by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): In commemoration of its 39th anniversary, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) hosted a church service at the Pentecostal Church of God in St. Kitts, giving thanks to God for 39 years of service to the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
In attendance was Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Geoffery Hanley, ECCB’s Governor Mr. Timothy N.J. Antoine, Deputy Governor Dr. Valda Henry and members and staff of the ECCB.
Governor Antoine, in giving remarks, recognized the founders of the ECCB, sharing that they contributed to the stability of the institution; stability that so many take for granted.
“This morning we have come to give thanks to the Almighty God for his sustaining grace for us, through us over the last 39 years and I could not help but to pay tribute to all of our founders and framers, people like Sir Cecil Jacobs, Sir Dwight Venner and Sir Errol Allen and many others; some of whom have retired and are still here and some have gone on. I just want to recognise all those who have contributed to the stability that the ECCB brings to us.”
Antoine explained, “Many of us take this stability for granted because all we know is EC $1.00 to US $1.00 is EC $2.70 and we’ve known that for years, all our lives. We forget when there was a time when it was not like that. That decision was made in July 1976 and because of that decision, we are enjoying stability and until recently, relatively low inflation.”
Meanwhile, the Governor said the Eastern Caribbean Dollar remains consistent, which is something that the people of the ECCU should be proud of.
“The confidence that comes from having a stable dollar is something to cherish and to protect. When you look at other countries and other currencies in our region and elsewhere, this is something for which we can be justifiably proud and we must never take it for granted. So we’ve come to celebrate.”
The ECCB was officially commissioned on October 01, 1983, replacing the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority. The ECCB was commissioned eleven days after St. Kitts and Nevis became Independent. The signing of the ECCB Agreement was held on July 5 1983 in Trinidad and Tobago by the eight participating Governments. The Right Hon. Sir Dr. Kennedy Simmonds represented St. Kitts and Nevis as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.