Sir James Cameron Tudor, KCMG
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados
Sir James Cameron Tudor was
a politician, diplomat, and former Deputy Prime Minister of Barbados.
Early life and education
Sir James Cameron ‘Cammie’ Tudor was born 18 October 1919 into merchant and land-holding family to parents James A. and Irene Tudor. He was educated at Roebuck Boys', Combermere, and Harrison College in Barbados, before entering Keble College, Oxford, where he read history, modern greats, and theology.
At Oxford, his oratorical gifts earned him the distinction of becoming the first black president of the Oxford Union debating society. He returned to Barbados from England in 1944 after completing a master's degree in history and politics. He taught at Combermere, and later at Queen's College in British Guiana, and at the now defunct Modern High School back in Barbados.
In 1951, Cammie Tudor entered politics as a member of Sir Grantley Adams' Barbados Labour Party (BLP). He won a by-election in 1954 for the St. Lucy constituency, but only a year later he was one of the young turks, who, dissatisfied with the style of Sir Grantley and the slow pace of economic development, formed the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). He erved on the first Provisional General Council; and as the first General Secretary of the DLP from 1955 to 1963.
When the DLP came to power in 1961, with the formidable Errol Barrow as Premier, Cameron Tudor became Minister of Education (1961 – 1967) and Deputy Premier (1965 – 1966) and set about the introduction of free secondary education, one of the party's principal manifesto pledges. This opened up education beyond the few who could afford the fees or win the few scholarships.
Tudor was part of the Barbados delegation to the Independence Conference in London. In the election, held before independence in 1966, the DLP again won. Tudor became Deputy Prime Minister (1966 – 1971). He continued as representative for St. Lucy until 1971 with the advent of the single member constituency system. He later served in the Senate where he was Leader of Government Business from 1971 – 1972 and 1986 – 1989.
In later years, Sir James served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (1972-1975) and to Canada, Permanent, and Representative at the United Nations (1976).
Honours and awards
Tudor was named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CMG) in the Queen's New Year Honours 1970. In 1987 he received the accolade of Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his public service.
Death and legacy
Sir James Cameron Tudor died on Sunday, 9 July 1995 at the age of 75. He was laid to rest on Wednesday, 19 July 1995 in St. Lucy's Parish Church yard, after a service at St. Mary's Church in the City, where, according to his wishes, no eulogy was read.
He will be remembered for his eloquence, his wit and sense of fun. In his earlier days, he was quite rotund - he was a superb cook and was never known for holding back at table. His ample frame would shake with laughter. His facility with language and his descriptive abilities were equally strong with the written word and he wrote a daily newspaper column for several years.