Nevis Co-operative Credit Union pays tribute to stalwart pioneer, Mr Arthur Evelyn

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CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, August 24, 2021 (MMS-SKN) — The Nevis Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU), the oldest such society in the Federation, on Monday August 23 paid glowing tribute to its stalwart pioneer, Mr Arthur Lionel Evelyn, at a funeral service that was held at the Elquemedo T. Willett Park in Charlestown, Nevis.

“The Credit Union fraternity in Nevis, Saint Kitts and the wider Caribbean mourns the loss of a pioneer whose contribution to the advancement of the co-operative business model and the upliftment of the Nevisian people will forever be remembered and appreciated,” said General Manager of the NCCU, Mr Sydney Newton, as he paid tribute to Mr Arthur Evelyn who died on Friday August 13 at the age of 93.

Heartfelt condolences to the Evelyn’s family at the time of their bereavement were expressed by the Nevis Credit Union family that was represented by its President Mrs Vernesia Walters, the St. Kitts and Nevis National Co-operative League that was represented by its President, Mr Peter Jenkins, and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU) through its General Manager, Ms Denise Garfield.

“Mr Arthur Lionel Evelyn stands out as a stalwart pioneer of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited (NCCU), having earned this distinction by his unparalleled contribution to the stability, growth and development of the credit union in its formative years,” said Mr Newton.

After the registration of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited on July 25, 1972, as the successor to the Charlestown Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Mr Evelyn worked along with many other pioneers to lay a strong foundation for the cherished institution that has become a financial pillar in the Nevisian society.

According to Mr Newton, his colleague co-operators were: Ingle Blackett – OBE, Anthony Horner, Spencer Byron, Father John Wagland, Harry Maynard, Ann-Marie Caines, Cicely Grell-Hull, Eileen Blackett – MBE, and others (who preceded him in death), and Hon Joseph Parry, Olvis Dyer, Eugenie Hector, Warner Riviere, Pastor Eversley Pemberton, Carmella Hanley, and many others (who are still alive).

Mr Evelyn served the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union selflessly as a Director from the early-1970s through early-1980s, espousing the principles and values of co-operativism, volunteerism, and ethical business practices.

“But his most significant contribution was the provision of free office space for the fledgling credit union, upstairs his private business on Main Street in Charlestown for over ten (10) years,” said Mr Newton. “During that period, Mr Evelyn allowed an employee of his business – the youthful, energetic Warner Riviere (who himself had become a Director of Nevis Co-operative Credit Union), a measure of freedom to assist the young society during normal business hours.”

According to the General Manager, Mr Evelyn was also instrumental in securing grant funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in the early 1980s, through the assistance of Mr Melvin Edwards, then an employee of the Barbados-based Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), for the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union to erect its own office building on Chapel Street in 1984, on lands leased from the Nevis Island Administration.

“Mr Arthur L. Evelyn was the epitome of humility, integrity and service, and a role model worthy of emulation,” pointed out Mr Newton. “In recognition of his sterling contribution to the development of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union, the society’s Board Room was named in his honour in 2007 as ‘The Arthur L. Evelyn Board Room’.”

Mr Arthur Evelyn was accorded an official funeral, and in attendance at the service which was officiated by Rev. Fr. Christopher Archibald were the Deputy Governor General for Nevis, Her Honour Mrs Hyleeta Liburd and Mr Elmo Liburd, Governor General’s Deputy His Excellency Michael Morton, Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, and Premier of Nevis and Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs the Hon Mark Brantley among others.

“We trust that you will find great satisfaction in Mr Evelyn’s exemplary service to God, Country and Humanity, and pray that you will be comforted by the God of All Comfort,” said Mr Newton in his tribute. “May his gentle soul rest peacefully in the arms of his Creator and Lord.”

Interment was at the Bath Cemetery where Mr Newton laid a wreath on behalf of the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union and the Credit Union fraternity in St. Kitts.

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