Homage to Christopher Renwick, OBE
My disenchantment with all adjectives is deepening, a certain sign of age.” (Walcott)
Finding the appropriate words and the right time to pay homage to people who have made an important contribution to our lives, and are now no longer with us, is virtually impossible. We wish that we could have expressed these feelings when they were still alive, when we were touched by their kindness and amazed by their strength, but we remained silent, hoping that there would always be time. “It’s what others do, not us, die.”
Christopher Renwick (1938-2016) died peacefully in his hospital bed in Trinidad, with his wife Marjorie at his side, early on December 17th. His family, in Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada, North Carolina and elsewhere had maintained a compassionate and hopeful vigil that he would recover from the surgery that he had elected to undergo, for their sake, but it was not to be. He now becomes “part of the increasing loss that is the daily dial of the revolving shade”.
Chris was a colossus of commerce in Saint Lucia, and his story needs no retelling here. His career has been extolled in business journals. He was honoured by his country (OBE, 2008), his peers and by Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow).
His business, Renwick & Company Limited, which celebrated 50 years this year, is heralded for its philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.
He had personally experienced the grief that his family and friends now bear, having lost a father at a tender age, and a son in his prime, but it made him stronger. “We never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.”
Chris’s legacy of love includes a devoted wife, son and daughter, their spouses, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren, a brother, sister, godchildren and many other relatives. He embraced his employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues and friends, as if they were family, with his pragmatic, humble, unassuming, honest, caring and hard-working approach to life. He will forever be an icon and role model for others to emulate.
As Chris now resumes his daily walks in a better place, let’s remember that for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.
Renwick was the founder and Managing Director of Renwick & Company Limited. He passed away on Saturday, December 16, 2016.