This is the first of what I hope will be the first of many verbal photographs a snapshot of a period of time that might not make the annals of history but provide an interesting view for current and future generations. My thanks to Cheryl (Phills) -King who submitted the following:

 

I Remember Barclays . (1963-1965)

The recent announcement of the proposed merger of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) with Barclays Bank PLC (http://www.caribbean.barclays.co.uk/stvincent.html ) resulting in a new company to be called the FirstCaribbean International Bank caused a flash-back to the Barclays Bank of 1963-1965 (D.C.O then, which meant Dominion Colonial Overseas).

 

I remember this time-frame as a period of fun-filled camaraderie and for many, an introduction to the work-force. At first the female employees wore a uniform consisting of white blouses and grey skirts. This was later changed to white blouses and navy blue skirts. The hours were 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Wednesdays & Saturdays were half-days. I think business with the public ended at 12:00 noon with lunch 12:00-1:00 p.m. Half-year and end of year meant that those days would be longer.

 

When Bank Inspectors from England visited, it was a busy time. There were sub-branches of Barclays in Georgetown and Bequia and employees from Kingstown, Halifax Street went to these destinations and transacted business on certain days of the week. Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce were the major commercial banks in the country.

 

"Beach-combers" across the street, owned by Mr. Gibbons was a great place to have a banana-split as well as other delicacies while engaging in friendly conversation.

 

Congratulations to Cooper Williams for holding down the fort all of these years. It's been a long time. Without Barclays per se (with the merger it would become part of FirstCaribbean International Bank) it is truly the end of an era specifically with regard to banking in SVG and the Caribbean.

 

Other employees then were:

Marcelle (Alves) Neverson

Aggie (Collymore) Fraser

Yvonne (King)

Hinest Campbell

Yvonne {Babsie} Harold

Sylvia (Greaves) Wilson

Josephine (Sardine)

Banfield

Janice Harold

Olga (Deare)

Sheena (Veira)

Betty (Sandy) Steele

Sandra (Gun-Munro) Miller

Jean Gonsalves

Shirley Charles

Lorna (Findlay) Williams

Judy (Neehall) McGowan

Allie (Isaacs) Benjamin

Yvonne (Huggins) John

Con (Nichols) Velox

Katherine (Payne) Huggins

Anne & Charlie Clarke

Hubie Prescod

Elliott Sprott

Brensley Bonadie

Emery Robertson

Digby Ambris

Cooper Williams

Robert Cumberbatch

Ardon Bess

John Horne

Ken Gonsalves

Wingley Jones

Tony Young

Mikie Crichton

Mervyn Vincent

Monty Dargan

Jose Benjamin

John Greenwood

Jim O'Dowd

George Gomes

Rice-Davies

 

RAYMOND Harford - Manager

Male Messengers: Bertram & Boyea

Female: A lovely lady Betty

ran errands etc.

 

Cheryl (Phills) King.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

From CANANEWS October 10, 2001

(1) Wednesday, October 10, 2001, 11:00 a.m

Two directors of CIBC resign over merger with Barclays

 

Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC - Two directors of CIBC West Indies Holdings -- Ronald Harford and Ronald Huggins representing the minority interest of the Republic bank of Trinidad and Tobago -- have resigned over the proposed merger of the bank with Barclays Bank plc citing concerns about job losses and branch closures.

 

(2) Wednesday October 31, 8:35 am Eastern Time

CIBC, Barclays finalize creation of FirstCaribbean

TORONTO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (Toronto:CM.TO -news) and Barclays Bank plc (quote from Yahoo! UK & Ireland: BARC.L) said on Wednesday they had finalized a deal to combine their Caribbean operations into a new company called FirstCaribbean International Bank. The new entity will operate 87 branches in 15 Caribbean countries, and manage about $9.9 billion in assets across 800,000 accounts, the companies said in a statement. Annual cost savings from the merger, first announced in July, will be over $45 million by the end of 2004 as the combined entity benefits from a streamlined infrastructure, and lower information technology costs. Each bank will own 666 million common voting shares of FirstCaribbean, or a 45 percent equity stake, with the remaining 10 percent owned by the public. CIBC, which announced 2,000 layoffs on Tuesday, said the transaction will result in a dilution gain of about $80 million, after taking into account a capital contribution of $205 million to FirstCaribbean. Consequently, CIBC's capital ratio will improve, said the bank in a statement. Barclays said the transaction will increase its tier one capital ratio, and have a positive impact on earnings before goodwill and amortization. The combination of the retail, corporate and offshore banking operations will be completed over a 24 month period.

 

Background:

Barclays in St. Vincent 2001 an extract from a Barclays web site.

Barclays Bank in St. Vincent offers over 163 years of commercial banking experience with worldwide connections for the easy and fast way of transferring and receiving money. Our staff are knowledgeable and friendly and provide fast and reliable service. Located on Halifax Street, the main street of the capital, Barclays is close to the Post Office and other Government offices. Parking space is available for all customers doing business. The banking hall is comfortable and staff make each customer encounter a pleasant experience. Opening hours are longer than most banks. Mondays to Thursday our hours are 8:00 am - 3:00 pm and on Fridays 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Outside of these hours though, there is 24 hours 7 days a week Visa service at our ATM. We deliver premier service and give same day response on personal loans. At Barclays our customers and their needs are our first priority. Your business is highly confidential.

 

Contact: P.O Box 604, Halifax Street, Kingstown, St. Vincent, West Indies