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Hilson Baptiste
(14 October 1947 - )
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Hilson Baptiste
Former Cabinet Minister, Antigua and Barbuda

Hilson Baptiste is an Antiguan and Barbudan politican and former parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister.

Early life and education

Affectionately known across Antigua & Barbuda as 'Brother B,' Hilson Baptiste is a product of St. Mary's. His mother was a farmer and housewife. He was one of eleven children. He lost his mother just a year ago. He was the first elected member born in the constituency to represent the constituency.

He attended the Bolans Primary and Secondary schools prior to relocating to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) where he attended St. Thomas High School.

He received culinary training and previously worked as a chef. Becaus eof his interestin the art of cooking, he was chosen to attend a training programme in Washington, DC at the prestigious Culinary Arts School. Upon returning to St. Thomas, he worked hard to put himself through school and make a better life for him and his family.

Career

Baptiste returned to Antigua in 1970 and worked at several restaurants. In 1972, he opened his own restaurant, Brother B's, which he operated for many years prior to entering service to his community as an elected official. Brother B's was a community spot where the food was good, there was plenty of community and everyone was welcome.

In Government, Minister Baptiste has held several portfolios. He worked in the Ministry of Tourism, Economics & Civil Aviation, and, went on to be apppointed to head the Ministry of Housing & Social Transformation. In the second term, Baptiste served as the head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment, a portfolio he currently holds.

Baptiste is passionate for food and agriculture. During his tenure, he implemented a comprehensive food sustainability programmes which include: Backyard Garden Day, Zero Hunger Initiative, and Pares Youth Program. These are just a few programmes that teach Antiguans & Barbudans different techniques in farming.

Baptiste pushed a half dozen pieces of legislation dealing with issues including environmental management, fisheries exports to the EU, plant protection, pesticide & toxic chemicals, and the National Physical Development Plan. He's helped facilitate grants from China for agriculture stations equipment and solar powered tools that help reduce energy cost for farmersWhile serving as Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing & the Environment, Baptiste was Chairman on the Technical Management Advisory Committee for the Disaster Risk Management Committee under the Jagdeo Initiative.  This was set up to look at mitigation measures to reduce the impact of disasters on the agriculture sector of the Caribbean.

In 2012 he was also the Chairman of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, an organization in Caricom with the mandate to harmonize fishery regulations in order to manage the Caribbean fisheries in a wholelistic way.

Minister Baptiste was charged on two occasions to act as Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda by the Hon. Dr. Winston Baldwin Spencer while he was away on Government Business.

Baptiste lost his seat in the 12 June 2014 general election to Samantha Marshall of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party.

Personal life

Baptiste is married to Mrs. Ithlane Baptiste, Principal of the Ottos Comprehensive School.

ELECTION TIMELINE
Year District Party Votes % votes Result Notes
2014 St. Mary's South United Progressive Party 928 47.91% Lost Lost to Samantha Marshall (ABLP)
2009 St. Mary's South United Progressive Party 1,056 58.50% Won 4th Term
2004 St. Mary's South United Progressive Party 1,004 60.96% Won 3rd Term
1999 St. Mary's South United Progressive Party 834 53.22% Won 2nd Term
1994 St. Mary's South United Progressive Party 804 51.51% Won 1st Term
1989 St. Mary's South United National Democratic Party 382 29.87% Lost Lost to Hugh Marshall (ALP)
PARLIAMENTARY TIMELINE
Post Chamber Party Date
MP for St. Mary's South House of Representatives UPP 8 March 1994 - 12 June 2014
PORTFOLIOS
Post Date
Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment 16 March 2009 - 12 June 2014
Minister of Housing, Culture, and Social Transformation 5 January 2005 - 15 March 2009
Sources
http://www.ab.gov.ag/
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Hilson Baptiste
QUICK FACTS
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Occupation Politician
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Date of Birth 14 October 1947
Place of Birth St. Mary's, Antigua
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Notable Accomplishments
Former parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister
RELATED RESOURCES
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Antigua and Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda Past Cabinet
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United Progressive Party
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