Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite
Former Prime Minister of Grenada
Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite headed the Interim Government appointed by Governor General Sir Paul Scoon following the military invasion by the United States and Caribbean Forces in 1983.
At that time, Sir Nicholas Brathwaite, stationed in Guyana, was regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, an appointment he had held since 1974. He relinquished that post to fill the position of Chairman of the Interim Government, supervising preparations for the General Elections which led the island back to parliamentary democracy in the aftermath of the revolution of 1979-1983.
Early life and education
Born on 8 July 1928 in Carriacou, Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite was educated at Mount Pleasant Government School in Carriacou and at the Grenada Boys Secondary School. His education continued at the Teacher’s Training College in Trinidad and at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Except for a break from 1951 to 1957, when he was an oil refinery operator in the Dutch-ruled island of Curacao, his work experience over the 30 year period 1945-1974 was dedicated to the education field. Starting as a primary school teacher, he rose to be principal of a primary school, advanced to be a tutor at the Grenada Teacher’s College and in 1968 became Principal of that College.
In the following year, he was appointed Grenada’s Chief Education Officer, a position he held until 1974 when he became the Regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
The Interim Government was dissolved after the General Elections of December 1984 and from then until 1986, Sir Nicholas Brathwaite performed the duties of Executive Adviser to Prime Minister Herbert Blaize.
Sir Nicholas Brathwaite’s elected political career can be said to have began in January 1989 when he was elected President of the National Democratic Congress. Under that banner he won the Carriacou seat in the General Elections of 13 March 1990, and on 16 March 1990, was appointed Prime Minister.
His public service record includes serving as President of the Carriacou branch of the Grenada Union of Teachers, President of the Grenada Civil Service Association and President of the Grenada Cricket Umpires Association.
He resigned shortly before the 1995 elections, which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost.
Honours and awards
In July 1991, he was appointed a Member of the Privy Council. He was knighted in 1995.
Sir Nicholas died on 28 October 2016 at his home in the Villaat around 11.30 p.m after a brief illness. He was 91 years old. He was given a private burial at sea on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.