Centretrade International Ltd.
Worldwide Trade & Logistics Consulting
CIT Background
GMS Publications
CIT Background

Background of the


The Centre for International Trade was conceived in the late 1960's by the calibration of a number of individuals and companies that were involved in international trade and transportation. The idea for the 'Centre' was that of Mr. Leslie Castlemaine a former WW II hero. Leslie was a Captain in the Fleet Air Arm during World War II. This was at the time the Air Force of the British Royal Navy. Leslie had taken a substantial part in the 'Graf Spee' incident as noted below:

'Graf Spee', German pocket battleship of 10,000 tons launched in 1936 more heavily gunned than any cruiser with a top speed of 25 knots and an endurance of 12,500 miles. From Sept. 30 to Dec. 13, 1939, she sank nine British merchant ships in the Atlantic. A British search group sighted and attacked Graf Spee Dec. 13 near Montevideo, Uruguay, where it then put in for repairs. Convinced that the British had amassed heavy reinforcements, the commander ordered the 'Graf Spee' scuttled. Leslie's part was to fly from war torn Britain in a fighter plane to bring the secret orders of Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the British Ambassador in Uruguay.

Leslie went on to be part of the first flight across Africa and during the 1950 and 60's was very active together with HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh with his charitable activities in the UK and Commonwealth. As Leslie traveled the world on behalf of Manchester Liners and its chairman Robert Stoker whose family founded the Manchester Ship Canal and in the late 1800's he with the backing of Mr. Stoker had the concept for a 'Centre'.

Leslie bought into the discussions several others to join in the concept to have together a group of international trade and logistics experts under one umbrella. He first convert to join the group was Martyn C. Merritt who had earlier been associated with a major British ocean shipping group and who was at that time commencing on a new venture. Mr. Merritt brought into the group the Swedish Shipping company Svenska Lloyd and a variety of shipping and trading firms and organizations from all over the world. Soon as a loosely knit group they has participants from the four corners of the globe under the umbrella each doing their own businesses but as members of the group.

Mr. Merritt who was active in the UN Day Committee and had collaborated with Kurt Waldheim:

Kurt Waldheim; Austrian diplomat: secretary-general of the United Nations (1972-81): president of Austria (1986-92)

As well as with Henry Ford II:

Henry Ford, II (1917-87), U.S. automobile manufacturer, born in Detroit, Mich.; son of Edsel Ford and grandson of Henry Ford; with Ford Motor Company 1940-87, chairman and chief executive officer 1960-87; won Presidential Medal of Freedom 1969

Mr. Merritt was awarded the 'Medal of Merit' twice by former President Ronald Reagan and as president of an international shipping company was working closely with major manufacturers and government organizations worldwide. Mr. Merritt and his company were involved in some major logistical projects such as:

·         Retrieving the space shuttle rocket from the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast for NASA.

·         HRH King Hussein of Jordan

·         Former President Mikhail Gorbachev of the Former Soviet Union USSR

·         Omar Bongo

·         Samuel K. Doe of Liberia

·         The Shah of Iran - Mohammed Reza Shah and the Pahlavi Foundation

These and many other contacts allowed more people to know about and join in the 'Centre' and take an active or passive roll in the idea of having many people from all over the world join in under one common umbrella to foster world trade for the common good.

As Leslie Castlemaine passed away in the early 1970's Mr. Merritt was joined in this quest by many others such as Anil Sethi of the UK and India, Bernard S. Pawlowski of Chicago also a 'Medal of Merit' recipient awarded by President Ronald Reagan, In addition Astor Norish MBE and a great many others were instrumental in the early establishment of this organization. The roll of the Centre for International Trade is a quiet one now mainly to bring together companies and organization under one umbrella each working in their own sector but being available to others in the group for mutual benefit.

Many important people have expressed the need for cooperation in world trade similar to the ideals of the 'Centre'. Including HRH Prince Charles, the King of Bhutan, and the late Rajiv Gandhi Former Prime Minister of India, Former President Reagan, and Former American Ambassador for Iran Richard Helms and many others. The 'Centre' remains active today in a small and quiet way as part of the Centretrade Group and still provides a forum for international trade discussion, cooperation, networking and education. GMS publishes books, report and newsletters on world trade, logistics and finance. A web site in maintained for the 'Centre' that allows communication by members via the FREE Trade Forum, Discussion Forum and e-mail newsletter. Membership is offered ranging from Associate Membership, Honorary Membership, and 'Cyber' Membership up to the Full Membership that includes a wide range of benefits provided to the full members.

The operational office for the 'Centre' is in Ontario (Hamilton, Ontario) and other offices are located in Buffalo, NY, New York City, Chicago, London and Manchester.

Centre for International Trade

Centretrade International Ltd.

Suite 906, 20 Hughson Street South

Hamilton, ON L8N 2A1 Canada

Phone: 1-905-524-2112 Fax: 1-905-524-0099

Toll Free: 1-888-253-3458 Fax Toll Free: 1-888-253-9155


General Management Services Inc.

45 Gardenville Parkway W

West Seneca, NY 14224-1321 USA

Phone: 1-716-686-9588 Fax: 1-586-314-0201

Phone: 1-914-613-3610 Phone: 1-716-810-2765

Toll Free - Tel: 1-888-253-3458 Fax: 1-888-253-9155


Centre for International Trade

26 Modwen Road, Waters Edge Business Park,

Salford Quays, Manchester M5 3EZ, U.K.

TEL: 44 (0) 161 848 9009 FAX: 44 (0) 161 848 9511

E-mail: info@amuk.demon.co.uk


Centre for International Trade

40 Victoria Way, Charlton,

London SE7 7QS, U.K.

Tel: 44(0) 208-858-2642 Fax: 44(0) 208-858-1347

Reach us by E mail