| Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham, KA, QC, PhD, JP
Former Cabinet Minister and current President of the Senate, Barbados
Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham is a former Barbados government minister. He served as a member of the Barbados House of Assembly for 23 years and, during that time held ministerial appointments in the areas of Agriculture, Energy, Tourism, International Transport and the Environment. He has served under three Prime Ministers. He is also a prominent and highly respected Caribbean Jurist who has practiced in most jurisdictions of the Eastern Caribbean as well as before the Privy Council in the UK. He is an acknowledged specialist in the area of Commissions of Inquiry.
Early life and education
Sir Richard Lionel Cheltenham was born on 20 December 1941. He was educated first at St. Patrick’s Boys’ School and then at Foundation Boys’.
He proceeded to the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, in 1962. He distinguished himself at once, representing Freshmen in the debate against the Seniors. He then won the Debate Competition on Campus, and led the UWee debating team in competition across the USA – testing training for future political platforms!
After an Honours Degree in Economics and a Masters in Public Administration and International Relations from UWI, he went on to McGill – on a Scholarship from no less than “The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire” - then to Manchester for his PhD, and the Middle Temple, London, where he was called to the Bar in 1970.
Later that year he was called to the Bar in Barbados, and then to the Bar in Anguilla, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada ... he must, most certainly, know all the best bars of the Caribbean!
Dr Cheltenham is a Member of the International Bar Association and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1991.
He served as MP from 1976 to 1986, as Member for Christ Church East and his home town St. Patrick’s, where his childhood inspired him to want to serve his people and better their lives. From 1991 to 2003 he represented St. Joseph, the constituency of Sir Grantley Adams, father of his party and his political hero. And Johnny is known to all as frank and fearless.
He has served as Chairman of the Barbados Labour Party, and Minister in many Ministries - Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs; Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources; and Tourism, International Transport and the Environment.
He has acted as Attorney General many times and twice in 1994 as Prime Minister. He is perfectly prepared for his present project - writing “The magnificent seven - a history of modern Barbados through it leaders”.
On 5 June 2018, Sir Richard was appointed as President of the Senate of Barbados.
Honours and awards
In 2005, the Accolade of Knight of St. Andrew, Barbados' highest national honour, was conferred on Richard Cheltenham in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession, public life and community service.