MICHAEL CHASTANET is undoubtedly one of the most successful and accomplished Saint Lucian businessmen of all time. Neither title has ever been formally conferred upon him but that is of no consequence. The factors that qualify him to be so recognized have been visible for all to see for more than 60 years. Chastanet’s interest in business had its early grounding in his mother, who operated a family bakery, and his father, whose passion was in shipping. Together the parents created the environment which must have piqued young Michael’s interest, resulting in his early entry into active service in the shipping business while still a teenager.
Michael Chastanet’s contribution to the development of intra- and inter-island travel by sea, moving passengers and cargo in Saint Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean, is now legendary. Some people will have no difficulty recalling such vessels’ names as ‘Michael David’, ‘Grenville Lass’ ‘Christine C’ and others which pioneered early transportation by sea in Saint Lucia and in the region. But not much is known of Chastanet’s exploits further afield, in the international community. This book, his autobiography, fills that void.
Readers will find it remarkable that a young man from one of the most backward islands in the Caribbean, as Saint Lucia was at the time, could have stamped his presence on the business of international trade and commerce to the extent that he did in the Caribbean and the Americas, then all the way to the Pacific, Europe and Africa. Along the way, Chastanet demonstrated his astute business acumen in the buying and selling of ships and by positioning himself in the right places at the right times to effect important business deals and decisions.
Later, he switched his interests into the real estate and supermarket businesses and into tourism. Now, having just celebrated his 80th birthday, there are no signs that he intends to slow down; indeed, he continues to break new business ground. It is obvious that this will be his legacy; one that will easily match his imposing physical stature; one that will be left to his children to carry through.
This autobiography also offers insights into Chastanet’s early life, including moments of near tragedy and introspection, and how he confronted them. It’s a part of the Chastanet saga that has never publicly been told before. For one who was not fortunate to have acquired a university education, Michael Chastanet’s achievements have been nothing short of remarkable. His is a story of vision, hard work, bold decision-making and enterprise. It is a story which should inspire his countrymen to the heights of personal and corporate achievement.
Journalist and Author
Now available for sale at the Star Publishing company.
Opening on Tuesday 23rd
Call: 450-7827 ext 2236