Ralph Everad Gonsalves was born on August 08, 1946 to Alban Gonsalves and Theresa Francis in Colonarie, a rural village in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He is married to Eloise Gonsalves nee Harris and has three sons (Camillo, Adam and Storm), and two daughters (Isis and Soleil).
Dr. Gonsalves was educated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the Colonarie Roman Catholic School and at the St. Vincent Boys’ Grammar School. He later completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at the University of the West Indies, there obtaining several noteworthy accolades including, President of the Debating Society and President of the Guild of Undergraduates. In 1971, he obtained a Masters in Government from the University of the West Indies. In 1974 and 1981, he obtained a PhD in Government and a Degree of Utter Barrister at University of Manchester, England and Gray’s Inn, London, respectively.
Dr. Gonsalves became the Deputy Political Leader of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) in 1994. The ULP, a merger of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party and the Movement for National Unity (MNU), with Dr. Gonsalves as leader, won the General Elections held on March 28, 2000. He has remained Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines since then, winning the elections again in 2005 and 2010.
Concurrently while pursuing his political career and prior to his becoming the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr. Gonsalves practiced law extensively and successfully before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in a wide range of matters, but particularly in the fields of constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law, matrimonial law, real property law, law of tort generally and the law of contract.
Affectionately known across the country as Comrade Ralph, Ralph Gonsalves is one of the most well-respected leaders in the Caribbean. Over the course of his life, he has transformed from an activist fighting against the injustices of colonialism and aristocratic rule to a Prime Minister who has transformed his country and uplifted the poorest and most marginal among us.
His story is well known to many of us. It’s been chronicled in several books including his autobiography, The Making of The Comrade: The Political Journey of Ralph Gonsalves. What has guided Comrade Ralph throughout his life is a core philosophy that states that all people deserve a decent shot at life.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, he ushered in an Education Revolution that ensured that all our people could have access to secondary education. He is building an international airport that will revolutionize our tourism product and bring billions of dollars in investment to our shores. And, he is about to embark on the construction of a new city at Arnos Vale which will include a new hospital and a tunnel under Cane Garden to town. It will be a center of commerce that will create jobs and opportunity.
Comrade Ralph is not only respected here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but, indeed he is one of the most respected leaders in the Caribbean. His foreign policy – a friend to all, satellite to none – has brought millions in investment into our country and strategically placed us as a broker of international importance. His intellect and his philosophy mean he commands respect on all sides of the global political divide.
When you look up leader in the dictionary, the characteristics all describe our leader – Comrade Ralph. Strong. Principled. Effective. A man who brings people together to get things done. He has a vision for our country. He has transformed our society. And, he has a deep and abiding love for all our people and he wants the best for each and every one of us.