| Sir Henry deBoulay Forde, KA, QC, MA, LLM, LLD
Former Cabinet Minister, Barbados
Sir Henry de Boulay Forde, is recognised as a legal luminary in the Caribbean region. He is a former Barbadian parliamentarian and Attorney General.
Early life and education
Henry de Boulay Forde was born on
20 March 1933 to Courtney Ifill and Elise Ifill. He first attended the Boys' Foundation School on a Foundation Scholarship before winning a Government scholarship to Harrison College in 1947. Five years later, in 1952, he was awarded the Barbados Scholarship in Modern Studies.
He then proceeded to Christ College, Cambridge University where he received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree in 1956 and the LLB Second Class Upper Division. His Master of Arts Degree was granted in 1961 also from Cambridge University.
During his academic career at Cambridge, the new Foreign Minister worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Criminology and as a Research Student in International Law with the British Digest of International Law. He later became a supervisor and tutor in International Law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. This interest in International Law resulted in a Humanitarian Trust Studentship Award from his alma mater in 1957. He was made a member of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple from 1955 to 1959.
Forde was called to the Bars of England and Barbados in 1959 whereupon he entered private practice in Barbados as an attorney-at-law. He also taught at the College of Arts and Sciences when UWI first entered Barbados in 1963, and played a critical role in helping the University build its reputation during those initial years. When the College became the Cave Hill Campus in 1970, he served as advisor to Sir Sidney Martin, former Principal of the Cave Hill Campus.
Sir Henry became a Member of Parliament in Barbados in 1971 and over the course of his distinguished political career he held the positions of Attorney General, Minister of External Affairs and leader of the Barbados Labour Party. As Attorney General, he championed the creation and implementation of legal equality for women; securing their rights as mothers and wives in property and marital law. For the period between 1976 and 2008, Sir Henry also served as a member of the Privy Council.
Sir Henry continues to offer his services in civil society in his capacities as a member of a number of professional societies such as the Inter-parliamentary Human Rights Network, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and the Barbados Museum and Historical Societies. For his meritorious service to Barbados.
Honours and awards
In 1997, the Accolade of Knight of St. Andrew, Barbados' highest national honour, was conferred on Henry Forde in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession, public life and community service.
Forde was married to first wife Patricia Yvonne (nee Williams) formerly of St. Vincent and is the father of two sons from that marriage - Nicholas Clive deBoulay and John Henry Patrick. He later married his second wife, Cheryl Wendy Forde (née Roach, now Cheryl Lady Forde) and they are are the parents of son Martyn Forde.