Sandra Mason, First President of Barbados (since Nov 30, 2021)
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason FB GCMG DA QC (born 17 January 1949) is a Barbadian politician, lawyer, and diplomat who has served as the first president of Barbados since 2021. She was previously the eighth and final governor-general of Barbados from 2018 to 2021, the second woman to hold the office. On 20 October 2021, Mason was elected by the Parliament of Barbados to become the country’s first president, and took office on 30 November 2021, when Barbados ceased to be a constitutional monarchy and became a republic.
Mason was a practicing attorney-at-law who has served as a High Court judge in Saint Lucia and a Court of Appeal judge in Barbados, and was the first woman admitted to the bar in Barbados. She served as chair of the CARICOM commission to evaluate regional integration, was the first magistrate appointed an ambassador from Barbados, and was the first woman to serve on the country’s Supreme Court. She was the first appointee from Barbados to the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal. In 2017, she was appointed the 8th governor-general of Barbados, with a term beginning on 8 January 2018. Simultaneously with her appointment, Mason was awarded the Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George. On assumption of the office of Governor-General, she became the Chancellor of the Order of National Heroes, Order of Barbados and the Order of Freedom.
On 12 October 2021, Mason was nominated by Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley to become the first President of Barbados. On 20 October she was elected by both houses without opposition, although no national vote amongst the people was ever held. Mason took office on 30 November 2021, the 55th anniversary of Independence. While she is nominally chief executive and is the sole head of state in Barbados, in practice her role is mostly ceremonial, much like her previous role as Governor-General.
Freundel Stuart is the seventh Prime Minister of Barbados
He succeeded David Thompson, who died on 23 October 2010 of pancreatic cancer. A member of the Democratic Labour Party, Freundel Stewart is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with degrees in Political Science and Law. He is a practicing Lawyer and his practice encompasses criminal and corporate law.
Freundel was initially attracted to politics because he believed that the informed exercise of power could reduce the glaring disparities in wealth he observed in Barbadian society. He listed poverty and in particular, unemployment and inadequate housing as the major problems that his constituents in St. Michael South currently face. He is convinced that a sustained programme of development by an enlightened government could wipe out the remaining vestiges of neglect and deprivation in Barbados.
Freundel Stewart is a graduate of the University of the West Indies with degrees in Political Science and Law. He is a practicing Attorney-at-Law and his practice encompasses criminal and corporate law.
Freundel Stuart has for several years been a stalwart of the Democratic Labour Party and has served in many capacities including that of President. He believes that Barbados is now ready for the completion of the social and economic revolution that was started in the 1960’s. His vision for Barbados is that of an affluent society in which resources are equitably distributed and citizens enjoy all their human rights and freedoms.
Freundel Stuart is a man of the people. He has supported several community organizations and currently sponsors the Dayrells United Achievers Community Club and the Notre Dame Sports Club.
Freundel has one daughter who is pursuing studies in Sociology at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
Home (246) 423-8475
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Clifford Straughn Husbands, GCMG, KA, Governor-General of Barbados
His Excellency, Sir Clifford Straughn Husbands, GCMG, KA, was born on the 5th August, 1926 at Morgan Lewis Plantation, in the parish of St. Andrew. He received his primary education at Selah Boy’s Elementary School in St. Lucy between 1931 and 1936, and secondary education at the Parry School and Harrison College between 1936 and 1946.
On leaving Harrison College, Sir Clifford taught at the Parry School for three years before proceeding to London where he entered the Middle Temple to pursue studies in Law. He qualified as a Barrister and was called to Bar in 1952.
On his return to Barbados, Sir Clifford was admitted to practise law at the local Bar. He then entered private practice in the Chambers of Mr. W. W. Reece between 1952 and 1954. In 1954, he acted as Deputy Registrar.
Between 1954 and 1960, Sir Clifford held various legal appointments in Grenada, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis and Anguilla.
Sir Clifford returned to Barbados in 1960 and assumed duties as Assistant to the Attorney-General and Legal Draftsman. He was appointed as Director of Public Prosecutions in 1967 and elevated to the dignity of Queen’s Counsel in 1968.
Sir Clifford was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1976 and was promoted in 1991 as a Justice of Appeal, completing his tenure in 1996. He also acted as Chief Justice on several occasions and as Governor-General.
In recognition of his long and outstanding Legal and Judicial Service to Barbados, Sir Clifford was awarded the Gold Crown of Merit in 1986, made a Companion of Honour in 1989 and a Knight of St. Andrew in 1995.
Sir Clifford was sworn in as Governor-General on June 1, 1996, following the death of Barbados’ first female Governor-General Dame Nita Barrow.
Sir Clifford is married to the former Ruby C.D. Parris.
David John Howard Thompson, Former Prime Minister of Barbados
Prime Minister David Thompson dies on October 23, 2010. Born on Christmas Day 1961, the same year that the Rt. Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, many years later his mentor, became the Premier of Barbados, it was as if David Thompson was destined for great things and high office.
