The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it has noted with ‘profound regret’ the passing of former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir James Mitchell, adding that his death has brought to an end an era in the country’s history, as he was the last surviving Parliamentarian at the time of Independence in 1979.
CARICOM Secretary-General Dr Carla Barnett, in a message to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, extended condolences to the Government and People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and to Sir James’ family.
“The Region has lost a true stalwart of Integration…May he rest in peace”, the Secretary-General said.
“He was a one-of-a-kind leader who became Premier in the most unique way,” Dr Barnett noted, adding that he proceeded to make an indelible mark on the development of his country and the Community.
Sir James led his country both as Premier from 1972-1974 and as Prime Minister from 1984-2000.
“Sir James was an ardent integrationist and fully supported the initiatives of both the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and CARICOM,” the Secretary-General noted. An agronomist by training, Sir James was involved in the formation of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
Sir James died in his native St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday at the age of 90.