John Melville Compton, the 82-year-old
prime minister of St. Lucia, died in a hospital in Castries, St.
Lucia on Sept. 7.
became chief minister of the then-colony of St. Lucia in
Three years later,
he initiated negotiations for more autonomy from Britain and became
St. Lucia's first prime minister upon independence in 1979, and led
the country again from 1982 to 1996.
He came out of
retirement in 2005 and, last December, defeated former Prime
Minister Kenny Anthony's bid for a third five-year term. However,
Compton did not resume leadership duties after suffering a series
of mild strokes in late April and Stephenson King became acting
A lawyer and vocal
champion of the working class, Compton was known as the "Father of
the Nation of St. Lucia."
Air Jamaica's vice president of sales, described Compton as "a true
Caribbean visionary who has left an indelible mark in Caribbean
history and provided a roadmap for the sustainable development of
minister of tourism, said that Compton's "humility and absolute
loyalty to the development of St. Lucia and its people are
King said that St.
Lucia would observe two weeks of mourning.
contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Gay
Nagle Myers at [email protected].