Herbert Augustus Blaize
(February 26, 1918 – December 19, 1989) was a Grenadian
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...
politician and leader of the Grenada National Party
-History:The party was founded in 1955 and took its support from the urban middle class and landowners. It first contested national elections in 1957 when it won two of the eight seats, tied with the Grenada United Labour Party and the People's Democratic Movement. Its leader Herbert Blaize became...
. When Grenada was still a British Crown Colony he served as the first Chief Minister from 1960-61, and again, from 1962-67. He became the first Premier of the autonomous Associated State of Grenada briefly in 1967. In the first free elections following the 1983 coups and US led invasion of Grenada, he served as Prime Minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...
from 1984 until his death in 1989.
Blaize was born in the island of Carriacou, which along with the island of Petite Martinique is a part of Grenada.
Grenada National Party
In 1953 he formed the Grenada National Party, as a rival party to the Grenada United Labour Party
-History:The party was founded by Eric Gairy in 1950. It was the only party to contest the first elections held under universal suffrage in 1951, and won six of the eight seats. The 1954 elections saw the same outcome...
of Eric Gairy
Sir Eric Matthew Gairy was the first Prime Minister of Grenada, serving from Grenada`s independence in 1974 until his overthrow in a coup by Maurice Bishop in 1979...
, who would be Blaize's main political rival for the next 25 years. Blaize entered the legislature in 1957 and became Minister of Trade and Production.
Chief Minister & Premier
He was appointed as Chief Minister in 1960, lost power to Gairy in 1961, and was reappointed in 1962 after Gairy was dismissed. In 1967 Grenada became an associated state within the British Empire, gaining more internal self-government. Soon afterwards, Blaize lost power and Gairy began a long tenure as Prime Minister.
In 1976 Blaize's center-right National Party joined forces with the left-wing New Jewel Movement
The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL Movement, was a Marxist-Leninist vanguard party in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada...
led by Maurice Bishop
Maurice Rupert Bishop was a Grenadian politician and revolutionary who seized power in a coup in 1979 from Eric Gairy and served as Prime Minister of the People's Revolutionary Government of Grenada until 1983, when he was overthrown in another coup by Bernard Coard, a member of his own...
for the elections that year, which Gairy and the GULP won. The alliance between Blaize and Bishop ended by 1979 when Bishop seized power. Blaize retired from politics and moved back to Cariacou, until after the intervention by the United States in 1983.
During the election campaign of 1984, Blaize merged his parties with several other center-right parties to form the New National Party
The New National Party is a conservative political party in Grenada. It is led by the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Mitchell.The party was founded in August 1984 through the merger of the Grenada National Party, led by Herbert Blaize, the National Democratic Party, led by George Brizan, and the...
, which took 14 of 15 seats in the election. He was sworn in on December 4, 1984, and his Cabinet was announced 11 days later.
In addition to being Prime Minister, Blaize became Minister of Home Affairs, Security, Information, Finance, Trade, Planning, Industrial Development and Carriacou and Petite Martinique Affairs.
Blaize's government advocated a strong economic and military alliance for Grenada with the United States, and other overseas investment. Blaize was often criticized for being authoritarian.
He died near St. George's, Grenada
St. George's, population 89,018 , with an agglomeration of 4,500 people , is the capital of Grenada, . The city is surrounded by a hillside of an old volcano crater and is on a horseshoe-shaped harbor....
following a several years long battle with prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...
, aged 71.
Hebert Blaize was survived by his wife,
Dame Venetia Blaize, DBE
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...
(née Venetia Ursula Davidson); three daughters, Norma Blaize (a former Consul-General of Grenada in New York), Carol Jerome and Marion Fleary; three sons,Samuel Blaize, Marvin Blaize and Christopher Blaize. He was also survived by a sister, Muriel Noel.
- LA GRENADE : mort du premier ministre., Le Monde. Jeudi 21 décembre 1989, p. 3; accessed October 7, 2006.