|Oswald O'Neil Skippings
Former Chief Minister of Turks and Caicos Islands
Oswald O'Neil Skippings (born 1953) is a politician from the Turks and Caicos Islands. He served as the island territory's Chief Minister from 19 June 1980 to November 1980 and again from 3 March 1988 to April 1991.
Early life and education
Oswald O'Neil Skippings was born in 1953 on the capital island of Grand Turk. Prior to his political career, Skippings spent several years as a teacher after he received his degree from Mico Teachers College in Jamaica.
Skippings became the youngest member of a Caribbean government ever when he was first elected to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) legislature in 1976 at the age of 22. At a very early age, he assumed a cabinet position in the first Ministerial Government under the late Great JAGS McCartney serving as Minister of Health and Education and later as Chief Minister at the age of 23 years.
He later became the youngest leader of a Caribbean government ever when he became Chief Minister in June 1980 at the age of 26. This first stint as Chief Minister ended in November 1980 when his People's Democratic Movement(PDM) was not returned at the polls after the 1980 gneral election. Despite the party's lost, Skippings he retained the leadership of the party thereby becoming the second leader of the first national political party. During this time, he piloted the PDM Party through many social and constitutional changes within the islands.
In March 1988, Skippings led the PDM to its greatest victory, winning 11 of 13 elected seats. He became Chief Minister for the second time and assumed portfolio responsibility for Tourism, Communications, and Transportation. He demitted office in April 1991.
In July 2012, Skippings was re-elected leader of the People's Democratic Movement.
An ordained Pastor, Skippings also served as the Senior Pastor for Firm Foundation Ministries. He is the father of five.