Chamber Mourns the Passing of a Business Icon – Mr. W. A. Kelsick, O.B.E., C.S.M.
The St Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce mourns the loss of a legend of the St Kitts and Nevis business community, Mr. William A. Kelsick O.B.E., C.S.M. who died on 5th January 2013, at the age of 93. His business life and activity spanned more than three score years and ten. He entered the business world at the age of 16 and toiled non-stop in the private sector giving service of the highest quality and value. He served as President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce on three (3) different occasions with his last term ending 1984, after having been at the forefront of the revitalization and modernization of the Chamber in 1983. It was he who led the drive to ensure the Chamber’s continuing relevance through the provision of subsidized office space for some 18 years.
Mr. Kelsick was a visionary who saw the need for the local private sector to take a lead role in the economic development of our newly independent nation. He was in the forefront of a united Caribbean Approach which resulted in the Caribbean Basin Initiative. The Manufacturing Association merged with the Chamber during his Presidency.
Mr. Kelsick brought much honour to our sub-region when he became the first OECS national to be elected President of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce. He has been a pioneering giant of the private sector and has always seen and understood the bigger picture and has fearlessly championed its rights and role.
He was a member of both the Executive and Legislative Councils in 1957, serving until 1961. He was a leader in the sugar industry over the years when it was in private hands, and when it became nationally owned he was a long standing Director of the St.Kitts Sugar Manufacturing Corporation. Mr. Kelsick served on the board of numerous companies and Associations throughout the Caribbean. These included being a founding Director of the St.Christopher Air and Seaport Authority where he served continuously for 21 years. He was a founding Director of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank having previously been a Director of its predecessor Currency Authority Mr. Kelsick served on the board of the Caribbean Financial Services Corporation, was President of the Caribbean Shipping Association and Director of the Caribbean Conglomerate, ANSA McAL Ltd which is headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago.
His Hallmark has been his vast knowledge of commerce, his business acumen, his familiarity with principles of economic development and he has been able until his retirement in 2007 to bring them to bear in his outstanding stewardship at S. L. Horsford & Co. Ltd which he led with distinction as it grew from a family owned company to a public company listed on the East Caribbean Securities Exchange. A pioneering life in the true sense, his is a life worthy of emulation and to be saluted for his full contribution to our National Development.