Homage to Christo­pher Ren­wick, OBE

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - “ By Richard Peterkin

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.

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