“A leader, true regionalist and the chief architect in the building of the Caribbean’s largest indigenous bank.”
This is how retired Chairman of Republic Financial Holdings Limited, Mr Ronald Harford, was described during the local leg in a series of regional tree planting ceremonies to celebrate his 57 years in banking and his contribution to financing and social development across the Caribbean.
Management and staff of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited joined with Secretary of the Central Bank of Barbados Mr Elson Gaskin, St Ambrose Primary School’s Head Girl Taehanna Hintzen and Deputy Head Boy Jesaiah Williamson and other specially invited guests last Wednesday to plant a Saman Tree and place a plaque in Church Village Green – a dedicated green space in the heart of Bridgetown.
“It is because of Ronald Harford’s wisdom, vision and innovative spirit, that Republic Financial Holdings Limited is now the largest indigenous bank in the Caribbean with holdings in 12 regional territories and Ghana in West Africa. We are truly a Pan-Caribbean financial entity because his scope and vision extended far beyond Trinidad and Tobago,” said Managing Director of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited Anthony Clerk.
Speaking to the press following the planting of the Saman tree, Mr Clerk explained that one of Mr Harford’s enduring lessons for Bank employees was that “the only lasting and enduring differentiator between financial institutions is exceptional customer service.”
Mr Clerk further stated, “He is a person who absolutely loves Republic Bank, he loves the Republic Bank group and loves the region. A true regionalist, he was not satisfied with Republic Bank staying within the shores of Trinidad and Tobago. He wanted to take the bank outward… In each of those territories where he was a director or chairman, it was as if he was in Trinidad. He shares the same love and affection for all of the territories. He got to know them, he got to know the customers personally. He made very close friends, and he is just a true Caribbean person.”
Meanwhile, Mr Gaskin thanked Republic Bank for the “gracious gift” of a new tree.
“We at the Central Bank of Barbados consider it a gift to the people of Barbados,” he said.
Mr Gaskin added that he hoped the growth of the tree would be indicative of Mr Harford’s continued legacy. (PR)