Our speaker this week was Sir Louis Lockhart, a long-time friend of many members and a frequent visitor to the previous Dixie club and the City Centre club.

Sir Louis was born on October 1922 in St. Mary's hospital, Paddington, London, England. This hospital's claim to fame is that it is where most of the present royal family were born. Sir Louis was taken to Dominica in 1924 to live with his grandmother and 2 maiden aunts. His father and aunts were born on the French island, so when they wanted to talk without him understanding what they were saying, they spoke in French. It did not take him long before he understood the language.

 Between 1940 and 1946 he worked in a drug store, wrote local items for the Dominica Chronicle newspaper, was a correspondent for the Daily Mirror of London, worked in a supermarket for one hour, and worked in the Civil Service. In 1946 Sir Louis left to work as a clerk in his father's law firm and in 1949 left for the UK to study law. While there he married and had 3 children. (This grew to 7 children over the years)

 In 1954 he qualified as a lawyer and entered practice as a sole practitioner. In his first year he got a group of men together and in 1955 started a local bank. He incorporated the company with share capital of $5,000,000 and started selling shares. The bank opened for business January 2nd, 1956 with a sum of $4,500, but with many committments. Today this is the Antigua Commercial Bank with assets of $650,000. Sir Louis served on the Board of Directors for 34 years until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. After his retirement, the bank created the "Louis H. Lockhart Scholarship fund".

 Sir Louis has been active in the politics of Antigua, and drew up the Constitution of Antigua Workers Union and registered the same. This union had, after political unrest against the government in power, been the foundation of the new political party which formed the government. This new government offered him the position as Attorney General. After 7 months he resigned and returned to priviate practice. He has served on the Executive of the Antigua Bar Association for many years, and was President for more than one term. He has also served on the Executive of the Organisation of the Caribbean Bar Association for many years.

In 1972, Sir Louis became a member of the Rotary Club of Antigua and has served as President, Director of Vocational Services, Director of Club Services, has been active in fund raising and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship. He is still active in the club and has introduced many new members including the past Govenor General, Sir James Carlisle.

Sir Louis has been the lawyer to the Roman Catholic Church in Antigua for 35 years and, in 1994 was awarded a Medal of Service on behalf of the Pope. In 1993 Sir Louis was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE)by the Queen for community service. In November 1996 Sir Louis was awarded the Order of Distinction, Gold, by the Antiguan Labour government for service to banking. Later the ruling United Progressive government honoured Sir Louis as a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the Nation.

In 1975, while having a business dinner, he and his dinner companion were asked by the hotel manager to dance with 3 ladies from Canada. Joy was one of those ladies and 4 years later they were married. They spend the winter in Antigua and the summers in Canada (smart people!). While in Antigua Sir Louis goes to the office for about 3 hours every day to earn some money for their trips to Canada.

Sir Louis ended his talk by saying "it may not have been a very exciting life, but it has been my life". Oh that we all should have even half this excitement!