Barbadian business magnate Sir Charles “Cow” Williams has died.
The 88-year-old businessman whose name is associated with many spheres of Barbados’ development passed away peacefully at the Bayview Hospital this evening with his wife Mary-Anne Lady Williams and his brother Ralph “Bizzy” Williams at his bedside.
The name “COW” Williams is today as much a household name in Barbados as it is in neighbouring Caribbean islands, where Sir Charles executed many a construction project.
However, he never tired of pointing out that he was not born with a gold spoon in his mouth. He often said his achievements were by dint of hard work, as he told an interviewer once: “Hard work never scared me and I was always happy to make an extra buck.”
Born on November 24, 1932 at Ashford Plantation, St John, where his father was employed as a manager, young Charles suffered the traumatic experience of his family being evicted from the manager’s quarters of the plantation when his father was dismissed from the job. It sparked the industriousness displayed by the Williams children generally and by Sir Charles in particular.
He often shared the story of his rise from an early life of hardship to business success, driven by a work ethic worthy of emulation. He built his company C O Williams to become one of the top companies in the Caribbean, having undertaken numerous projects in Barbados, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Bahamas, ranging from airports to hydro-electric power plants and golf courses.
Sir Charles was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2000 for his outstanding contribution to agriculture, construction, tourism and sports.