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PHOTOS: SEVERIN J. PRADEL

FEATURE

continued from page 38 “It was an unobtrusive way to continue to reach the community, and to keep certain topics in the public eye,” he explains. “I had a lot of faithful readers. If at any time I missed an article, I’d get a few calls about it.” The Chief Minister felt that his two-term Anguilla United Front (AUF) government’s defeat resulted from a confluence of issues, some avoidable, others not. “Being in government for 10 years, you get focused on the work and lose a bit of the contact with your constituents,” he says. “It doesn’t mean you care any less.” He continues, “I don’t think we did a good enough job of defending our record during those 10 years, nor did we properly explain the circumstances we found ourselves thrown into at the onset of the global financial crisis.” The oldest of 6, 67-year old Banks lost his father when he was only 13, and his mother took charge of the young family. She made education a priority, and as an adult, after teaching for a few years, Banks left to study at 21. He returned 10 years later, a dissertation shy of his PhD, to answer a call to service. He was the youngest minister of government appointed after his win in the 1981 elections, and he has been a minister of government under three of Anguilla’s four Chief Ministers in the 25 years since. Incidentally, Banks’ current victory makes him the oldest first-time Chief Minister. Shrugging off any suggestions that he is too old, he has set about assessing his task. As he sees it, restoring the island’s indigenous banking sector is his biggest challenge. The fates of the National Bank of Anguilla (NBA) and the Caribbean Commercial Bank (CCB) remain in the balance ever since the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) 40

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ABOVE Chief Minister Hon. Victor Banks, along with his new government being sworn in by Governer HE Christina Scott. From left: Cardigan Connor, Curtis Richardson, Cora Richardson-Hodge, McNeil Evans Rogers. RIGHT Hon. Victor Banks giving his inaugural speech during the swearing-in ceremony on April 24.

assumed control amidst charges of poor governance and concerns about debt and poor performance. Returning confidence in these institutions is essential to his administration’s primary goals of creating business and job opportunities, attracting foreign investment and investing in training, “so that our people can participate at the highest levels.” Further, Banks is keen on developing other industries in order

“I THINK THE MANDATE GIVES US A CHANCE TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER IN A POSITIVE WAY... TO UNITE ANGUILA.”—Victor F, Banks to expand the heavily tourism-dependent economy. “We don’t have a lot of control over certain sectors of the economy,” he says. “Whether it’s circumstances such as 9/11 or the global recession, we are vulnerable. We will have to diversify our economy, both within tourism and in general, to mitigate some of those impacts.” Banks, who is also Finance Minister, wants to put right what he considers an economic mistake of the previous administration—the highly contentious Interim Stabilization Levy.

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Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

Design Anguilla Issue 11 - The Men's Issue  

Issue 10 might have been our best received to date, so we simply had to follow up with the male counterpart. The needs of young men have bee...

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