Governor Generals – Past & Present

By wikipedia

Governor Generals of St. Kitts & Nevis- Past & Present



His Excellency Sir, Clement Athelston Arrindell (GCMG,GCVO, QC)

(19 April 1931 – 27 March 2011)


Sir Arrindell was the first Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis, serving from 1983 to 1995, and also served as the country’s final colonial governor, from 1981 to 1983.

Arrindell was born in Basseterre, St. Kitts, and educated at the St. Kitts–Nevis Grammar School, where he was top of his class in his final year. He left to study in England in 1954, and was called to the bar in June 1958, as a member of Lincoln’s Inn then returned to St. Kitts in December 1958. He initially worked in private practice, but was eventually made a magistrate. From 1972 to 1978, he served as a senior magistrate, both in St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla (as the colony was then known) and in the British Virgin Islands. In July 1978, Arrindell was made a judge of the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court (now known as the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court). He served in the position until November 1981, when he succeeded Sir Probyn Inniss as Governor of Saint Kitts and Nevis (an Associated State of the United Kingdom at the time). On independence in September 1983, he was appointed Governor-General, and remained in the position until his retirement in December 1995. Arrindell was created a Knight Bachelor in June 1982, and was also later made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in February 1984 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) in October 1985. He died in March 2011, after a short illness, and was awarded a state funeral.


Sir Cuthbert Montraville Sebastian (GCMG, OBE, KStJ, ED)

(22 October 1921 – 25 March 2017)


Sir Sebastian was the Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis from 1996 to 2013. He was appointed Governor-General in 1995 and was sworn in on 1 January 1996. While in office, he was the world’s oldest serving head of state. His retirement was announced on 25 December 2012 and became effective on 1 January 2013.

Sebastian was the son of Joseph Matthew Sebastian, who was a Member of the Legislative and Executive Councils of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla until his death in 1944, and Inez Veronica Sebastian (née Hodge). He studied at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, where he obtained a BSc degree. He entered Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he studied medicine and graduated, in 1958, with a MDCM degree to become a surgeon.

He has served in St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla as pupil teacher, learner/dispenser, chemist and druggist, laboratory technician, senior dispenser, medical superintendent and obstetrician–gynaecologist. He was Chief Medical Officer of St. Kitts and Nevis from 1980 to 1983. From 1962 to 1966, he pursued training at the Dundee Royal Infirmary, Scotland in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Sebastian was a rear gunner during World War II in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Captain (Surgeon) in the St. Kitts-Nevis Defence Force, local physician to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), when His Highness visited St. Kitts in 1973. In addition, he was ADC to the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Premier, Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, when Bradshaw went to Buckingham Palace on the occasion of Her Majesty’s 25th year on the Throne.

Sebastian received the Auxiliary Forces Efficiency Decoration (ED), and was made an Officer of Order of the British Empire (OBE) (civil division) from Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. He was knighted as a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George in 1996, and was made a Knight of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem (KStJ). Dalhousie University honoured him with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, in 1998, and in 2005 he received an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Allison University. On 5 July 2002, he received an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) of Edinburgh in Scotland, for his outstanding career and service to humanity in the field of medicine. Prior to Edinburgh, he received an FRCS in London. In 2005 the College of Arms granted him his personal Coat of Arms.

Sebastian died at his home, in St Kitts, on 25 March 2017 at the age of 95.


His Excellency, Sir Edmund Wickham Lawrence (GCMG, OBE, CSMK, CMG, JP)


Sir Lawrence, born 14 February 1932, was the Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis from 2013 to 2015. He was sworn in at midnight on January 1, 2013. Sir Edmund taught in elementary schools in St. Kitts between 1951 and 1954. He graduated from the University of London in 1966 with a degree in Economics.

Following his graduation from the University of London, Sir Edmund lectured at Walbrook College in London from 1967 to 1969. He returned to St. Kitts and began an illustrious career.

In 1970, Sir Edmund established the St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, which has grown in assets from US$75 Thousand to over US$1 Billion making it the largest local bank in the Eastern Caribbean. Sir Edmund also established the National Bank Trust Company (NBTC) in 1972, the National Caribbean Insurance Company (NCIC) in 1973, and the St. Kitts and Nevis Morgtage and Investment Company (MICO) in 2001, together forming the National Bank Group of Companies.

He is a founding member of the Standing Committee of Chief Executives of Indigenous Commercial Banks (now termed the Caribbean Association of Banks) in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Sir Edmund held several high level executive positions and directorships in companies and corporations in the private and public sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis and throughout the Eastern Caribbean between 1971 and 2012.

In 1998, Sir Edmund was invested at Buckingham Palace as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

In 2009, he was awarded the National Honour as Companion of the Star of Merit (CSM).

In 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded Sir Edmund Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG), at Buckingham Palace, for his services to banking and finance.

In 2013, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II appointed Sir Edmund Knight Grand Cross of the most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG).

Sir Edmund continues active involvement in several non-profit organizations including the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society and Rotary International.

Sir Edmund is married to Lady Hulda Lawrence and they have six children.


Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton (GCMG, CVO, QC, JP)


Sir Seaton was born 28 July 1950 to William A. Seaton and his wife, Pearl A. Seaton, nee Godwin. He is the fourth and current Governor-General of St. Kitts and Nevis.  He came to the position as Acting Governor-General after his predecessor Sir Edmund Wickham Lawrence on 20 May 2015. On 1 September 2015, he was officially appointed Governor-General by Queen Elizabeth II on advice of Prime Minister Timothy Harris.

Seaton received his primary and secondary education from Epworth Junior School, the Basseterre High School, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School. He attended the University of West Indies in Jamaica and received a Bachelor of Laws, a moment that set forth his legal career. He continued further studies with the Council of Legal Education, where he gained his Certificate, and the University of Bordeaux in France, where he completed a Diploma in French. Sir Seaton joined the St. Kitts-Nevis Judicial Service, and served as Registrar of the Supreme Court, Provost Marshal and acting Additional Magistrate.

Aside from his official duties, Seaton has served on various Boards, National Committees and Organisations. Some of these positions included Director of SSMC, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and Frigate Bay Development Corporation; President of the St. Christopher Heritage Society (now The St. Christopher National Trust), the St. Kitts-Nevis Bar Association and the OECS Bar Association; and Vice President for the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society and the St. Christopher National Trust; Chairman of Cable & Wireless (formerly SCANTEL).

In 1975, Seaton served as Crown Counsel for the Attorney General’s Chambers and acted as the high Court Registrar. In 1980, he took on the role of St. Kitts-Nevis Attorney General, in which he served until 1995. In 1988, he was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Counsels (Queen’s Counsel). He also has the distinction of being named a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) 23 October 1985. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) 9 November 2015.

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