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Sir Arthur Alexander Foulkes Appointed Governor-General Of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas
(Nassau, Bahamas - BIS Release) - Cabinet Office announced today that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has appointed Sir Arthur Alexander Foulkes Governor-General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and her Representative in The Bahamas.
The Commission of Appointment was signed by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace this morning, 13 April 2010.
Sir Arthur will take the Oath of Office, administered by Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett, at the Ballroom of Government House at 9.00 a.m. tomorrow, 14 April, 2010.
He will proceed to Parliament Square where he will read the Speech from the Throne and preside over the opening of a new session of Parliament.
BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE - Arthur A. Foulkes KCMG
Arthur Alexander Foulkes was born at Mathew Town, Inagua, 11 May 1928, son of the late Dr. William A. Foulkes and Mrs. Julie Foulkes nee Maisonneuve.
He was educated at public schools in Mathew Town and in Nassau and first worked at The Nassau Guardian as a linotype operator and proof-reader. He joined The Tribune as a linotype operator in 1948 and took up journalism under the tutelage of Editor and Publisher Sir Etienne Dupuch who made him a reporter and later appointed him News Editor of The Tribune.
Sir Arthur was founding editor of Bahamian Times, official organ of the Progressive Liberal Party from 1962 to 1967. This newspaper played a pivotal role in the campaign for majority rule which was achieved in the general elections of 10 January 1967. He selected as its motto a quote from American emancipation crusader Frederick Douglass: “Without struggle there is no progress.”
Later, he was a columnist for The Guardian and The Tribune and from 2002 to 2007 resumed his popular column, To The Point, in The Tribune.
Sir Arthur was one of the founders of the National Committee for Positive Action, a think tank and activist group within the PLP which supported the leadership of Sir Lynden Pindling and contributed significantly to the achievement of Majority Rule.
He drafted the PLP’s petition to the United Nations Committee of Twentyfour (on decolonization) and was a member of the delegation which presented the petition in 1965. Sir Arthur wrote many political documents over the years and contributed to the manifestos of both major political parties. He drafted the first platform of the Free National Movement in 1971.
Noted for his fiery oratory in the Sixties, Sir Arthur was elected to parliament in 1967 and served in various political offices over the years including Minister of Communications and Minister of Tourism in the PLP Government.
Under his leadership the Ministry of Tourism chalked up impressive gains in 1969. He also presided over the complete Bahamianization of the management of Batelco, the national public telephone corporation.
Sir Arthur got black Bahamian stewardesses on international flights not only to America but Europe as well. It was on his ministerial watch in 1968 that a Bahamas-based airline, International Air Bahama, flew to Europe for the first time.
Sir Arthur was one of the Dissident Eight who rejected the leadership of Sir Lynden in 1970 and was a founder of the Free National Movement in 1971. He was appointed to the Senate in 1972 and 1977 and was re-elected to the House of Assembly in 1982.
He attended many international conferences over the years and in 1972 was one of four Opposition delegates to The Bahamas Independence Constitution Conference in London. He drafted the Opposition Memorandum for the conference.
In the Seventies when Opposition forces in the country seemed hopelessly splintered, Sir Arthur, together with Frank Watson, the late Bazel Nicholls and others, initiated arduous negotiations which finally resulted in a united Opposition under the leadership of Sir Kendal Isaacs in time for the 1982 elections.
In 1992 Sir Arthur entered the diplomatic service of The Bahamas as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (resident in London) and Ambassador to France, Germany, Italy, Belgium and the European Union.
He represented The Bahamas to the Commonwealth in London, and the African Caribbean Pacific Group in Brussels, was Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization and also Doyen of the Caribbean diplomatic corps in the United Kingdom. He founded Friends of The Bahamas, a London-based association.
In 1999 he was appointed the first Bahamas Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and Ambassador to the Republic of Cuba. Both these posts were nonresident. He is a founding member of the China Bahamas Friendship Association.
He was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George by Queen Elizabeth in the 2001 New Year’s honours list.
After the FNM was returned to office in May 2007, he was appointed Director General of Bahamas Information Services, the Government’s news agency, and designated to act as Deputy to the Governor General.
Sir Arthur is fond of the arts and likes classical and jazz music. He has always taken a special interest in ecology and was an early commentator on environmental issues in The Bahamas.
His wife, Lady Foulkes, is the former Joan Eleanor Bullard of Nassau.