Ebenezer Joshua

Ebenezer Theodore Joshua (23 May 1908 – 14 March 1991) was a Vincentian politician and the first chief minister of Saint Vincent from 1961 to 1967. He was the Leader of the Legislative Council from 1956 to 1961.[1]

Ebenezer Joshua
Chief Minister of Saint Vincent
In office
25 May 1961 – 16 March 1967
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byposition created
Succeeded byMilton Cato
Leader of the People's Political Party
In office
Personal details
Born(1908-05-23)23 May 1908
Kingstown, British Windward Islands (present day Saint Vincent and the Grenadines)
Died14 March 1991(1991-03-14) (aged 82)
Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Political partyPeople's Political Party
Eighth Army of Liberation (1951–1952)
Spouse(s)Ivy Joshua

Early life and careerEdit

Joshua was born in Kingstown, Saint Vincent, British Windward Islands. As a young man in the 1920s, he went to work on the nearby island of Trinidad. There he became involved in trade unionism with Buzz Butler, and was an official of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union from 1938 until 1950, when he tried unsuccessfully to be elected to the Trinidad legislature.[2] Returning to Saint Vincent, Joshua entered politics, and was elected to the island's assembly in 1951 as a member of the Eighth Army of Liberation.[3] In 1952 he and his wife Ivy Joshua founded the People's Political Party (PPP) as the political arm of the Federated Industrial Allied Workers Union (FIAWU), a trade union organization aimed at representing agricultural and shipyard workers.[3] The party was staunchly against colonialism and the plantocracy.[4]


In 1957, Ebenezer and Ivy became the first married couple to be elected to a parliament of the British West Indies.[5] In 1961, upon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gaining increased autonomy, Joshua became chief minister. His PPP saw continued success in subsequent elections.[6] Joshua supported the unsuccessful Federation of the West Indies.[1] In 1962 Joshua discontinued government subsidies for the sugar growers, leading the Mt Bentinck Sugar Cane Factory to close after years of financial mismanagement.[7]

Joshua then travelled to Barbados for a regional meeting on agricultural problems; a misunderstanding of this sequence of events and Vincentian history by American musician Eric von Schmidt became the basis for the song "Joshua Gone Barbados".[8] In 1967 the PPP lost their parliamentary majority and Joshua was succeeded by Milton Cato, leader of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party. Joshua remained in parliament, but the PPP began to decline as the New Democratic Party emerged as political competition. In 1979 the PPP lost all parliamentary representation.[9] Joshua resigned as party leader in 1980,[10] and the party was dissolved in 1984.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1980, Joshua became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).[11] He served for a time in the presidency of the LDS Church's Kingstown Branch,[12] then the only congregation of the church in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.[13]

Joshua died in Kingstown, Saint Vincent, on 14 March 1991.[14] The E. T. Joshua Airport in Arnos Vale is named after him.[15]


  1. ^ a b Joshua, Michael S. (23 May 2008). "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EBENEZER THEODORE JOSHUA". tonyoldies.homestead.com. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ Dyde, Brian (1992). "Joshua, Ebenezer Theodore". Caribbean companion : the A-Z reference : a handbook to the people, places, plants, animals, culture and major historical events of the West Indies. London: Macmillan Caribbean. p. 92. ISBN 0-333-54559-1. OCLC 26545905.
  3. ^ a b Martin, Afi A. (2016). "Joshua, Ivy Inez (1924–1992), politician and trade unionist". In Knight, Franklin W.; Gates, Jr, Henry Louis (eds.). Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-199-93580-2.  – via Oxford University Press's Reference Online (subscription required)
  4. ^ Fraser, Adrian (2016). "Joshua, Ebenezer (1908–1991), first chief minister and longtime legislator of St. Vincent". In Knight, Franklin W.; Gates, Jr, Henry Louis (eds.). Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-199-93580-2.  – via Oxford University Press's Reference Online (subscription required)
  5. ^ Dawson, Veta (28 November 2006). "The 'Saints' are on the way". The Gleaner. Retrieved 31 January 2018 – via NewspaperArchive.com.  
  6. ^ "Members of Parliament From Legislative Council 1951 to Independence 1979 to Present". House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Mt Bentinck Sugar Factory". www.georgetownsvgrevisited.co.uk. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  8. ^ Leonardi, Tom (10 September 2014). "Eric Von Schmidt in St. Vincent and "Joshua Gone Barbados"". KZFR. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  9. ^ a b Elections in the Americas : a data handbook. Nohlen, Dieter. New York. 2005. pp. 595–596. ISBN 0-19-925358-7. OCLC 58051010.CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ John, Kenneth (13 March 1992). "National Heroes: E.T. Joshua". The Vincentian. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  11. ^ 2008 Deseret Morning News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Morning News) p. 457.
  12. ^ "Island Nation Mourns Leader, an LDS Pioneer", Ensign, June 1991.
  13. ^ Krueger, Todd (2000). "St. Vincent and the Grenadines". Encyclopedia of Latter-Day Saint history. Garr, Arnold K., Cannon, Donald Q., 1936-, Cowan, Richard O., 1934-. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co. p. 1182. ISBN 1-57345-822-8. OCLC 44634356.
  14. ^ "Ebenezer Joshua remembered". The Vincentian. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  15. ^ Horne, Kenville (28 March 2013). "A Joshua speaks about E.T. Joshua". The Vincentian. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
Political offices
Preceded by
position created
Chief Minister of Saint Vincent
Succeeded by