May CIMS’ gentle soul rest in peace
Tribute by Sir Vincent Beache
The news of the demise of the indomitable CIMS Martin came as a great shock to me and it was so easy for tears to well up in my eyes.
Mr Christian Ivor Martin or ‘CIMS’ as he was affectionately called will always be remembered juxtaposed with the quest for the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines. In his own unobtrusive, humble and ordinary way he made a pronounced contribution to the developmental thought pattern of all the Boards he so faithfully served on during his sojourn here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
It is known that although he completed his work here and moved to the United Kingdom he still kept in contact with all the various Boards and offered words of advice. He also attended Board meetings on invitation whenever he came home. CIMS never wavered to make a contribution to whatever the cause.
He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Development Corporation and became its first Manager. He was also the Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and left that position to work with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and was based in Austria. He also worked in the Project Planning Centre for Developing Countries at Bradford University in England.
He was always a true Vincentian and came back to St Vincent and the Grenadines and continued where he left off. He became Fiscal Adviser to the Prime Minister in 2005. He played an important role in Airport Development and was one of the first Board members of the IADC where he used his skills in negotiating and the purchase of properties and relocating 135 home owners. He was also one of the founding members of the PetroCaribe Board and was still an advisor until the time of his death.
CIMS was from a humble family, a brilliant scholar and in his days as a student at the St Vincent Grammar School, made good use of the street lights to study at nights since there was no electricity in his place of abode. He gained a masters degree in agricultural economics and he was also a holder of the ACCA designation. He was very keen on backyard gardening, and up until the time of his death he was planting and reaping. He was always introducing his friends to new varieties of vegetables, such as Kohlrabi. It’s truly marvelous that in his backyard he always produces enough vegetables for his own use and surpluses to share with friends.
I first became closely attached to CIMS when I became Minister of Agriculture in 1974 and we spent many hours discussing finance, politics, economics and agriculture among other topics. CIMS always offered pertinent and important advice. We became lifelong friends and it remained so even when he was away. He would always send me newspaper clippings to show that we were on the right path.
I would sadly and certainly miss his presence and may his gentle soul rest in peace.