Frederick John Barritt, CBE, JP
Former Speaker of the Houe of Assembly of Bermuda
Frederick John Barritt was a Bermudian politician and a former Speaker of the House of Assembly of Bermuda.
Early life and education
John Barritt was born on 14 February 916 in Bermuda. He graduated from Saltus Grammar School, also serving a storied business career. From 1933 to 1970, he was with Powell and Company, serving as the managing director until the company was acquired by Purvis Limited.
Coaxed into the political arena by United Bermuda Party (UBP) leader Sir Henry Tucker, Barritt was elected to the House of Assembly in 1968 as UBP Member of Parliament for Devonshire South. He was the last surviving member of the first Executive Council in 1968 — the organisation that later became Cabinet. He was Minister of Transport in the two administrations between 1968 and 1973 and from that year to the next, he was Minister of Marine & Air Services.
He served as Deputy Speaker of the House for three years before his ascension to the Chair in 1979, and resigned from the Speaker’s Chair in February 1989, just prior to the General Election.
Barritt represented Bermuda on many occasions abroad. In 1970 he was the leader of the Bermuda delegation to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Australia and he attended a C.P.A. Conference in Nova Scotia in 1974. He also attended three Presiding Officers’ Conferences in 1975, 1977 and 1979. These Conferences were held in St. Kitts, Montserrat and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
He was also involved with several businesses for over 40 years. From 1933 to 1970 he was with Powell and Company Ltd. and was Managing Director when the firm was acquired by Purvis Limited.
Barritt was married to wife Hilary Pantry (1944) and the father of four children - Jennifer, John, Mark, and Martha-Jane. His wife died in 2006.
Devoutly religious and a lay reader in the Anglican Church, Mr Barritt Sr “lived what he preached”. He was also a prominent trustee for the Willowbank Foundation.
Honours and awards
He was awarded as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1983.
John Barritt Sr. died on 13 May 2014, aged 98. His son stated that he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease later in his life.