The man who led Grenada’s Interim Government set up by then Governor-General Sir Paul Scoon after the collapse of the 1979-83 leftist experiment in the Spice Isle of the New Jewel Movement (NJM), is now dead.
Sir Nicholas Alexander Brathwaite passed away at his home in the Villa, St. George’s at approximately 11.30 p.m Friday night after a brief illness.
The late Prime Minister had left specific instructions since 2009 to family members about the disposal of his body to be done at sea.
A family member told THE NEW TODAY that Sir Nicholas has requested that there should be no State funeral for him, and for no Eulogy nor Tributes to be made at his two funeral services.
The first funeral service will be held today (Friday) at the Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church at Grand Anse according to Anglican Rites and the other will be held on the sister isle of Carriacou on Monday at the Christ The King Anglican church in Hillsborough.
Sir Nicholas’ body will return to Grenada the following day for preparation for burial out at sea.
The funeral arrangements have been placed in the hands of Otway/Bailey Funeral home.
Regarded as a Statesman, Sir Nicholas later entered frontline politics and served for one-term between 1990 and 1995 as Prime Minister of a government headed by the National Democratic Congress.
He won the seat for the sister isle constituency of Carriacou & Petite Martinique and was invited by Sir Paul to form a government.
Although Congress won only seven seats in the elections, the administration was bolstered by the support of two other winning candidates – the late Ben Jones and Alleyne Walker who won seats for The National Party (TNP).
Sir Nicholas demitted office as Prime Minister a few months before the June 1995 poll to allow his Agriculture Minister the late George Ignatius Brizan to take over as Prime Minister and lead NDC into the elections.
The newlook New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell won 8 of the 15 seats in the election to form the government and to dominate Grenada’s political landscape for the next 21 years.
The late Sir Nicholas was invited to head the Interim Government by Sir Paul following the military invasion by the United States and Caribbean Forces in October 1983 to put down a military junta that had seized power in a bloody coup in which Marxist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and three Cabinet colleagues were executed.
Sir Nicholas was stationed in Guyana as regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, an appointment he had held since 1974.
He relinquished that post to fill the position of Chairman of the Interim Government, supervising preparations for the December 1984 General Elections in Grenada, which led the island back to parliamentary democracy after nearly five years of non-elected revolutionary rule by Bishop’s New Jewel Movement (NJM).
Born on July 8, 1925 in Carriacou, Sir Nicholas was educated at Mount Pleasant Government School in Carriacou and at the Grenada Boys Secondary School. His education continued at the Teacher’s Training College in Trinidad and at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Except for a break from 1951 to 1957, when he was an oil refinery operator in the Dutch-ruled island of Curacao, his work experience over the 30-year period 1945-1974 was dedicated to the education field.
Starting as a primary school teacher, he rose to be principal of a primary school, advanced to be a tutor at the
Grenada Teacher’s College and in 1968 became Principal of that College.
In the following year, he was appointed Grenada’s Chief Education Officer, a position he held until 1974 when he became the Regional Director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
The Interim Government was dissolved after the General Elections of December 1984 and from then until 1986, Sir Nicholas Brathwaite performed the duties of Executive Adviser to Prime Minister Herbert Blaize.
Sir Nicholas’ elected political career can be said to have began in January 1989 when he was elected President of the National Democratic Congress.
Under that banner he won the Carriacou seat in the General Elections of March 13, 1990, and on March 16, 1990, was appointed Prime Minister.
His public service record includes serving as President of the Carriacou branch of the Grenada Union of Teachers, President of the Grenada Civil Service Association and President of the Grenada Cricket Umpires Association.
In July 1991, he was appointed a Member of the Privy Council.
He resigned shortly before the 1995 elections, which the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost. He was knighted in 1995.