Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The first six of an 80-slip marina was officially opened this week.
Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in remarks during the opening ceremony on Wednesday said St. Kitts Marine Works was conceived, established, and built into this most impressive establishment by the young, visionary, and innovative Mr. Regiwell Francis.
He told invited guests that ‘visionary’ and ‘innovative’ are words that some people may throw around without much thought.
“But even a quick glance at St. Kitts Marine Works, or one look at all that Reg Francis has accomplished over his young life makes it clear that the words “visionary” and “innovative” do, indeed, apply very precisely and appropriately to him,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who joined Mr. Francis, his son and parents in cutting the ribbon to officially open the marina, named “Marina Telca,” – named after his mother.
He noted that before Reg’s decision, five years ago, to provide this very special service to boat owners in the Federation, in the immediate vicinity, and even farther afield, “most people in St. Kitts and Nevis had never even heard of a business like this.
“As a result of Reg’s initiative and drive, however, not only are the needs of local and regional boat-owners being met, but the skills of our country’s marine electricians and marine mechanics are being put to good use as well. We pass by this facility and we see boats being painted, polished and waxed. We see finishing and varnishing underway. And composite and exotic materials, fiberglass, gelcoat, woodwork and carpentry are all part of what takes place here on a daily basis – putting the skills of this country’s men and women to good use, and generating incomes for all involved,” Dr. Douglas pointed out.
He noted that one year ago, the Government received a proposal from Mr. Francis to establish this marina and in keeping with his forward looking persona, and with his special ability to identify a need and fill it.
According to the Prime Minister, 80 percent of the revenue of St. Kitts Marine Works comes from outside the Federation, thus causing an inflow of funds into the country, where it stays, where it is paid to the locals who work and where it circulates throughout the national economy.
“My Government has long stressed the importance of a spirit of entrepreneurship to the continued forward movement of our country,” said Dr. Douglas, noting that when he speaks to young people and even the older members of the society, “ I often stress to them about the importance of Kittitians and Nevisians not always thinking of ourselves as employees, but to begin thinking of ourselves, as well, as persons who are capable of providing good and services to persons and interests both within the Federation and beyond.”
“This is precisely what Reg Francis has done over the years. And I hold him up to our society as the type of competent, effective self-starter on which stable and vibrant societies everywhere depend,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
“I am so pleased to see Reg’s young son, Khalid Francis, with us today, as are his parents, Ben and Telca Francis. We can well imagine how very proud they must be of Reg – as are we all. Please join me once more, therefore, in congratulating Reg and in wishing he continued success in the years to come, as he continues to demonstrate to us allthe power and importance of an entrepreneurial spirit,” said Prime Minister Douglas.