Douglas: “Reginald Amory, honourable and honest entrepreneur, and a true statesman of St. Kitts and Nevis”
By: E. Williams
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, June 7th 2017 – Villagers of St. Paul’s, St. Kitts observed a minutes silence in respect of the passing of prominent St. Kitts and Nevis businessman, Mr. Reginald Amory.
At a St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) Constituency Six Meeting on Tuesday night, Parliamentary Representative and Leader of the Opposition, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas during a memorial tribute to Mr, Amory and a village footballer Jahma Francis who lost his life Tuesday morning.
“I reminded the people that Reggie, a joint proprietor together with his brother Ernest of Amory Bakery and Amory’s Enterprises, was a trusted and personal friend, a friend of the people of St. Paul’s, a friend of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, an honourable and honest entrepreneur, and a true statesman of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas.
In his message to his brother, Ernest, former Prime Minister Douglas wrote:
“As you cope with this permanent separation from your dear brother, may you, your family and employees be imbued with fortitude and courage, together with the mercies and blessings of God to continue this earthly journey of service to the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis and mankind.
Please accept our condolences and do express same to Reggie’s wife and family on behalf of the Parliamentary Opposition, the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and myself. May the soul of Reggie Rest In Peace Eternal.”
Amory Bakery was founded by their father Ashton Amory in 1949 and both Reginald and Ernest have been involved in the business. They earned degrees in Baking Management from Oklahoma State University.
In a September 2012 interview posted on SKN Choices webpage, with journalist Precious Mills, Reggie, as he is affectionately called was a humble yet focused businessman who deeply loves his family members.
He was married to Dale, and union has produced two children, a boy and a girl. He was the son of Ashton and Ursula Amory, both deceased. He has two siblings, his brother, Ernest Amory and a sister in New York.
At the age of 33, his fraternal twin brother passed away. His father was the founder of the 1949-established American Bakery, now known as Amory Bakery, a company of Amory Enterprises, which they owned and operated.
While growing up, Mr. Amory observed that his father enjoyed running his business and realised it was something he should look into.
Mr. Amory grew up in Greenlands, Basseterre and for some time on Central Street. He held an Associate Degree in food services, which he obtained from Oklahoma State University, where he also did courses in computer science and business. His educational background included a course in web design at Dalhousie University in Canada back in 1995.
Mr. Amory described his apparent quietness as, “Quiet in the sense that I do not make a lot of noise, I do not worry about a lot of things. Whatever the problem is, we have to deal with it, it is not going to go away. So that has been my position throughout.”
Not dwelling on issues is the way he has been ever since he was a child. Mr. Amory’s peaceful and cooperative attitude went hand and hand with his attitude towards the business world.
“You are not the only person in the business and so you have to have a rapport with your employees and be able to speak with them. It is not about a boss-employee kind of thing. It is a relationship of respect…and to get the job done,” he opined in the Precious Mills interview.
Mr. Amory did not have a lot of spare time because of business and travelling. Although, he took along his camera when he goes abroad, for him, St. Kitts scenery was his home.
A self- taught photographer, he greatly enjoys taking photographs, a hobby he began in 1989, ‘just as a tourist would come and capture the island, I do likewise.’ ‘If we do not have pictures, all we have are memories and sometimes, we do not have that, because your memory can become fragmented,” he said. Memories are important not just for him but, “for my family, and I think other people, as well. I like to share my memories in that respect.”
Mr. Amory was an avid reader to keep up to date with what is going on in the technical world “since a computer has always been a part of my world and the future for everybody else as well.”
He shared that when he returned home from his studies, he had the idea to create a dictionary called the ‘Kittitian Dictionary’.
However, that idea was grabbed by someone else who capitalised on it. It is no wonder that after he got an idea for a clothing line, he worked quickly to make it into a reality.
“One day my son was jumping up in the shower, and I said, look at me monkey!” he stated. He explained “O me monkey” was a popular childhood expression used by many other persons and that today not a lot of people say it anymore. “It is something I thought would have been nice for a T shirt,” Mr. Amory added.
“Sometimes, we have ideas and we do not act on them, and nothing happens. An idea is only as good as your action. Some persons will have the same idea, but, it is about who acts on it first.” Hence, that is how the name came about for the “O Me Monkey” clothing line.
Speaking about his religious values, he expressed: “Every day, I do not just get up by myself. So, I give thanks and praise to God every day. He added, “The bottom line is to go through the day doing things that won’t harm or hurt anyone, and smile because you get a smile back in return.”
Mr. Amory described his brother, Ernest, the other owner of the company, as his “best friend.” “Family should be your best friend because the thing is when everyone is gone, who do you have? Your family; and they are not around forever so you make sure that you enjoy them. You tell them that you love them because there is no question, no doubt, that one day each of us is going to depart this earth. Enjoy each other,” he admonished.
As it related to the future, Mr. Amory wished that his business carries on.
“There is no guarantee of what the future holds, all I can say is that, I would like to see it go on for another 50 years, another 100 years,” he remarked.