1st National Bank St Lucia Limited breaks new ground again as it celebrates the 80th anniversary of its establishment as the island’s first indigenous bank. This time around, it expanded its boundaries and indeed its horizons, by becoming the first financial institution to embrace and promote our indigenous creole language in its bilingual presentation of its 2018 Annual Report under the theme “ Appreciating the Past… Adapting to the Future / Ka apwésyé sa ki pasé…Ka adapté pou tan ki ka vini”. This is precisely what we need to do as citizens if we are to make a meaningful contribution to national development.
This is a most fitting tribute to the people of Saint Lucia, and the Board of Directors, Management and Staff should be congratulated for this stroke of genius and this open demonstration of patriotism and national pride. The Founding Fathers would indeed be proud of their legacy throughout the course of this 80-year journey, and of the deliberate attempt by those who have succeeded them to celebrate what is uniquely ours: our language, our culture and traditions, our genius. For indeed, if we are to know where we must go, if we are to adapt to the changes that the future brings, we need to understand and appreciate from whence we came.
Throughout its journey of rebranding, 1st National Bank continues to innovate by introducing new technologies, new modalities, new perspectives, new ways of doing things, but mindful always that people come first. It is this appreciation for inclusiveness that has no doubt prompted the Management Team to take this bold and unprecedented step to present such a technical document in the country’s mother-tongue. It is unfortunate that many are not creole-literate even though they can speak it in varying degrees of fluency. But this should not deter us. This initiative on the part of 1st National Bank is a significant step towards the eventual formalisation and use of our language in our own land, and in the corridors of commerce, industry, education, justice and in both formal and informal social discourse. One of our foremost indigenous institutions has taken the lead; the rest cannot but follow its example and build on setting us firmly on the road to becoming at the very least a truly bilingual country.
I would like to express my personal thanks to 1st National Bank for this response to the call of many to accord our native language, our indigenous language, the respect and the pride of place that it deserves. In remaining true to its core philosophy of inclusiveness, it has dared to go where few corporate or even public sector institutions have even contemplated. In so doing it has cemented in the public psyche its promise of always being ‘here for us”.
1st National Bank St Lucia Ltd, pwèmyé bank ki touvé établi an péyi-a pa sitwayen Sent Lisyen menm, sélébwé katwiven lannivèsè’y lanné pasé, an lanné dé mil dizwit. Pou matjé lokasyon sala, anpami plisyè lòt démach, Bank-la pwézanté Wapò’y pou li pwèmyé fwa an anglé épi an kwéyòl – “Ka apwésyé sa ki pasé… Ka adapté pou tan ki ka vini”. Sa sé pwèmyé fwa an lenstitusyon finansyal an péyi-a janmen pwézanté Wapò-yo an kwéyòl.
Sa sé vwéman an twé gwan lonnè Bank-lan péyé pèp Sent Lisyen; konsa, sé pou nou aplodi sé Diwèkte-a, sé Manm ladministwasyon-an, épi sé twavayè-a pou aksyon sala, ki ka moutwé kalité lanmou-an yo ni pou péyi-a. Asiwéman, démach sala kay fè sé Fondatè Bank-lan gwan plézi pou wè ki sé moun-lan ki swiv yo-a ka sélébwé sa ki san-nou: langaj-nou, kilti-nou, twadisyon-nou épi lasajès-nou. Paski si nou vlé sav ki chimen pou pwan an sé tan-an ki ka vini-an, sé fo nou konpwann épi apwésyé kikoté nou sòti.
Diwan sé katwiven lanné-a ki pasé-a, 1st National Bank kontiné entwodwi démach nèf, tèknoloji nèf, mòdèl nèf, épi diféwan mannyè pou adwésé lopéwasyon lenstitusyon-an, mé lidé-yo toujou sé pou anméliowé sèvis-la yo ka òfe klian-yo. Sé pou wézon sala yo pwan disisyon-an pou pwézanté Wapò-yo an lanng manman-nou, an lanng jan péyi-a. Malèwèzman, la pa ni anchay moun pami nou ki sa li ében ékwi kwéyòl-la, mé anchay di nou sa konpwann èk palé’y. Mé sé fo nou pas dézèspéwé. Piti a piti sitwasyon-sala kay chanjé. Démach Bank-lan sé an pilotwi solid asou ki nou sa kontiné bati langaj kwéyòl-la pou’y touvé aksèpté an biznis, an lendikasyon, an sistenm jistis péyi-a; anfin an tout diskisyon jan péyi-a. 1st National Bank-la ja pwan douvan. Nou ka envité, nou ka enkouwajé, tout lézòt pou swiv lèkzanp-li.
Mwen ka pwan lokasyon sala pou wimèsyé pèsonnèlman 1st National Bank pou démach sala ki kay bay langaj kwéyòl-la lonnè-a èk wèspé-a i méwité. Démach sala sé pwèv ki 1st National Bank… toujou la pou nou.
— Dame Pearlette Louisy