Sir Paul Godwin Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE
Former Governor-General of Grenada
Sir Paul Scoon served as Grenada’s Governor-General during a difficult period of tremendous turmoil in the country. Sworn in on October 4, 1978 as the island’s second Governor-General, he found himself, within six months, faced with the reality of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) revolution.
The revolutionaries suspended the Constitution and the Office of the Governor-General was placed in a precarious position for four years.
Following the military intervention by the United States and Caribbean Forces in October 1983, Sir Paul, as the Representative of Her Majesty the Queen-who remained as Head of State, even after independence, assumed control of the business of the State, ensuring a return to Parliamentary democracy by appointing an Interim Government which arranged for General Elections to be held under a reinstated Constitution.
Early life and education
Born on 4 July 1935, Sir Paul was educated at the St John’s Anglican School and at the Grenada Boy’s Secondary School. He studied as an external student of London University acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree and later attended the Institute of Education at Leeds University. He also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Toronto.
Sir Paul taught at the Grenada Boys’ Secondary School before serving as Chief Education Officer and later as Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office before being appointed Cabinet Secretary, the top post in the Grenada Civil Service. In 1973, he was seconded to the post of Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation in London which he relinquished in 1978 to become Grenada’s second Governor-General. He was sworn in as Governor-General on 4 October 1978.
In the field of public service, Sir Paul has served on the Grenada Library Committee, on the Board of Governors of the Grenada Teachers’ College, on the Governing Body of the GBSS, on the Prison Visiting Committee, on the Board of Education and on the Management Council of the Civil Service Association.
He was co-founder and former President of the Secondary School Teachers Association, and was a member of the Board of Governors of the Centre for International Briefing at Farnham Castle in Britain.
Rotary Foundation of Rotary International named Sir Paul a Paul Harris Fellow in 1984, and he was honoured by the Queen on three occasions: In 1970 when he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE); in 1979 when he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG); and in 1985 when he was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).
He retired from the post of Governor-General on 31 July 1992. After leaving office, Sir Paul served as chairman of the Grenada Board of Tourism; chairman of Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation’s (WINDREF) Review Board; director on the Board of of the Grenada Industrial Development Co-operationand; and chairman of St John Council which oversees the St John Ambulance Association in Grenada. Sir Paul was awarded the Order of the Mace at St. Georges University Graduation in 2009.
His memoirs are published in a book entitled Survival for Service that provides a personal account of his experiences as Governor-General.
Sir Paul Scoon was married on June 27, 1970 to Mrs. Esmai McNeilly (nee Lumsden), now deceased. He had three stepchildren.
Sir Paul died on 2 September 2013 at age 78 at his home in the community of St. Paul's, Grenada.