Boswell Bennie Williams
Former Governor General of St. Lucia
Boswell Williams was a Saint Lucian politician, former parliamentarian and Governor-General.
Early life and education
Boswell Williams was born on Sunday, 16 May 1926 in Vieux Fort to Solomon and Emma Williams, he was the ninth of ten children and the last of five boys in the family. He attended the Vieux Fort Primary School and later, the Castries Intermediate School. Following graduation he worked at the Vieux Fort Registry and later at the U.S. Military Base in Vieux Fort.
He became a member of parliament in June 1974 when he won the Vieux Fort North seat on a Saint Lucia Labor Party ticket, having served as Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) General Secretary several years prior. Williams did not seek re-election in 1979 when the SLP was returned to office.
Williams was chosen by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom to carry out the position of Governor-General of the island on 19 June 1980, replacing Sir Allen Montgomery Lewis. Williams was initially Acting Governor General, becoming Governor General on 16 December 1981.
Williams had to confront the most serious constitutional crisis in the history of Saint Lucia soon after the rejection of Prime Minister Allan Louisy's budget proposal and Louisy's subsequent resignation on 4 May 1981. Louisy was replaced by Winston Cenac, who later resigned on 17 January 1982. In the general elections, subsequently held on 3 May 1982, John Compton 's United Workers Party was returned to office winning 12 of 17 seats in the House of Assembly.
After little more than two years in the position, Williams resigned as Governor-General on 13 December 1982.
Williams was an avid reader, holding in-depth discussions on a wide range of topics; had a keen interest in the arts and encouraged his friend, artist Dunstan St. Omer (designer of Saint Lucia’s flag) to pursue his talents.
In retirement, Williams was a regular contributor to newspapers and authored a blog: "Economics & Finance: A New and Better World Economic Order. What the People and Leaders of the World Must Now Hurry to Put in its Place!" publishing several online articles in 2009.
Williams passed away at his home in Sans Soucis, on 20 July 2014, aged 88. He is survived by his wife, Joycelyn - a former teacher, eight children, nine grandchildren, one great grandchild, and one great, great grandson. His body was laid to rest on Saturday, 2 August 2014 following a state funeral held at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries.