Governor, Central Bank of Barbados
Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture
Frank Collymore Hall
November 21, 2011
This lecture is tribute to the vision of our first Central Bank Governor, and is named in honour of our first native Governor General.
Sir Winston Scott was the first native Governor General of Barbados, appointed to that office in May 1967, after a career as a successful and highly regarded medical practitioner. He established a nursing home, which is known as Woodside Memorial Clinic, and which he continued to run until he became Governor General. He had a distinguished record in community work and gave his services without charge to the Children's Goodwill League, as well as lecturing in public health. From time to time he taught hygiene to the pupils of some of the primary schools in the Bridgetown area. As Governor-General, Sir Winston won the respect and affection of the nation by the quiet dignity and devotion with which he fulfilled his duties. He died suddenly while in office, on August 9, 1976.
Tonight I am happy to acknowledge the extraordinary foresight of Sir Courtney Blackman, to whose vision we owe this series. Dr Blackman understood that the Central Bank is not fundamentally about money supplies and inflation targets, but about the prosperity of our country and the quality of life of our people. True, our principal charge is maintaining the value of the nation's savings by protecting the value of our dollar, but Sir Courtney always emphasized that we must also play our part in the life of the wider society. This vision was reflected in the building of the Frank Collymore Hall; there are probably some among us who recall the controversy that resulted from the unexpectedly high cost of the tower building, and the view of many at the time that plans for the construction of the FCH should have been abandoned. Because Sir Courtney understood the importance of this facility for the advancement of the cultural life of the nation, he insisted that it be completed, and for that Barbadians are forever in his debt.
Even before the construction of our HQ building, however, Sir Courtney had initiated the Scott lecture. This was not to be the typical central bank lecture, limited to topics on money and finance. Instead it was to do with the totality of our lives, in their every dimension. The lecture would be, for our tiny country, a window on worldwide currents of thought and ideas, exposing us to innovative thinking across the spectrum of human concerns. The series has been spectacularly successful in this regard, covering information technology, the environment, the future, the African dilemma, health, religion, literature, the media, alternative energy, size and
distance, and much else.
Last year, you will recall, our topic was human rights, and we were treated to reflections by Dr Irene Khan, former Secretary General of Amnesty International, that stirred deep emotional responses in all of us. Tonight we return to the topic of education, and we are privileged to have as our lecturer one of our own, Prof Cardinal Warde, among the most distinguished of living Barbadians. Your programme tells you something of Cardinal's many achievements. What it cannot tell you is the extrao?rdinary vision and drive of the man himself, his furious energy and his bountiful store of ideas. By the end of the evening you will understand what I mean. But before Cardinal speaks to you I invite the Honourable Patrick Todd, Minister of State in the Ministry of Housing and Lands to offer some welcoming remarks.