Former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sir James Mitchell has died. He had been ailing for several weeks.
Earlier this month, the 90-year-old Mitchell had been admitted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados after being diagnosed with dengue and a number of other health-related conditions.
His family, including his four daughters, had visited him in the ICU. At that time, they issues a statement saying that they were “grateful and humbled” for the “overwhelming outpouring of love” towards Sir James, adding “we ask that you continue to lift him up in your thoughts and prayers”.
Sir James Mitchell, an agronomist, was born in Bequia in the Grenadines on May 15, 1931. He was educated at St Vincent Grammar School. He continued his university education at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad and Tobago and at the University of British Columbia in Canada, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1955.
Mitchell worked with Government and in the Ministry of Overseas Development in London, and as an agricultural research officer for the St Vincent Government.
He initially entered politics in 1966 by winning a legislative seat as a candidate of the St Vincent Labour Party. He was the Minister of Agriculture from 1967 to 1972.
After serving as the second Premier of St Vincent from 1972 to 1974, he founded the New Democratic Party (NDP) in 1975. The party, which is now the opposition, is headed by Godwin Friday.
Sir James Mitchell later became the second Prime Minister of St Vincent, from 1984 to 2000.
He was the only surviving person who was a parliamentarian at the time of Independence on October 27, 1979.