Allan George Richard Byfield

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Allan George Richard Byfield (born 14 December 1913) was a Jamaican school teacher and politician. He was a Senator of the West Indies Federation from 1958 to 1962, and President of the Senate of Jamaica from 1972 to 1980. In the late 1970s he was Minister of Education.


Byfield was one of the leaders of the Jones Town Baptist church.[1] He became a prominent educator and politician.[2] He was a schoolmaster at the Trench Town Government School in 1958.[3] When the West Indies Federation was created that year Governor General Lord Hailes appointed two senators from each island apart from Montserrat.[4] Byfield was named by the Jamaican Council of Ministers chaired by Norman Manley.[5] He was one of the senators for Jamaica, the other being Douglas James Judah.[4] Byfield was made a member of the Federation's Council of State as a Minister without Portfolio.[6] The Federation was dissolved in May 1962.[4]

When the Trench Town Senior School was established in 1963 the Kingston School Board named Byfield as headmaster, but the Ministry of Education rejected the appointment. Manley refused to get involved in the controversy.[7] In April 1964 Byfield was Acting Secretary of the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA).[8] Byfield became Deputy Chairman of the People's National Party, headed by Norman Manley.[9] In the 1972 Senate of Jamaica, there were eight members from the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and thirteen from the People's National Party (PNP). Byfield was President and Benjamin Clare was Deputy President.[10] Byfield was President of the Senate until 1980. He was succeeded by Oswald Harding.[11]

In 1976 Byfield was elected member of parliament for St. Mary Western on the PNP ticket, holding office until 1980.[12] In April 1978 Byfield was acting Minister of Education. He agreed to recommend to the government two points of the NUDT claim, one being that teachers should be given permanent status after four months service, and the other that they should be able to see the principal's file on them at any time.[13] While he was Minister of Education the JTA called a strike, and during the strike he suffered a stroke from which he did not recover.[14]


In the early 1970s the government was considering naming the St. Ann's Bay Secondary School in honor of Byfield, but due to agitation by Rastafarians and other groups decided to name it after Marcus Garvey instead.[15] The A.G.R. Byfield Highway in Saint Ann Parish is named after him. It was built on reclaimed land in St. Ann's Bay in the 1970s.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davis, Edmund (2001-02-12). "FOUR INDIGENOUS LEADERS". Theological education in a multi-ethnic society : the United Theological College of the West Indies and its four antecedent colleges (1841-1966). University Utrecht. p. 85. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  2. ^ James Carnegie (November 1975). "NOEL NEWTON NETHERSOLE: A Short Study" (PDF). Bank of Jamaica. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  3. ^ "April 20: "Mona Reservoir Is Not Doomed"". The Gleaner. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  4. ^ a b c "West Indies Federation". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  5. ^ "April 11: "Further Liberalisation Of Jamaican Imports From Japan"". The Gleaner. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  6. ^ "January 3, 1958 - The West Indies Federation is formed". Barbados Museum & Historical Society. 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  7. ^ Asia & Africa Review. Independent Publishing Company. 1963. p. 18. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Conference". Jamaica Teachers Association. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Michael Norman Manley" (PDF). National Library of Jamaica. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  10. ^ Munroe, Trevor; Bertram, Arnold (2006). Adult Suffrage and Political Administrations in Jamaica 1944-2002: A Compendium and Commentary. Ian Randle. p. 402. ISBN 978-976-637-237-8. 
  11. ^ Sabastian, Stephen. Shaping the Western Hemisphere- Student Edition. p. 102. ISBN 978-1-300-59653-0. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  12. ^ "Members of Parliament (Election Results from 1944-)" (PDF). National Library of Jamaica. p. 10. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  13. ^ "NUDT Call for Unity on Salaries". Struggle. Workers Liberation League (49). 13 April 1978. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  14. ^ Errol Miller (September 1989). "Review: Teachers, Education and Politics in Jamaica 1892-1972". Caribbean Quarterly. University of the West Indies and Caribbean Quarterly. 35 (3, UWI's 40th ANNIVERSARY): 60. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  15. ^ Devon Evans (10 August 2012). "Marcus Mosiah Garvey's 125th Anniversary Celebration". Self Help News. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  16. ^ EPN Consultants (June 2005). "ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT FOR A DEVELOPMENT - PART OF RICHMOND, LLANDOVERY, ST. ANN" (PDF). p. 53. Retrieved 2015-07-11.