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Sir Arthur Lewis Honoured!

Sir Arthur Lewis was a distinguished, exceptional son of the soil.

Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor, The UWI, Cave Hill Campus, Prof. The Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau expressed these words of praise to the former economist who was honoured at the CARICOM Research building with a showcase and unveiling of the W. Arthur Lewis Portraiture yesterday.

In the presence of his nephew, former Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Sir Vaughan Lewis, his wife, Shirley Lady Lewis and his daughters, Claire Lewis, Louisa Lewis-Ward and granddaughter, Gabriella Ward, the UWI Principal said Sir Arthur bestowed the discipline of Economics and Caribbean Political Economy like the colossus he was.

“A leading intellectual of his time, he helped to shape the thinking on academic and political economy on a global scale,” said UWI Principal Prof. Barriteau.

Barriteau noted his expertise was in demand internationally and his views were adopted in development planning strategies that influenced the lives of generations and millions in countries. She asked that the audience made up of UWI academia, senior administrative staff, public officials and university students to pause and consider that Sir Arthur’s views were extremely relevant to the times in which he lived.

“He grappled with the development problems of the colonial Caribbean on the verge of internal rule and then independence following,” said Prof. Barriteau.

Use Sir Arthur’s work as a catalyst

She added that he gave the world a blueprint that many nations have successfully followed. She stressed that it is imperative that Sir Arthur’s work is used as a catalyst that propels us towards contemporary research which seeks to create indigenous solutions to our Caribbean situation.

“That is why I want to remind SALISES, it is a regional think tank and the colleagues within SALISES and indeed the wider social sciences possess the critical and analytical skills and expertise to inform regional policy that advances Caribbean civilisation,” said Prof. Barriteau.

Principal of The UWI, Prof. Barriteau noted earlier that this year in January, the respected economist and “illustrious West Indian citizen” marked his 105th anniversary.

For his contribution, Sir Arthur has been honoured in a number of ways in his homeland, St. Lucia, in the region and internationally.

His portrait is on the one-hundred-dollar Eastern Caribbean bill while his name is on a community college in St. Lucia, a building on the campus of the University of Manchester, England and the Sir Arthur Institute of Social and Economic Studies better known as SALISES at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus. Sir Arthur was born on January 23, 1915 and died on June 15, 1991.

The St. Lucian economist was a Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics (1979), former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and former President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

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