Her Excellency, Dame Dr. Pearlette Louisy, GCSL, GCMG, D. St. J, Ph. D., LLD. (Hon)
Former Governor-General of St. Lucia
Dame (Calliopa) Pearlette Louisy GCSL GCMG (born 8 June 1946) is the Governor-General of Saint Lucia. She is the first woman to hold this office, into which she was sworn on 19 September 1997.
Early life and education
Her Excellency, Dame Dr. Pearlette Louisy was born in the southern village of Laborie on 8 June 1946. She received her early education at the Laborie Girls' Primary and Mixed Infant Schools, from which she proceeded on a Javouhey Scholarship to St. Joseph's Convent in January 1960. On completion of her secondary education, she joined the staff of St. Joseph's Convent in September 1965.
She began her university education in October 1966, having obtained a scholarship from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to read for a Bachelors' Degree in English and French at the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill in Barbados. In 1972 she was awarded another scholarship under the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan to read for a Masters' Degree in Linguistics, in the field of Didactics at the University of Laval in Quebec City, Canada. In 1991, she took up studies at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom where she read for a Ph.D in Education. Her doctoral studies focused on the management and provision of tertiary education in small nation states.
Dr. Louisy's entire professional life has been spent in the field of education. She was first exposed to the classroom when she served as a pupil teacher at the Laborie Mixed Infant school while she waited for an opportunity to begin her secondary school education. She later served on the staff of St. Joseph's Convent during the years 1969 - 1972 and 1975 - 1976. From 1976 - 1981, she served first as a tutor of French, and then as Principal of the Saint Lucia ‘A' Level College. When the ‘A' Level College was merged with sister institutions to form the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, she served as Dean of the Division of Arts, Science and General Studies, then Vice Principal and then Principal, the position she held until her appointment as Governor-General on 17 September 1997.
Dr. Louisy complemented her abiding interest in education with a love for culture and the performing arts. She was an active member of the Creative and Performing Arts Society (Drama and Chorale), the New Day Theatre Movement, and then the Bel Canto Choral Group. In culture it was the Folk Research Centre and the Mouvman Kweyol Sent Lisi which spearheaded her work in the promotion of and research into creole culture and language, an interest she still actively pursues.
On 19 September 1997 she was the first woman to be appointed Saint Lucia's Governor-General. She demitted office on 31 December 2017, having served for 20 years.
Honours and awards
In 1998, Her Excellency was nominated International Woman of the Year by the International Biographical Centre.
On 16 July 1999 she was appointed Dame Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG) by Her Majest, Queen Elizabeth II. She was also appointed Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Lucia (GCSL).
In 2001 was made a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.