them in their formative years. In fact, at the 40th anniversary celebrations, he was voted by his peers and former students as the most outstanding male teacher. Joseph Parry served as the first Nevisian Permanent Secretary and was responsible for establishing the Social Security Office in Nevis. This dedicated Nevisian was the architect of the Nevis Civil Service Structure when he served in government after Independence in 1983.
The Honourable Joseph Parry is an experienced politician starting his career in 1987 and reaching maturity in Government as the Minister of Tourism, Agriculture, Lands, Housing, Development and Labour. He was one of the principle architects of the first development plan for Nevis. His integrity has never been called into question and his love for his country and its people has been unwavering.
Mr. Parry has also been successful in the private sector both as an entrepreneur and as a non executive member of several Boards. He was a founding member of the Bank of Nevis over twenty years ago and was one its first directors. He has also served as Chairman of the Bank of Nevis International and presently chairs the Investment Committee and Human Resource Committee.
Born in New Castle, Nevis, Ermine is the first child of the late Elmond Queeley and Rosanel Queeley, both of Newcastle. She attended the Combermere School, and at an early age demonstrated a passion for business when she started, with the help of her mother, to make and sell coconut drops and frozen-joys to her classmates, teachers and others around the community. Her entrepreneurial spirit was encouraged by her father, himself a businessman, when he sent her abroad, at a very early age to gain more into the field business.
Ermine traveled to the British Virgin Island during the early 1970’s, where, rather than enrolling in classes as expected, sought employment in one of the large supermarkets on the island of Tortola. Her prowess in manipulating figures and her bright personality quickly earned her a job as a cashier. However, her constant yearnings to be near her parents and younger siblings forced her to return home only after a year and a half on island. On her return to Nevis, Ermine resumed her little business, this time expanding to sell fine cakes, local drinks and ice-cream. While operating her business, Ermine had the opportunity to travel extensively. On one such trip, while visiting relatives in the Netherlands, she was encouraged by her cousin to buy a few pieces of clothing to take back home to sell. This she did; and that was the birth of the now ever-popular Erms Fancy Store, one of the leading locally-owned stores on the island of Nevis, which sells toys, electronics and household items on the top floor and clothing, gifts and cosmetics on the ground floor.
Ermine was the lone female candidate for the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party when she contested the local elections and the 18th February 1980 General Elections. She ran on the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party ticket for the Gingerland seat in Nevis which was against Mr. Simeon Daniel of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP).when she contested the She continues to lend her support to those who seek her advice.
She has continued to serve her community in the area of business; and is also a board member of the Nevis Air and Seaports Authority (NASPA).
Ermine still lives in New Castle and shares her world with her husband Keith, three daughters, Karin, Shelley and Monique; one grandson, Keyon and a grand daughter, Monet.
(Information from COUPM.com)
Ms. Clara Lorna Walters
(Nevis) - Public & Community Service (Medal of Honour)
As A pioneer in fields previously untouched by females in these parts of the world. Clara Lorna Walters would traverse her way through unfamiliar territory and emerge a leader in her own right. The road to being the first Female Customs Officer in Nevis was one filled with adventure, excitement and challenge. She began her Civil Service career as a substitute clerk at the General Post Office in Basseterre She served in this capacity as assistant to her cashier, and obtained general knowledge of other areas of work in the Post Office because of her willingness to lean and a high level of interest in gaining knowledge and understanding of department in St. Kitts.
When Miss Walter found her lifetime partner. Mr. Harold Walters of Nevis she was transferred back to Nevis is where she took up duties at the Charlestown Post Office. Some years later she became the First Female Customs Office in Nevis. Her dedication and hard work gained her selection to attend a six month Customs and Excise Training Course at the Customs Training School in Trinidad and Tobago where she attained a certificate of Merit.
A management course at the Manitoba Institute of Management. Canada. Was also one of the high points of her saint as a Customs Officer. She subsequently became the First Female Treasurer of the Nevis Island Administration with the day to day operations of the Treasury Department and Customs Department with additional duties as Harbour Master.
Eventually Mrs. Walters would work her way up to Permanent Secretary to the Premier again the First Female to be appointed to this position in Nevis. This was the crowning experience of her Civil service career and she performed with distinction and efficiency.
She also found time to be involved in the Girl Guides Movement as a Leader. Church activities and to raise five beautiful children. A feat she credits to God’s help and that of her devoted husband.
In her social lift as in her career she accomplished outstanding achievements. She completed and paying off the loan for construction of Girl Guides Headquarters via Fundraisers; she increased the number of Brownies and Girl Guides considerably and Sport in Nevis also benefited from her input.
