HONOURABLE LOUIS BERTRAND GEORGE SLC, MBA
Louis Bertrand George was born in Micoud, St. Lucia on October 10, 1950. He was the
first born of nine surviving children of Pierre and Marguerite George. Early in his life, his
father travelled overseas to seek employment and the day to day responsibility for
nurturing Louis fell to his mother from whom he obtained the caring, modest and
independent personality which was the nature of the man. Upon his return from
overseas, his father, who was an accomplished and successful farmer and musician,
provided inspiration and was the perfect role model for Louis, who turned out to be a
keen Agriculturist himself, as well as a devoted Educator and later on a Politician.
Louis was educated at the Micoud Infant and Primary Schools and the Vieux Fort
Secondary School, which he entered in 1963, being among the first group of students
admitted to the institution. There he developed a reputation as an accomplished athlete
and soon became a member of the school’s sprint and relay teams. He was also a
member of the school’s Cadet Corps in which he rose to the rank of Corporal.
After completing his secondary school education, he was appointed to the staff of the
Micoud Primary School in 1970, and that same year was accepted as a student teacher
at the St. Lucia Teachers’ College. On completing his studies and receiving the Qualified
Teaching Certificate (UWI) in 1972, Louis took up appointment as a Qualified Teacher
at the Micoud Junior Secondary School. There he taught General Science, Music and
In 1977 Louis George proceeded to the Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and
Forestry (ECIAF) in Trinidad to pursue studies in Agriculture. He graduated in 1979 with
a Diploma in Agriculture and upon his return to Saint Lucia he took on a senior
appointment with Geest Industries Limited.
Louis’ dedication to community service, led him to develop a passion for youth, sports
and community development. In this regard he served as a member of the Micoud
Youth and Sports Council, later on becoming its Secretary. He represented his
community with great pride and distinction at both cricket and football. He was later
elected Chairman of the Micoud Village Council and spearheaded the execution of a
number of community projects, in the process preparing him for the representative role
he was to play later on in life.
His interest in the well-being of the community and his performance in the various roles
assigned to him earned him the respect and confidence of many persons in the wider
community, including the then Parliamentary Representative Honourable Rodney Jn
Baptiste and Political Leader of the United Workers Party, Sir John Compton. It was no
surprise when he was approached and invited to contest the Micoud North seat at the
1982 General Elections, a proposition he accepted with humility. Following his own
success in capturing the seat and the victory of the Party at the national polls, Louis
was made a Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. He was later assigned to the
Ministry of Education as a Junior Minister, soon after to be appointed Minister for
Education and Culture. His ability and competence were further tested with the
subsequent addition of the portfolio of Labour to his ministerial responsibilities. In his
capacity as Minister for Education, Culture and Labour, he made an outstanding
contribution both nationally and at the regional level. The confidence and trust which he
engendered both within his constituency and as a Minister led to his re-election in four
succeeding General Elections. During his tenure, he also served as Deputy Prime
Notable among his achievements as Minister for Education were:
1. The consolidation and transformation of the three independent Colleges (the
Teachers’ College, the A-level College and the Technical College) at Morne
Fortune into the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC).
2. The establishment of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) Southern
3. The introduction of the post-Secondary programme at Vieux Fort Comprehensive
4. The successful establishment of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Bachelor
of Education (B.Ed) programme and the introduction of the first two years of
U.W.I’s Social Sciences programme, at SALCC.
5. The end to discrimination against Rastafarian children in schools, allowing them
to attend regular schooling.
He left an indelible mark on the Labour sector as well. He was instrumental in
convening the first Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Labour Ministers’
Conference, which was held in Saint Lucia under his chairmanship. The last May Day
celebrations in which all unions participated as a united front, were held during his
tenure, and it was due in large measure to his insistence that the unions should work
together. As Minister for Labor he brought to the fore the issues related to the
recognition of Trade Unions and introduced the debate on the Labour Code. In his quiet
and unassuming manner, he settled a number of disputes between Trade Unions and
employers, with no fanfare, thereby preventing their escalation into more serious
He championed the cause of workers in the Tourism sector, and stated vociferously that
Saint Lucians should not simply hold jobs like bell boys, maids and waiters at the lower
end of the Tourism industry, but should aspire to the very top, managing and even
owning hotels. He was taken to task for it in some quarters, but it was an expression of
his vision that Saint Lucians should participate meaningfully in the industry and secure
the commensurate benefits.
In furtherance of his personal development and knowledge, Louis successfully
completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with the University of the West
Indies (Cave Hill Campus), while serving as Minister for Education. He was elected
Deputy Political Leader of the UWP in 1996 and played a vital role in the leadership
transition which took place then. In the 1997 General Election, he was the only
successful candidate of his party and became the Leader of the Opposition in the House
of Assembly until 2002. The dignity, determination and commitment with which he
represented his party and the wider public interest in the House of Assembly during this
period, as the sole dissenting voice on many issues and ensuring checks and balances
were placed on the government, will remain one of the truly outstanding contributions
in the political landscape of Saint Lucia.
He was instrumental in the return of Sir John Compton to the helm of the party in 2006
and subsequently to government. Louis retired from public life in 2002 because of
illness, but continued to willingly make his experience and wisdom available to all those
who sought it. He was appointed the Chairman of the Committee to consider the
upgrading of the SALCC to university status but ill-health forced him to give up a task
which he would have dearly loved to see to its fruition.
In 2009 he was awarded the Saint Lucia Cross for his contribution to national
He was married to Agnes Joseph George and together they have five (5) children.
He died on the second day of January 2014 at the age of sixty three (63) years.