Harold Bernard St. John : biography
The Rt. Hon. Sir Harold Bernard ("Bree") St. John, KA (16 August 1931 – 29 February 2004) was a Barbadian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of Barbados from 1985 to 1986. He was leader of the Barbados Labour Party from 1970 to 1971 and again from 1985 to 1987. He was widely known as "Bree".
St. John was born in the Parish of Christ Church. He attended the Christ Church Foundation School He was professionally trained as a lawyer at the University of London. He joined the Barbados Labour Party in 1959, before independence from the United Kingdom. After independence in 1966, he was elected to the Barbados House of Assembly. He served as a member of the Upper Chamber between 1971 and 1976 as a member of the Opposition party.
He left the Upper House when he was re-elected to the House of Assembly in 1976 when his party under J.M.G. Adams won the election. He served in numerous cabinet positions in the 1970s including deputy prime minister, minister of trade and industry, and minister of tourism where he did his most influential work in developing the tourism industry in Barbados. When Adams died in 1985 St. John became Prime Minister. He was defeated in the 1986 elections by Errol Barrow and the Democratic Labour Party.
In 1994 when the BLP regained power, he did not return to Cabinet and served instead as a backbencher under Owen Arthur. Hon. Billie Antoinette Miller was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. That same year St. John was conferred the highest honour in Barbados; he was made a Knight of St. Andrew (KA) of the Order of Barbados.
In 2004, Bernard St. John died of cancer in Bridgetown. He left his widow Lady Stella (nee Hope) and three chilrden: Bryte, Charmaine and Nicole.
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