Harold Egbert Allan

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Sir Harold Allan

Sir Harold Egbert Allan OBE (15 March 1895 – 18 February 1953) was a Jamaican politician, legislator and statesman.[1]

Early life[edit]

Allan grew up in Portland Parish. He was educated at Mico College, and after graduating became assistant master at Calabar Elementary School, then headmaster at Titchfield Upper School. In 1919, he founded the Capitol Theatre which was the first place to show motion pictures in the parish.[1]

Political career[edit]

Allan was elected a member of the Porland Parochial Board in 1928, and was elected for the legislative seat of Portland in 1935. Following unemployment riots in 1938, he visited the United Kingdom to discuss the financial problems in Jamaica with the British government. The following year, he helped establish the Land Settlement system and Unemployment Relief and Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston's west end.[1] He was a key figure in establishing the Jamaican constitution in 1944.[2]

Though he was politically independent, he worked closely with Jamaican Labour Party government leader Alexander Bustamante, and was appointed Minister for Finance and General Purposes in 1945. Two years later, he was appointed representative for Jamaica at the Trade Conference in London.[1]

Allan received an Order of the British Empire in 1943.[3] He was knighted in 1948, becoming the first Afro-Jamaican to receive this honour.[4][5][6]

Death and legacy[edit]

Allan died on 18 February 1953.[1] In 1979, his wife Lady Edris (née Trottman) Allan donated his papers to the Civil Rights leaders collection at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Center made microfilm copies of his papers, and gave them to the Institute of Jamaica, the Jamaican Archives and the University of the West Indies.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sir Harold Allan is Dead". Kingston Gleaner. 19 February 1953. p. 1. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Microfilm copies given to local institutions". Kingston Gleaner. 5 June 1979. p. 2. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Harold Egbert Allan" (PDF). National Library of Jamaica. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Knighthood for Mr Allan". Kingston Gleaner. 11 June 1948. p. 1. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood". London Gazette: 3366. 4 June 1948. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  6. ^ Hemming, Wilbert (28 August 1977). "Lady Edris Elaine Allan: Tireless Social Worker …and widow of Jamaica's first black knight" (PDF). The Gleaner Sunday Magazine. Kingston, Jamaica. pp. 1, 8, 14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.