Sir Fred, who has the distinction of being the last Administrator and first Governor of the trinity of islands, was a respected legal scholar in the Caribbean. He was also the first black person to serve as Head of State for these islands.
On hearing the news of the passing of Sir Fred, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas expressed deep sadness and personal loss and extended his sincere condolences to the wife of the former governor, Lady Phillips, who, it is reported, alerted the government of the passing.
Sir Fred’s appointment as St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla’s First Black Governor was “a moment rich with symbolism, promise and import”, said Dr. Douglas.
While paying tribute to Sir Fred, the St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Douglas said the Grenada-born jurist “was a child of the Caribbean whose accomplishments and contributions were vast and expansive.”
“Having, for the first time, a son of the Caribbean as the Governor of these islands was a moment rich with symbolism, promise, and import. It was, indeed, a moment that none of us will soon forget,” said Prime Minister Douglas, adding: “Sir Fred went on to serve our “trinity of islands” with distinction, and for that we shall forever be grateful. On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, I extend heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues, and friends of our nation’s first Governor.”
Sir Fred became the first black Governor, on the attainment of Statehood on February 27th 1967, and served until 1969. He had served earlier as Administrator until February 27th 1967 when he succeeded British born Administrator Henry Howard.
He served as the Cabinet Secretary in the West Indies Federation Government, from 162-1965. Other distinguished services provided by Sir Fred, included, Senior Assistant Registrar U.W.I., 1966-1967; Chief Legal Advisor to Cable and Wireless in the Caribbean, 1969-1997; Chairman of the U.S. Agency for International Development of Agricultural Venture Trust, 1986—.
The former governor was also a well respected author of various publications, including Freedom in the Caribbean: A Study in Constitutional change
A prolific writer, Sir Fred penned five books on Constitutional Law and Legal Ethics. “The Step from Colonialism to Independence is a psychologically and socially transformative one in any part of the world. And the first step along that extraordinary path began, for St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, with our achieving Associated Statehood status in 1967. Not only were the practical and legal ramifications enormous, but so were the social and political consequences,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
A date for the funeral has not been announced.