REIGN OF MILTON CATO

Caribbean History St. Vincent
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Milton Cato

Milton Cato
Politician
Monarch Elizabeth II
Former leader of Saint Vincent Labour Party
Personal details
Born June 3, 1915
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Died February 10, 1997 (aged 81)
St Vincent and the Grenadines

Robert Milton Cato (3 June 1915 – 10 February 1997) is the first Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and also held the offices Premier of Saint Vincent and Chief Minister of Saint Vincent before independence. Cato was the leader of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party, and led the country through independence in 1979. [1]

Life and career[edit]

Robert Milton Cato was born in Saint VincentBritish Windward Islands on June 3, 1915. He attended the St. Vincent Boys Grammar School from 1928 to 1933. On leaving school, the young Cato was articled to a Barrister-at-law in Kingstown, and began his career in law and was called to the Bar, Middle Temple in 1948. In 1945, he joined the First Canadian Army, attained the rank of Sergeant and gave active service in the Second World War in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Robert Milton Cato was married to Lucy Alexandra.

After returning to Saint Vincent, Cato became involved in politics. In 1955 he co-founded the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Labour Party.

Elected to the office of Chief Minister on May 19, 1967, as head of the St. Vincent Labour Party, Mr. Cato did much to improve the economic standing of the island. He was St. Vincent’s first Premier on the island’s entry to Statehood on October 27, 1969. He was out of government during the period 1972 to 1974 following his party’s defeat. Cato’s Labour Party lost elections in 1972 and the opposition leader, James Fitz-Allen Mitchell became Premier. Cato’s party and its coalition partners won elections in 1974.

Robert Milton Cato led Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to complete independence from Britain on October 27, 1979, and is known as ‘The Father of Independence’. Cato, a socialist politician, did not support other nearby socialist governments such as those in CubaGrenada, and Guyana as he opposed Marxism. Instead, his administration allied with like-minded pro-Western governments such as those in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, cooperating with them on economic and defense matters.

Mr. Cato the longtime representative of the West St. George Constituency, retired from active politics following his party’s defeat in the 1984 general elections. He died on February 10, 1997. His hope was for unity in Vincentian society and a brighter future for the people. The Kingstown General Hospital was renamed The Milton Cato Memorial Hospital in his honour in October 2000.

Political offices
Preceded by
Ebenezer Joshua
Chief Minister of Saint Vincent
1967–1969
Succeeded by
office ended
Preceded by Premier of Saint Vincent
1969–1972
Succeeded by
James Fitz-Allen Mitchell
Preceded by
James Fitz-Allen Mitchell
Premier of Saint Vincent
1974–1979
Succeeded by
office ended
Preceded by
office created
Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1979–1984
Succeeded by
James Fitz-Allen Mitchell
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