CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Frederick Lloyd Cozier etched his name in the history of the Caribbean Community as the first Head of a Caribbean Regional Secretariat.
The Barbadian native in 1968 became Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Caribbean Regional Secretariat (CCRS) with a mandate to create an institution that would give effect to the provisions of the Dickenson Bay Agreement establishing the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) – precursor to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Committee of Trade Ministers who made the selection could not have made a better choice.
Beginning with a staff of one at Colgrain House, Georgetown, Guyana, which building also provided his living quarters, the indefatigable Administrator, Cozier, almost single-handedly established the then Regional Secretariat, putting systems in place to ensure effective communication flows between the Secretariat and Member States. That process was started with just an Administrative Assistant, Ms. Sheila Chan, before the staff was eventually extended to four and then six.
He was an Administrator par excellence who poured himself into establishing effective systems for dealing with the Member States. Among his first tasks was organising the first Meeting of Heads of Government which was held in Trinidad and Tobago and, in so doing, he set the tone for moving the Institution forward.
Mr. Cozier laid the foundation for what has evolved into today’s CARICOM Secretariat. His groundings in the Barbados civil service no doubt served him and the Region well, as he used his experience as one of the first Barbadian Permanent Secretaries and the first Barbadian to become Cabinet Secretary to good effect.
Reflecting on the contribution of this distinguished son of the Region, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said “Fred Cozier’s dedication to an unenviable task set the mark for others to follow. His selfless service to the Region made him an exemplar among his peers and a person worthy of emulation”.
Mr. Cozier has indeed made a solid contribution towards the development of the Caribbean Community and we are very grateful. May his soul rest in peace.