The third child of Barbadians, Margaret and Charles Thompson, his early childhood spanned metropolitan London in Britain, where he was born, and idyllic Barbados where he was nurtured and schooled.
He received his primary teaching at the St. Gabriel’s Junior School before proceeding to Combermere School for his secondary education. It was while at Combermere that he developed and displayed his considerable intellectual capacity and prowess. It was also there that he excelled in the cut and thrust of debate and public speaking.
Indeed, he came to prominence and public attention as the leading panelist for his alma mater, in the then popular secondary schools’ television debates – Understanding. On that programme, he evinced much wit, erudition and sagacity, as he made his mark as one well versed and knowledgeable; often exuding a degree of confidence, a level of maturity and a grasp of topical issues that belied his youthfulness.
That forum, and his active membership of the youth arm of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) of Mr. Barrow, the Young Democrats, (he was the President between 1980 and 1982) virtually catapulted the then precocious youth into the national limelight and he was seen as a future leader bequeathed to Barbados by Mr. Barrow.
David Thompson completed his secondary schooling at Combermere, securing a Barbados Exhibition in 1979. He returned and taught at his alma mater for a year before entering the Law Faculty of the University of the West Indies where he read for a degree, graduating with honours in 1984.
He then pursued the Legal Education Certificate at the Hugh Wooding Law School of the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. That prepared him for his chosen and natural profession. He further honed his legal and oratorical skills at the feet of Errol Barrow Q. C. whose law firm, Trident Chambers, he joined in 1986. There, he rubbed shoulders with some of the other legal luminaries of the day: Asquith Phillips Q.C., George Moe Q.C., Carol Fields Q.C. and Philip Greaves Q. C.
Between 1986 and 1988, he served as a part-time tutor in law at the University of the West Indies. Following Mr. Barrow’s untimely death in 1987, he successfully contested the by-election in the constituency of St. John which he has represented ever since
Mr. Thompson’s first Cabinet appointment was in 1991 when he was made Minister of Community Development and Culture. His passion for and commitment to meaningful youth development, as well as his interest in culture, saw him in the vanguard in the establishment of the Barbados Youth Service and the Youth in Business Programme, as well as in the restructuring of the National Youth Orchestra.
From 1992 to 1993, he was switched to the Ministry of Finance as Minister of State, and between 1993 and 1994 he assumed full responsibility for that Ministry. During that time, he was responsible for restructuring the sugar industry and the offshore sector, monitoring the government’s successful stabilisation programme with the International Monetary Fund and the structural adjustment programme that was implemented in 1993.
Despite his demanding and weighty schedule over that crucial period, the energetic and industrious David Thompson still found time to be an effective General Secretary of the DLP from 1987 to 1994.
Often described as the consummate politician by his peers, David Thompson has also experienced the vicissitudes of electoral politics over 20 years. Always handsomely winning his own riding, and by overwhelming margins in all six attempts, he was, however, the leader of the Democratic Labour Party when it lost the general elections of 1994 and 1999.
Never one to be daunted by transient setbacks, he relinquished both positions of Leader of the Opposition (which he held from 1994) and the leadership of the DLP in 2003; but came back in 2006 as Opposition Leader and DLP President.
During the interregnum, he turned to his law practice, specialising in corporate, insurance, international business and property law. Prior to this, he had also established a law partnership that lasted from 1994 to 2000.
In short time, following his re-appointment as Leader of the Opposition in 2006, he set about putting his stamp on the DLP. The party regrouped, as he reinvigorated its rank and file and went on a relentless two-year campaign to restore the DLP as the political party of choice for the majority of Barbadians. His efforts turned around the fortunes of the DLP and saw it regaining the reigns of power in January 2008 when it won 20 of the 30 parliamentary seats.
Little wonder that at age 46, Prime Minister David Thompson, Mr. Barrow’s protégé, is the sixth holder of the office since Independence. He also has ministerial responsibility for the portfolios of Finance, Economic Affairs and Development, Labour, the Civil Service and Energy.
Over the years, David Thompson has provided consultancy services to a number of regional and international organisations, including: the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, the Caribbean Law Institute, the Caribbean Policy Development Centre and the CARICOM Secretariat.
In addition, he is involved at the local community level in several cultural and sporting organisations. Among his many affiliations are: PAREDOS, Barbados National Trust, Barbados Museum and Historical Society, Barbados Cricket Association, the UWI Guild of Graduates, Combermere School Old Scholars’ Association, Rontana Dance Movement, St. John’s Cultural Cricket Club, Sussex Cricket Club and Sonnets Football Club.
His bold and much acclaimed Families First programme, in his beloved St. John, is a pioneering initiative that aims to re-establish and re-assert the family unit as the paramount and core constituent in the overall development of communities.
An avid reader, with a near insatiable appetite for literature on people, politics and international affairs, he lists cricket, football, music and community activities as his hobbies, whenever time permits.
Prime Minister David Thompsonis married to Marie-Josephine Mara, nee Giraudy, and they are the parents of three daughters – Misha, Oya and Osa-Marie.