By anguillian November 6, 2017 12:08




One of the things that the late Mr. Albert A. R. Lake, OBE achieved during his lifetime, was to have built up a noble legacy and to have made a sterling and multifaceted contribution to Anguilla that present and future generations will not only long remember, but cherish with a deep sense of gratitude and admiration.

His was, and will continue to be, even after his passing, a household name among the rank and file of the population, and the annals of Anguillian history will recount that he was a man who loved his homeland and people and made an indelible mark on national development in its truest and widest application. It was the manner of the man, the level of his love, philanthropy, and hard work that distinguished him and helped him to succeed in all his endeavours. He was loved, respected and admired by a grateful Anguilla and people now lamenting his sad passing.

Mr. Lake (some might call him Mr. Anguilla), passed from this life on Monday, October 30, at the age of 91. Born on April 12, 1926, Albert Applebaum Richardson Lake was the son of the late Josephine “Miss Joe” Hodge and the late Edward “Bertie” Lake. He was born at a time of extreme social and economic depression in Anguilla and, like his father, an enterprising and humble businessman, shoemaker, and cattle-owner he eventually set out on a course that would enable him to make life better in Anguilla for himself and everybody else.

But first, he had to begin building his own future which started with his schooling at The Valley Boys School following which he worked at various domestic chores with his parents. He eventually migrated to St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Santo Domingo where he engaged in odd jobs involving hard work for the most part. It was at age 16 that he finally settled back in Anguilla and began his own business as an agricultural and livestock farmer and meat producer. In the years that followed, he turned his attention to community development and at the Mahogany Tree landmark area, where he was born and grew up, he successfully established a liquor shop and small grocery shop, later adding a gasoline station – the latter to serve the fuel needs of what was then a handful of vehicles.
With his faithful wife, Mrs. Octavia Lake, at his side, he made great strides in the business sector over the years, becoming Anguilla’s leading businessman and real estate owner. His business empire, headlined Lake’s World, grew to include such establishments as Albert’s Wholesale and Marketplace, Albert’s Sol Service Station, Lake’s Do It Best Hardware, Lake’s Home Décor, Lake’s Quarry and Elodia’s Beach Resort. In the boating industry, he was the owner of the New London which he built at The Forest Bay, as a cargo boat, in the 1970s. He eventually sold it to Jolly Roger Cruises in Barbados, a fine signature of Anguillian boat-building skills.

As Mr. Lake developed his business empire, so did he establish himself as Anguilla’s biggest landowner. Most of his land was used as pasture for animal grazing as well as housing development. He facilitated many persons throughout Anguilla by selling house lots to them well below the market price; and brought relief to many homeowners who were unable to pay their bank loans. A compassionate and philanthropic man, he also assisted persons with building materials on credit; provided financing for medical attentions and education – as well as donations to schools, churches and other worthy causes. He also made available land for national development and charitable purposes.

Mr. Lake was the only Anguillian to have been honoured twice with a British Empire Award by Queen Elizabeth the Second for his varied contributions to Anguilla. The first was in 1978 when he received the MBE; and in 1999 when he received the OBE. During the 2008 Anguilla Day official celebrates, the Anguilla Government awarded him a Medal of Honour and a Queen’s Certificate for his contribution to Social Development. It is expected that Mr. Lake will be accorded a National Funeral with full honours.
Mr. Lake was widely known for his humility, Christian and religious persuasion, and his public appearances at various official and community functions. He was a man of great vision, exemplary prominence and dedication who will be missed greatly.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Octavia Lake, whom he married on August 24, 1950, a quiver full of children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a number of others who are part of his close-knit family. To them, The Anguillian offers its heartfelt condolences and best wishes.

By anguillian November 6, 2017 12:08


Latest Poll

Do you like the new layout of the Anguillian ?