Sir Arthur Lewis College and Burial Site is where Sir (William) Arthur Lewis (1915-91) is buried, in the grounds of the St Lucian Community College, which bears his name. He was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (1959), a co-founder of the United Nations Development Programme, and first President of the Caribbean Development Bank (1970). His philosophy was summed up in the words on his tomb: ‘The fundamental cure for poverty is not money, but knowledge.’
He was a Nobel Laureate in economics. Born in Castries, his family came from Antigua. His father, George Lewis, died in 1922, and young Arthur and his four siblings were raised by their mother, Ida. He left school at 14, and worked as a clerk before taking his university exam. At this time he became a friend of Eric Williams (1911-81), later the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
He studied at the London School of Econmics, gaining his B.Sc. degree and later becoming at Ph.D and he taught there until 1948. He then became a lecturer at the University of Manchester until 1957, concentrating on the patterns of capital and wages in developing countries, at a time when so many were gaining Independence. In particular he was first economic advisor to Ghana (which became independent in 1957) from 1959 to 1963, drawing up their first Five-Year Development Plan.
He returned to the Caribbean in 1959, becoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and was knighted in 1963. In the same year he was appointed a professor at Princeton University, where he taught until 1983. In 1979 he shared the Nobel Prize for Economics with the American economist, Theodore Schultz (1902-98). The ‘Lewis Turning Point’ in agricultural economics was named after Sir Arthur.
Sir Arthur died in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 15 June 1991. His tomb also bears the words: ‘Author, gentle and kind, peace dearest friend.’ Lady Lewis (1917-2016) is buried beside him.