Sir Donald Sangster

Sir Donald Sangster

Sir Donald Sangster was the son of W.B. Sangster, a land surveyor, and his wife Cassandra. He was born in Black River, St. Elizabeth on October 26, 1911. He was educated at Munro College in the parish and was a solicitor by profession. He began his political career at the age of 21 when he was elected to the St. Elizabeth Parish Council in 1933. He later became a member of the House of Representatives for South St. Elizabeth and then for North East Clarendon.



He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1945 and took over from Mr. Frank Pixley and became Minister of Social Welfare and Labour. At the death of Sir Harold Allen, Jamaica's first Minister of Finance, Sangster took over that position. After 1945, he was Deputy leader of the Opposition and on the return to power of the Jamaica Labour Party in 1962 he again became Finance Minister.

In February 1964, Sir Donald Sangster became Acting Prime Minister when Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante became ill and withdrew himself from public life. He was later selected to be Prime Minister after the JLP's victory in 1967. He became the nation's second Prime Minister.


Donald Sangster is best remembered for his work to have Jamaica accepted in all major international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On the national stage, he established Jamaica as a nation of sound financial integrity and a leader of the new nations in the Commonwealth and the Caribbean. He advocated for the development of the second airport in Montego Bay, which now carries his name - Sir Donald Sangster International Airport.(Sourse quote)

As Prime Minister, Sangster attended only one session of parliament before he suddenly became ill and was sent to Canada for specialist treatment. He however succumbed to his illness and passed away on April 11, 1967. Five days before he died, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.