State Funeral for Mr. Franklyn A.M. Baron Chief Minister of Dominica from 1960-1961
Roseau, Dominica (Thursday, April 21, 2016) — The Government of Dominica has afforded the late Franklyn A.M. Baron, affectionately known as “Frank” a State Funeral on Saturday, April 23, 2016. As a result, the Government of Dominica has declared a period of mourning from Thursday, April 21, 2016 to Saturday, April 23, 2016.
In keeping with protocol to mark the period of mourning, the flag of the Commonwealth of Dominica will be flown at half-staff on all public buildings in the State during the period Thursday, April 21, 2016 to Saturday, April 23, 2016.
About Mr. Franklyn A.M. Baron
Franklyn Andrew Merrifield Baron—politician, businessman and newspaper proprietor—served as the first Chief Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica from January 1960 to January 1961.
Mr. Baron was born in Portsmouth, Dominica on January 19, 1923. He was educated at the Portsmouth Government School, the Dominica Grammar School and St. Mary’s Academy.
Mr. Baron had a distinguished career in both politics and business. He started his business career in 1939 as Manager of his father’s company, A. A. Baron & Company; a firm engaged in import/export activities, general merchandise and groceries. He assumed partnership of the firm in1945.
Mr. Baron was involved in the first exports of bananas after World War II and was a founding member of the Dominica Banana Growers Association (DBGA).
Mr. Baron served on the Roseau Town Council in the 1940s. He contested the Portsmouth Legislative Council seat in the 1951 general elections, losing to R.B. Douglas. As a result of this defeat he abandoned Portsmouth and concentrated his attention on Roseau and the south of Dominica. He won the Roseau South seat in the 1954 and 1957 general elections.
In March 1956 the Ministerial system of government was introduced and Baron was made Minister for Trade and Production.
In 1957 he founded the Dominica United Peoples Party (DUPP) and formed the government. During 1957 he represented Dominica at talks in Jamaica and Barbados leading to the creation of the Federation of the West Indies the following year. Baron represented the Windward Islands at talks in London on the winding up of military bases in the West Indies among the United States of America, United Kingdom and West Indies in 1957.
In constitutional changes resulting from the 1959 Constitution which came into effect in January 1960, Baron was made the first Chief Minister of Dominica and Minister for Finance.
In the general elections of January 17, 1961, Baron lost his seat and the government to the Dominica Labour Party (DLP). When the DUPP lost to the DLP by a landslide in the 1966 general elections he quit active politics and returned to business, tourism and real estate.
Mr. Baron built and operated the Sisserou Hotel. He was a prime mover in the Rotary Club’s construction of a Psychiatric Unit to replace the outdated St. Luke’s psychiatric home.
He was a great friend of the late Mary Eugenia Charles and when her Dominica Freedom Party came to power in 1980, Baron was very much a power behind the scenes. Dame Eugenia appointed him to several diplomatic posts. He served as High Commissioner to the Court of St. James, London, and was Ambassador to the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS) and the US.
Mr. Baron founded Paramount Printers and re-established The Chronicle newspaper.
Franklyn A.M. Baron was the husband of Mrs. Sybil Baron and the father of Royette, Frances, Edward, Frederick (Member of Parliament for the Soufriere Constituency 2000-2005), Annie, Dave, Francine (Minister for Foreign Affairs, CARICOM Affairs) and Franklyn.
The body of Mr. Franklyn A. M. Baron will lie in State at the State House Conference Centre on Friday, April 22, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Viewing of the body will also take place at the St. Gerard’s Hall Chapel on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
His Excellency the President and Mrs. Savarin, Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit and Mrs. Skerrit and other members of Cabinet, Speaker of the House of Assembly Honourable Alix Boyd-Knights and other members of Parliament, members of the Diplomatic Corps and other Government Officials are expected to attend the State Funeral for Mr. Franklyn A.M. Baron.
The State Funeral will commence from 2:00pm at the St. Gerard’s Hall Chapel. The late Franklyn A. M. Baron will be laid to rest at the Roseau Catholic Cemetery.