Credit Union Leaders Knighted by British Government

Ireland’s Adair and Barbados’ Harcourt Lewis Named to Queen’s Honor List

January 12, 2010

MADISON, Wis.—British monarch Queen Elizabeth II has named credit union leaders from Ireland and Barbados to her 2010 New Year's Honors List. Uel Adair, past president of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU), a World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) member organization, was named to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE). Lawrence Vernon Harcourt Lewis, a pioneer of the Barbados credit union movement, was named Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George.

2010_1_12_Uel Adair
Uel Adair, Irish CU League, was awarded Queen Elizabeth II's MBE honors.

Adair concluded his 10-year term on ILCU's board of directors in 2009, after serving the last two years as president. Under Adair's leadership, Irish credit unions increased services to members. Adair also helped Northern Ireland's credit unions fall in line with credit unions in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The honoree currently serves as a director for Waterside Credit Union in Derry, Northern Ireland.

"Uel has led by example, with an unwavering commitment to the development of the credit union movement, particularly in Northern Ireland," said Mark Bailey, president of ILCU and WOCCU board treasurer. "This is a marvelous personal achievement for Uel, but equally it gives huge recognition to the work that credit union volunteers do and the difference they make at the local, national or worldwide level."

2010_1_12_Lawrence Vernon Harcourt Lewis
The Caribbean's Lawrence Vernon Harcourt Lewis was named Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George.

Harcourt Lewis, a former government cabinet minister and public official, was knighted for his contributions to Barbados' financial services industry. He was a founding member of the Bethel Circuit Cooperative Credit Union Ltd. and instrumental in the formation of Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Ltd., now the Caribbean island nation's largest credit union. As president of the Barbados Cooperative Credit Union League, Harcourt Lewis supported the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions (CCCU), a WOCCU member organization.

"CCCU is very pleased with the recognition bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," said Yvonne Ridguard, president of CCCU and a WOCCU director. "The honor comes for his outstanding contributions to the public and private sectors in Barbados, for his selfless pioneering work with the country's credit unions and his continued vocal and public support for credit unions as a financial model in the Caribbean."

Queen Elizabeth announced both honorees in her December 30 New Year's proclamation.



World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
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