Sir Milton Pentonville Allen, OBE
Former Governor of St. Kitts and Nevis
Sir Milton Pentonville Allen, OBE was the Governor of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla from 1969 to 1975. He was a native of Saint Kitts, and was a journalist and politician before being appointed Governor.
Early life and edcuation
Allen was born on 22 June 1988 in Palmetto Point, Saint Kitts. The son of a stonemason, he served an apprenticeship to a tailor in Basseterre before deciding to emigrate to the United States. Settling in New York City, he became a leader of the West Indian community there, and organised financial support for the newly formed Saint Kitts Workers' League (a forerunner of the current Labour Party). After more than 25 years as a resident of the United States, Allen returned to Saint Kitts in 1935, becoming known as an editor of various labour movement publications.
Following the Labour disturbances of 1935, Allen became part of a concerned group of Kittitians who sent support which made it possible for the League to assist those accused of rioting to obtain legal representation. That year after more than twenty five years in the United States, Allen returned in St. Kitts and was resident in Sandy Point.
Allen was appointed to the Legislative Council of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla in 1958, but resigned in 1962 to allow Robert Bradshaw, a minister in the West Indies Federation, to resume his position after the federation's dissolution. He returned to the council shortly after, and served for a period as a minister without portfolio before eventually being elected Speaker on 27 August 1966.
In 1969, following the resignation of Sir Fred Phillips, Allen was appointed acting governor. In 1972, he received a permanent appointment as Governor, becoming the first Kittitian of African descent to serve in the position. Allen continued to serve as Governor until early 1975, when he retired and was replaced by Probyn Inniss.
Honours and awards
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 1964, for his parliamentary service.
He was made a Knight Bachelor in the 1972 New Year Honours.
In 1937 he married Annie Locker, Head Teacher at the Sandy Point Girls’ School and the couple moved to New York. When she returned to her post, he supported the school’s extra-curricular activities by sending her much needed sheet music. He wrote poetry and even published a collection of poems one of which was set to music for choir by Dr. Leon Forrester, a musical examiner of the Royal College of Music in London, England. From time to time he contributed items to The Union Messenger often expressing concerns regarding the well-being of workers. When he finally retired and returned to St. Kitts in the 1950s his connection he became associate editor of the Workers’ Weekly and the Union Messenger and later editor of the Labour Spokesman.
Sir Milton also fulfilled the duties of Chief Scout, Patron of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade, Member of the Conservation Society for Historic Sites, Honorary life member of the Rotary Club and remained a member of the Methodist Church.
Sir Milton Allen died at the J. N. France General Hospital on the 17 September 1981, aged 93.