Ms. Walters achievements are testimony to the fact that anyone can accomplish anything that they are passionate about and perhaps passion is only the state of mind that no matter where we are placed…. We can make the best of it.
He taught many Kittititians and Nevisians who have gone on to establish successful professional careers, including Toronto-based historian, Dr. Sheldon Taylor.
Born in Rawlins Village, Gingerland, Nevis, on 4th October, 1916. Sutton received his early childhood education in St. Kitts and graduated from the Trinidad & Tobago Teachers’ Training College in 1950 before returning to teach English at the St. Kitts/Nevis Grammar School.
“Mr. Sutton is a multi-cultural intellectual and part of a dying breed” said Taylor who migrated to Canada 40 years ago. “He learned to study by reading and with the help of the kerosene lamp.
He was a distinguished teacher and he gave up a lot to come to this country in the 1960s and do what he had to do to thrive and survive.”
Sutton migrated to Toronto, Canada in 1969, he worked as a salesman, cab driver and office clerk before securing employment as a supply teacher with the Toronto and then Scarborough School Boards. He wrote two books, “A Testament of Triumph” (1987), which documents the post colonialism social and economic conditions in St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla and is widely used in academic institutions around the world, including York University’s Humanities Division, and his autobiography, “Our Love Prevailed,” which was published a few years later.
In addition to teaching, Sutton loves traveling and had visited many countries and exotic sites which he has captured on camera, slides and video.
“Mr. Sutton loves life and he’s enjoyed it to the fullest,” said Althea Archibald, a retired Bell Canada Manager. Sutton fathered 11 children, including James Sutton, who is a medical doctor and pharmaceutical executive and Winston Sutton, a professor of Theatre at Montreal’s Dawson College who, in 1974, became just the second African-Canadian (Ardon Bess was the first) to be accepted at the National Theatre School.
Cecil Oliver Byron
Born on July 8, 1916 at Bath Village, Mr. Byron defied age and continued to serve the general public until his ill health. He was honoured for his sterling contribution to community development by the Nevis Island Administration in 2003 during the Independence Celebration.
In March 1980, he was appointed Magistrate District C Nevis and Additional Magistrate Districts A and B in St. Kitts, where he continued to work until 1998 when he retired as Magistrate.
Legal Advisor in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr. Patrice Nisbett while he expressed condolences to the family on behalf of the Nevis Island Administration, described Mr. Byron as a legal practitioner who served with a sense of pride, dignity and compassion.
He said that in the magistracy, Mr. Byron dealt with disputes that arose between the ordinary citizens and residents of Nevis, citing, He served with a sense of pride, a sense of dignity and most of all a sense of compassion when dispensing justice between the various litigants that came before him.
I myself have had the opportunity of appearing before him for a number of years and I can say that his experience has assisted in moulding and shaping my practice at the Bar. I believe that at this time the family of Mr. Byron should find solace in the fact that he was able to touch the lives of many Nevisians and I believe that he not only served his family well, but he served the country well in the pursuit of justice, said the Legal Advisor.
Meantime, during the Civil Proceedings held earlier today (Tuesday) at the High Court in Charlestown, a moment of silence was observed by Resident Judge, Her Ladyship, the Hon. Madame Justice Ianthea Leigertwood-Octave to acknowledge the passing of Mr. Byron. A special sitting of the High Court in Nevis is planned to pay tribute to and mark the passing of his death.
He began his legal career in September 1948 when he left the island for Britain to read law at the Middle Temple, London and was called to the English Bar at Middle Temple by 1953.
He returned to the Caribbean in 1955 and was appointed Registrar, Supreme Court in Antigua. He was called to the Bar in St. Kitts on March 17th, 1958 and by 1959 was appointed Acting Warden/Magistrate, Nevis for six months.
In 1960, he joined the Legal Department in St. Kitts and was appointed Assistant Attorney General. Between 1962 and 1963, Mr. Byron was appointed and served as Attorney General St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla for eight months.
When he declined an offer in 1963 to be Attorney General of Dominica, Mr Byron set up his private practice by the following year and continued to serve the public until 1980 when he was appointed Magistrate.
The distinguished legal practitioner served as a member of the Public Service Commission for a four-year term in the 1960s and also served as visiting Justice to Prison, Nevis for a four-year term in the 1970s. He was the father of three daughters.
Mr. Cecil Oliver Byron, Retired Magistrate and Senior Member of the St. Kitts-Nevis Bar Association. Mr Byron passed away quietly on Monday evening 15th January 2007 at the Alexandra Hospital following a period of illness.