George Brizan

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The Right Honourable
George Ignatius Brizan
CMG CBE
Prime Minister of Grenada
In office
1 February 1995 – 22 June 1995
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Reginald Palmer
Preceded by Nicholas Brathwaite
Succeeded by Keith Mitchell
Personal details
Born (1942-10-31)October 31, 1942
St. David, Grenada
Died February 18, 2012(2012-02-18) (aged 69)
St. George's, Grenada
Nationality Grenadian
Political party National Democratic Congress
Alma mater University of the West Indies
University of Calgary
Carlton University

George Ignatius Brizan, CMG, CBE (October 31, 1942 – February 18, 2012) was a Grenadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Grenada for four months in 1995. He moved to the top post in February, upon the resignation of Nicholas Brathwaite, and remained in office until Keith Mitchell was inaugurated on June 22.

Life and career[edit]

Following studies in Economics, History and Education, George Brizan began public service as a teacher at the venerable Grenada Boys' Secondary School (GBSS) and later as vice-principal of the Institute for Further Education (IFE). On several occasions he was called upon by governments to serve in various capacities particularly in the areas of trade and development. At various times in his long and illustrious career, Brizan served as a Trade Union leader, Economics, History and Education Lecturer and even a Sports Announcer/Commentator in the island's annual inter-collegiate track and field competition. Brizan had the distinction of working for or consulting with every Grenada government since the late 1960s. Then when later he became a consultant in the Ministry of Finance in the Keith Mitchell administration, he became and to this day remains the only former Prime Minister to have worked for a successive Grenadian government. A prolific author, Brizan authored one of the seminal works on Grenada's history, Grenada: Island of Conflict. Brizan was instrumental in guiding and serving as a role model for hundreds of Grenadian students over the years. Indeed, it was not uncommon for students to declare a desire to be a "Brizan" (i.e. Economist/Historian) as their career goal. That Economics remains one of the most popular courses of study for Grenadian students is a testament to Brizan's influence.

Brizan formed and led the National Democratic Party, which later merged with the Grenada National Party (led by Herbert Blaize) and the Grenada Democratic Movement (led by Dr. Francis Alexis) in August 1984 to create The New National Party (NNP).[1][2] In April 1987, Brizan went into opposition and founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He was subsequently succeeded as NDC leader by Nicholas Brathwaite. Braithwaite became Prime Minister following the NDC victory in the 1990 election,[2] and Brizan served in Braithwaite's Cabinet as Minister of Finance before being moved to the post of Minister of Agriculture on April 27, 1992. In both of these positions, he additionally held the portfolios of Trade, Industry, Production and Energy.[3]

After Braithwaite resigned from the party leadership in July 1994, Brizan was elected as NDC leader at a party convention on September 4, 1994.[4] He then became Prime Minister upon Brathwaite's resignation from that position on February 1, 1995. In addition to serving as Prime Minister, he took responsibility for the portfolios of External and National Security, Home Affairs, Agriculture, and Personnel and Management.[5]

The NDC was beaten in the June 1995 general election, and Brizan resigned from the party leadership and active, front-line politics after the NDC suffered a more severe defeat in the January 1999 general election, failing to win any seats.[2] Brizan remained a highly sought-after Economic and Politics expert although he considered himself semi-retired due to pressing health issues.

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[6]

Brizan died at the General Hospital in St. George's, Grenada, on February 18, 2012, aged 69.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "May 1988 - Internal political and economic developments", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 34, May, 1988 Grenada, Page 35888.
  2. ^ a b c Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 265.
  3. ^ "Apr 1992 - GRENADA", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 38, April, 1992 Grenada, Page 38861.
  4. ^ "Sep 1994 - New ruling party leader", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 40, September, 1994 Grenada, Page 40176.
  5. ^ "Feb 1995 - New Prime Minister - Government changes", Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume 41, February, 1995 Grenada, Page 40402.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58932. p. 1. 31 December 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.gov.gd/biographies/george_brizan_bio.html
Preceded by
Nicholas Brathwaite
Prime Minister of Grenada
1995
Succeeded by
Keith Mitchell