Governor-General of Barbados

The governor-general of Barbados was the representative of the Barbadian monarch from independence in 1966 until the establishment of a republic in 2021. Under the government's Table of Precedence for Barbados, the governor-general of Barbados was regarded as being the most important of all personnel of the Barbados government.[2]

Governor-General of Barbados
StyleHis/Her Excellency
StatusAbolished
ResidenceGovernment House, Barbados
AppointerMonarch of Barbados
Term lengthAt His Majesty's pleasure
Formation30 November 1966
First holderJohn Montague Stow
Final holderSandra Mason
Abolished30 November 2021
Salary220,998 BBD annually[1]

The office was established by Chapter IV of the 1966 Constitution of Barbados.[3] The governor-general was appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister of Barbados.[4][5] The governor-general exercised the monarch's executive powers and gave assent to bills in the monarch's name, promulgating them as laws.[6] The powers of the monarch and the governor-general were limited, and they, in most instances, exercised authority on the advice of the prime minister or other persons or bodies within Barbados.[7]

The office of the governor-general was established when Barbados gained independence in 1966. Since then, Barbados had 8 governors-general. On 30 November 2021, Barbados became a republic and the office of governor-general was abolished.

Duties

The Barbadian monarch, on the advice of her Barbadian prime minister, appointed a governor-general to be her representative in Barbados.[8][9] Both the monarch and the governor-general held much power in the country, though it was rarely used unilaterally; it was usually only used in such a way in emergencies and in some cases war.[10]

The governor-general represented the monarch on ceremonial occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament and the presentation of honours and military parades. Under the constitution, the governor-general was given authority to act in some matters; for example, in appointing and disciplining officers of the civil service,[11] granting "any person convicted of any offence against the laws of Barbados a pardon",[12] and in proroguing parliament. However, in only a few cases was the governor-general empowered to act entirely on his/her own discretion, often requiring the countersignature of the prime minister to exercise their powers.

The governor-general of Barbados also chaired the Privy Council of Barbados.

List of governors-general of Barbados

Following is a list of people who served as governor-general of Barbados from independence in 1966 to the establishment of a republic in 2021.

Symbols

^† Died in office.
  Denotes acting governors-general
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch
(Reign)
Took office Left office Time in office
1 John Montague Stow
(1911–1997)
30 November
1966
18 May
1967
169 days
Elizabeth II

(1966–2021)
2 Arleigh Winston Scott
(1900–1976)
18 May
1967
9 August
1976[†]
9 years,

82 days

William Douglas
(1921–2003)
Acting Governor-General
9 August
1976
17 November
1976
100 days
3 Deighton Lisle Ward
(1909–1984)
17 November
1976
9 January
1984[†]
7 years,

53 days

William Randolph Douglas
(1921–2003)
Acting Governor-General
10 January
1984
24 February
1984
45 days
4 Hugh Springer
(1913–1994)
24 February
1984
6 June
1990
6 years,

104 days

5 Nita Barrow
(1916–1995)
6 June
1990
19 December
1995[†]
5 years,

195 days

Denys Williams
(1929–2014)
Acting Governor-General
19 December
1995
1 June
1996
165 days
6 Clifford Husbands
(1926–2017)
1 June
1996
31 October
2011
15 years,

151 days

Elliott Belgrave
(b. 1931)
Acting Governor-General
1 November
2011
30 May
2012
211 days
Sandra Mason
(b. 1949)
Acting Governor-General
30 May
2012
1 June
2012
2 days
7 Elliott Belgrave
(b. 1931)
1 June
2012
30 June
2017
5 years,

29 days

Philip Greaves
(b. 1931)
Acting Governor-General
1 July
2017
8 January
2018
191 days
8 Sandra Mason
(b. 1949)
8 January
2018
30 November
2021
3 years, 326 days

Timeline

Sandra MasonSandra MasonClifford HusbandsNita Barrow

Official oath of office

According to the First Schedule section of the 1966 Constitution of Barbados, the official oath of office for the governor-general of Barbados was as follows:

I, (name), do swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Her Heirs and Successors, in the office of Governor-General. So help me God.

Abolition

In September 2020, the government of Barbados announced that it planned to abolish the Barbadian monarchy and the position of the governor-general, and the Queen of Barbados to be replaced with a ceremonial president, akin to that of the president of Trinidad and Tobago.[13] Incumbent governor-general Sandra Mason was elected president on 20 October 2021 and took office on 30 November 2021.

See also

References

  1. Government Printing Department. "SCHEDULES OF PERSONAL EMOLUMENTS 2016 – 2017" (PDF). barbadosparliament.com.
  2. "Table of Precedence for Barbados - July, 2008" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2009.
  3. Constitution, Chapter IV
  4. Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 28(1)
  5. Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 32
  6. Constitution, Chapter V, Section 58(1)
  7. Constitution, Chapter IV, Section 32
  8. "Queen's role in Barbados". The Monarchy Today: Queen and State. The Barbadian Monarchy. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  9. Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 1; Section 28
  10. Constitution, Chapter III, Part 15; Section 25(1)(a)
  11. The role of GG is not just ceremonial, says Arthur
  12. Constitution, Chapter VI, Part 2; Section 78(1)(a)
  13. Madden, Marlon, ed. (17 September 2020). "Wickham predicts Barbados' republic model to mirror Trinidad's". Top Featured Article. Barbados Today. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2021. As Barbados prepares to ditch the Queen as its Head of State and become a republic, a prominent political scientist is predicting that Prime Minister Mia Mottley will follow the Trinidad and Tobago model. What's more, Peter Wickham has shot down any idea of the Barbados Labour Party administration holding a referendum on the matter, saying that to do so would be a "mistake". "There is no need to and I don't think it makes a lot of sense. We had a situation where since 1999 this [political party] indicated its desire to go in the direction of a republic. The Opposition has always supported it.... So, I think there is enough cohesion in that regard to go with it," he said.
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