Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica

Biography

His Excellency Sir Clarence Seignoret, GCB., COL., Kt.M., OSJ., OBE.

President: 1983 - 1993

President of Dominica, Cabinet Secretary, Civil Servant. Born in Roseau 25 February 1919, son of Mr. Clarence A. Seignoret and Mrs. Violet Seignoret (nee Riviere). Educated at Miss Potter's School, Convent Prep, St.Mary's College in St. Lucia and the Dominica Grammar School. He entered the clerical service in 1936 and began a distinguished career in the Public Service.

He served in the Agricultural Department based in the Botanic Gardens and in several other departments in positions such as clerk at the Government Marketing Depot, Excise Officer, Administrative Steward of the Roseau Hospital and Administration Clerk responsible for cases referred by the department of Social Welfare.

In 1950 he married Judith Laronde of La Plaine and together they enjoyed a long and happy marriage that bore them two sons, Joey and Gilbert. He became Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services in 1956 when the Ministerial System of government was first introduced. In 1958 he was granted a scholarship to Oxford University to pursue an international public service course. Shortly after his return he became Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Production in 1960.

He attended the 1966 Constitutional Conference in London with Chief Minister Edward Le Blanc and others, which agreed on the 1967 Constitution for Associated Statehood with Britain, the first stage towards political independence. He was the first Secretary to the Cabinet from 1967 into the 1970s. From 1966 to 1983 he also acted from time to time in the place of the Administrator, Governor, and after independence in 1978, in place of the President.

In 1966, during a visit by Queen Elizabeth II he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Seignoret was sworn in as the 3rd President of Dominica in October 1983 and served two full five-year terms until 25 October 1993. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Dominica on 25 October 1985, Sir Clarence was also awarded the Dominica Award of Honour by the State in 1994 on the completion of his two terms as President. Other honours included the Order of the Liberator granted by Venezuela in 1987 and Knight of Malta in 1992. From the 1960's, in his spare time, he worked a small farm on land near Pont Casee. He died on 5 May 2002.

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