BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 25, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ only living National Hero, Dr. the Rt. Excellent and Rt. Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds, has expressed his deepest sympathy to Lesley Pereira and her entire family on the passing of well-known businessman and hotelier, Mr. Colin Pereira.
Mr. Pereira, who was also one of the founding members of the People’s Action Movement (PAM), passed away earlier this week on Tuesday, August 22.
In an official statement, Sir Kennedy said he is “profoundly saddened by the news of his passing,” as he reflected on the major impact Mr. Pereira had on the history of St. Kitts and Nevis.
He stated, “On 20th December, 1964, a massive demonstration was held in Basseterre against the Government’s proposed increase in electricity charges to the small consumer, resulting from the introduction of a new charge for floor space. The increases had been approved by the Labour Government in Legislative Council on 20th November, 1964. The four speakers at the rally which followed the demonstration were Dr. William Herbert, Mr. Richard Caines, Mr. Michael Powell and Mr. Colin Pereira. This demonstration provided the impetus for the formation of the Peoples Action Movement. Mr. Colin Pereira was elected as Assistant Secretary of the Steering Committee elected to launch the Party and thus he became a founding member. He served the Peoples Action Movement as Assistant Secretary and Secretary for many years.”
Sir Kennedy, who is also the first Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, further noted that Mr. Pereira made a significant contribution to the establishment of the historic PAM/NRP coalition of 1980, stating, “In the wee hours of 19th February, 1980 Colin Pereira took the PAM delegation across to Nevis in his boat the Barracuda through very rough waters, to negotiate the formation of the Coalition which changed the course of our history forever.”
Despite his contributions to the political landscape within the Federation, the Honourable Sir Kennedy Simmonds stressed that it was as an entrepreneur and tourism developer that Mr. Pereira made his greatest mark in the country.
“He was without a doubt the Federation’s most innovative and creative hotel and restaurant developer. He converted the family home into the Ocean Terrace Inn, with its stunningly landscaped grounds, and managed it to earn a reputation for outstanding food and service. He followed that by creating the Fisherman’s Wharf with its unique ambiance, and, as expected in a Colin Pereira creation, excellent food and service.”
In his statement, Sir Kennedy went on to say that Mr. Colin Pereira “lived a life of service to the people of our Federation as an activist in social causes, an entrepreneur and innovator. St. Kitts and Nevis owes him a great debt of gratitude.”