Herbert Blaize

Herbert Augustus Blaize PC (26 February 1918 – 19 December 1989) was a Grenadian politician and leader of the Grenada National Party. When Grenada was still a British Crown Colony he served as the first Chief Minister from 1960 to 1961, and again from 1962 to 1967. He became the first Premier of the autonomous Associated State of Grenada briefly in 1967. In the first elections following the 1983 coups and the American-led invasion of Grenada, he served as Prime Minister from 1984 until his death in 1989.


Herbert Augustus Blaize
6th Prime Minister of Grenada
In office
4 December 1984 – 19 December 1989
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralPaul Scoon
Preceded byNicholas Brathwaite
Succeeded byBen Jones
Member of Parliament
for Carriacou and Petite Martinique
In office
1957 – 19 December 1989
Preceded byHon. Frederick B Paterson
Succeeded byHon. Nicholas Brathwaite
Premier of Grenada
In office
3 March 1967 – 25 August 1967
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byPremier established
Succeeded byEric Matthew Gairy
Chief Minister of Grenada
In office
September 1962 – March 1967
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byEric Matthew Gairy
Succeeded byChief Minister abolished
Chief Minister of Grenada
In office
January 1960 – March 1961
MonarchElizabeth II
Preceded byEric Matthew Gairy
Succeeded byGeorge E. D. Clyne
Personal details
Born(1918-02-26)26 February 1918
Beausejour, Carriacou, Grenada
Died19 December 1989(1989-12-19) (aged 71)
St George's, Grenada
NationalityCarriacouan
Political partyGrenada National Party
New National Party
National Party
Spouse(s)Dame Venetia Blaize
ChildrenNorma Blaize
Carol Jerome
Marion Fleary
Samuel Blaize
Marvin Blaize
Christopher Blaize.

Early yearsEdit

Blaize was born in the island of Carriacou, which along with the island of Petite Martinique is a part of Grenada. He moved to Aruba where he worked many years in the oil refinery of the Lago Oil and Transport Company.[1]

Grenada National PartyEdit

In 1953 he formed the Grenada National Party as a rival party to the Grenada United Labour Party of Eric Gairy, who would be Blaize's main political rival for the next 25 years. Blaize entered the legislature in 1957 and became Minister of Trade and Production.

Chief Minister and PremierEdit

He was appointed as Chief Minister in 1960, lost power to Gairy in 1961, and was reappointed in 1962 after Gairy was dismissed. In 1967 Grenada became an associated state within the British Empire, gaining more internal self-government. Soon afterwards, Blaize lost power and Gairy began a long tenure as Prime Minister.[citation needed]

In OppositionEdit

In 1976 Blaize's center-right National Party joined forces with the left-wing New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop for the elections that year, which Gairy and the GULP won. The alliance between Blaize and Bishop ended by 1979 when Bishop seized power. Blaize retired from politics and moved back to Carriacou, until after the intervention by the United States in 1983.

Prime MinisterEdit

During the election campaign of 1984, Blaize merged his parties with several other center-right parties to form the New National Party, which took 14 of 15 seats in the election. He was sworn in on 4 December 1984 and his Cabinet was announced 11 days later.[citation needed]

In addition to being Prime Minister, Blaize became Minister of Home Affairs, Security, Information, Finance, Trade, Planning, Industrial Development and Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs.[2]

Blaize's government advocated a strong economic and military alliance for Grenada with the United States, and other overseas investment. Blaize was often criticized for being authoritarian.[citation needed]

DeathEdit

He died in December 1989 near St. George's, Grenada, following a several-years-long battle with prostate cancer, aged 71. Two days before his death, Blaize had been elected the first party leader of the newly formed National Party.

FamilyEdit

Hebert Blaize was survived by his wife, Dame Venetia Blaize, DBE (née Venetia Ursula Davidson); three daughters, Norma Blaize (a former Consul-General of Grenada in New York), Carol Jerome and Marion Fleary; three sons, Samuel Blaize, Marvin Blaize and Christopher Blaize. He was also survived by a sister, Muriel Noel.[3][4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Oud-ingezetenen Aruba succesvol in politiek, Amigoe, September 15, 1962
  2. ^ "January 1985 – General election and resumption of Parliament – Formation of Blaize government – Foreign relations Opening of airport – Start of murder trial", Keesing's Record of World Events, volume 31, January 1985, Grenada, page 33,327.
  3. ^ New York Times obituary for Herbert Blaize
  4. ^ Ebony magazine article on Blaize family
Political offices
Preceded by
New Office
Chief Minister of Grenada
January 1960 – March 1961
Succeeded by
George E.D. Clyne
Preceded by
Eric Gairy
Chief Minister of Grenada
September 1962 – 3 March 1967
Succeeded by
Post Abolished
Preceded by
New Office
Premier of Grenada
3 March – 25 August 1967
Succeeded by
Eric Gairy
Preceded by
Nicholas Brathwaite
Prime Minister of Grenada
4 December 1984 – 19 December 1989
Succeeded by
Ben Jones

SourcesEdit

  • LA GRENADE : mort du premier ministre., Le Monde. Jeudi 21 décembre 1989, p. 3; accessed October 7, 2006.