Bartering, although still applied to everyday life, does not have the substance it once did decades ago when in order to get a sack of flour, one would exchange a couple of chickens for the sack. However, now-a-days, the same way technology changes is the same way currency and the ways to use it change. Getting informed and receiving accurate information may at times be hard but establishments always have competent, reliable people to handle your banking needs always with a smile. This week, we introduce a gentleman that has been in the banking service for over 18 years – Manager of First Caribbean Bank, Justin Nicholas.
Born in Baranco Village, Toledo, on September 22nd, 1966, Justin, as a young child, would enjoy the tranquil river along his village. He would often accompany his mother, Sarah, and his four sisters (he was the middle child), to the nearby river bank. As the ladies washed, Justin would pass his time fishing and swimming in the fresh waters. His father, Justin, was an elementary school teacher and in order to provide a better education for Justin and his sisters, decided to uproot them from Toledo and move to Belize City.
Living the city life now, Justin was immediately enrolled at St. Joseph’s elementary, proudly graduating in June of 1979. His education continued at St. John’s College where he majored in Science, “My dream was to become a doctor!” Justin exclaims. As such, when enrolled at St. John’s College Junior College, four years later, he continued along the science path and received an Associate’s Degree in Science in 1985.
Because of financial constraints, Justin was unable to enroll in any university. “My plan was to study the medical field, so while a scholarship opportunity arose, I decided to look for a job,” he explains. While looking, he stumbled on a position available at Barclay’s Bank. He applied for the position and was immediately accepted. At Barclay’s, Justin worked in the Foreign Exchange Department, responsible for foreign sales drafts, international cash transactions, wire transfers, etcetera.
Lucky in love, Justin married his girlfriend, Marva Ramclam on January 9th, 1988 and the couple has two children, Justine (19) and Justin (14).
Always dedicated and hardworking, it was not difficult for Justin to receive a promotion. He eventually moved to various departments within the bank including, accounting, and later on to the technical department, where he would provide mechanical and technological support to the bank.
In late 2004, Justin and his fellow co-workers received the news that Barclay’s Bank was merging with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce to form First Caribbean Bank. With his experience and know how in the technical department, Justin traveled around the Caribbean, including Belize, Bahamas, Cayman, and Barbados, installing the computer network. After doing this, Justin returned to his position in Belize where he learned of a great opportunity.
First Caribbean Bank was opening its branch in San Pedro Town and Justin knew that with his experience he was the man for the job. Sure enough, management agreed with him and Justin arrived on the island to setup the bank and begin in his new position as Manager. “I’ve always felt I would succeed. At first my heart was in the medical field but once I entered Banking, I knew I wouldn’t leave,” he explains.
Two years later, Justin couldn’t be happier at his “island life.” Incorporating himself in the community, Justin became a member of the San Pedro Lions Club in June 2006; “I was given a lot growing up, a lot of people contributed to what I have become now. I feel that I need to give back to any community where I might be. San Pedro has been great to me and I want to help in building up the town.”
Justin applies his belief to his position at First Caribbean Bank, “The bank is willing to help the community. San Pedro is great, its people are not only wonderful but very vocal too. They will let you know when they agree or disagree with something. They have strived to get ahead and First Caribbean is there to help.” First Caribbean Bank offers its many services to San Pedro, “We are a very strong local bank with a wide range of products to satisfy the financials needs of the residents.” Located on Barrier Reef Drive, First Caribbean Bank is open from Monday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. “I invite anyone to give us a call at 226-3834 to offer any assistance that we might offer,” Justin ended.
To relax, Justin enjoys playing the guitar which he has done for the past 15 years. Always wanting the best for his customers, for the community and country he lives in, Justin has proven to be the “financial friend” for people in “Our Belize Community.”