By Marion Ali
Senior staff and invited guests of Scotiabank Belize gathered at a special ceremony at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Tuesday night to say “thank you” and “farewell” to retiring Country Manager, Mr. Pat Andrews, and to say “welcome” to his successor, Mr. Michael Shaw of Jamaica.
The farewell dinner featured cocktails and live musical entertainment. Prominent members of the business community, as well as senior managers and staff from the bank’s 11 branches were present. They recalled Mr. Andrews’ dedication to service and his foresight which helped to promote the Scotiabank brand in an industry that is fiercely competitive.
Pat Andrews has been with Scotiabank for 41 years, since April 1, 1974, and has served as Country Manager for the past 14 of those 41 years, after having served in many other capacities in the Caribbean, Central America and Canada.
Reflecting on Mr. Andrews’ long career, Mr. Bruce Bowen, a senior officer of Scotiabank in Belize, observed that many people have put in a lot of effort into building Scotiabank to what it is today. “Pat has been an integral part of that.”, he pointed out “He returned to Belize in 2002 and under his tenure, many of the bank’s eleven branches were opened.”
While sharing a few memories about Pat Andrews, Mr. Harry Lawrence, Publisher of The Reporter newspaper, observed: “Pat is a remarkable man. His enthusiasm, his drive, his integrity…have imbued the staff to be the best that they can be, to the point where Scotiabank has become the most progressive bank in Belize. People trust this bank!”
Pat Andrews recalled that his initial desire was to work in the public service. He said he never dreamed he would be a banker when he stepped into the bank on All Fools’ Day, 1974. He said his banking career took off after he had worked with the government for only a month.
In his farewell comments, Pat Andrews pledged: “I will be extremely bullish as far as the bank’s future and the country’s future are concerned. … I am looking forward to spending time on a farm out west, but I am also looking forward to helping Belize, though I’m not sure in what capacity yet.”
The bank’s incoming Country Manager, Mr. Michael Shaw, has also been with the bank for several years, but Belize is his first assignment away from home. He started working with Scotiabank in May of 1980 in the retail banking sector. He s is passionate about helping people to succeed and he believes in giving back to the community. Shaw promised that as he takes over stewardship of Scotiabank, he will be competitive but fair.