Dr. Rupert Griffith
Former Cabinet Minister and Speaker of the House, Trinidad and Tobago
Rupert Griffith was a Trinidadian politician, and was a former Cabinet Minister and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives
Early life and education
Rupert Griffith was born on 7 November 1946 in Trinidad and Tobago. He held a Masters Degree in Career and Industrial Technology Education, and a Ph.D in Education Administration and Supervision.
Griffith was first elected to Parliament in 1991 representing the constituency of Arima and during the 1991 to 1995 Parliament, he served as Deputy Speaker and acted as Speaker between August and December 1995. He was re-elected a Member of Parliament (Arima) in 1995 and served as a Member of the Opposition People's National Movement from 1995 to 1997.
He was a Member of the Cabinet of the United National Congress (UNC) Government from 1997 to 2000 as Minister of Information, Communication, Training and Distance Learning. He lost the Arima seat under the UNC in 2000 but was elected Speaker of the House on 12 January 2001 and served in that capacity until April 2002.
Griffith is best remembered for crossing the floor in 1997 to become a member of the United National Congress (UNC) and help them form the Government after the People’s National Movement (PNM) and UNC were caught in a stalemate having captured 17 seats apiece.
In 2010, Griffith returned to Parliament under the People’s Partnership (PP) Government having won the Toco/Sangre Grande seat. He was appointed Minister of Tourism on 28 May 2010 under the People’s Partnership Administration led by then-Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Griffith also served as Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House.
Griffith was married to wife Sandra Ray Griffith and was the father of three.
Griffith passed away on 21 November 2018 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72. His funeral took place on 26 November 2018 at the Greater Malabar Christian Centre followed by cremation at Allen's Funeral Home, Arima.