6th Prime Minister of Barbados – Rt. Hon. David John Howard Thompson 2008 – 2010
The Right Honourable David John Howard Thompson led the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) back to power when elected 6th Prime Minister of Barbados on the 16th of January 2008.
The first Prime Minister of Barbados born overseas, David Thompson was born on Christmas day 1961 in London, England to Charles and Margaret Thompson.
Thompson began his academic career at St. Gabriel’s Junior School, later studying at Combermere Secondary School. Thompson pursued a degree in Law from the University of the West Indies (UWI). He went on to complete a Legal Education Certificate at UWI’s Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad.
A natural debater and public speaker, it was clear that Thompson was destined for politics at an early age. During his time at Combermere, young Thompson became a local celebrity when he appeared on Understanding, a favorite secondary school’s television debate programme.
Meanwhile, Thompson was an active member of the youth arm of the DLP where he soon became Prime Minister Errol Barrow’s protégé. The young debater eventually held the Presidential role of the Young Democrats in 1980 and again in 1982, once again claiming national attention.
Before being elected to the House of Assembly in 1987, Thompson tutored at UWI’s Law Faculty. Meanwhile, Thompson practiced law under Errol Barrow’s practice, Trident Chambers. Over the years, Thompson continued to practice law between political duties and held his partnership between 1994 and 2000.
David Thompson was a sought-after consultant to both regional and international organizations including:
» Commonwealth Secretariat
» Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
» Caribbean Law Institute
» Caribbean Policy Development Centre
» CARICOM Secretariat
Thompson held many posts during his political career:
» General Secretary of the DLP (1987 – 1994)
» Minister of Community Development & Culture (1991 – 1993)
» Minister of Finance (1993 – 1994)
» Leader of the DLP (1994 – 2000, 2006)
» DLP President (2006)
» Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs & Development (2008)
» Minister of Labour (2008 – 2010)
» Minister of Civil Service(2008 – 2010)
» Minister of Energy (2008 – 2010)
Committed to developing the nation’s youth, Thompson established the Barbados Youth Service and the Youth in Business Programme. He also initiated the restructuring of the National Youth Orchestra.
At the local level, Thompson never forgot his roots. In his riding of St. John, Thompson established the much-acclaimed Families First programme. Families First assert the family unit as paramount within community development initiatives.
Thompson is heavily involved in some cultural and sporting organizations including:
» Barbados National Trust
» Barbados Museum & Historical Society
» Barbados Cricket Association
» UWI Guild of Graduates
» Combermere School Old Scholars’ Association
» Rontana Dance Movement
» St. John’s Cultural Cricket Club
» Sussex Cricket Club
» Sonnets Football Club
Prime Minister Thompson’s past times include literature on politics and international affairs, cricket, football, music and community activities and events.
Thompson and his wife, Marie-Josephine Mara (nee Giraudy) boast three daughters – Misha, Oya, and Osa-Marie.
On October 23rd, 2010, David John Howard Thompson could not defeat pancreatic cancer, and his life was claimed at approx. 2:10 am.
May his soul rest in Peace.
Author: Brett Callaghan