The Right Honourable George Ignatius Brizan, CMG, CBE
Former Prime Minister of Grenada
George Ignatius Brizan, CMG, CBE (31 October 1942 – 18 February 2012) was a Grenadian politician who served as Prime Minister of Grenada for four months in 1995.
Early life and education
George Ignatius Brizan, was born 31 October 1942 in the parish of St. David. He was educated at St. Dominic’s Roman Catholic Primary School and at Presentation Brothers College and attended the University of Calgary, Canada, Carlton University, Canada, the University of the West Indies and the Grenada Teachers College. He holds a Certificate of Education from the University of the West Indies, degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in History and Economics from the University of Calgary and a degree of Master of Arts in International Economics Relations from Carlton University.
From 1963 to 1984 Mr. Brizan was employed by the Government of Grenada in the education field, during which period he taught at the Grenada Boys Secondary School and was a lecturer for the Institute for Further Education (IFE) -now the T. A. Marryshow Community College. He also served as Acting Principal of (IFE) and as Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education.
In 1971 Mr. Brizan was granted a Post-graduate Fellowship by the University of Calgary and the Norman Paterson Fellowship was given to him in 1974 by Carlton University, Canada. Also, in 1981, Mr. Brizan Received the International Development Research Centre (Canada) Award.
In 1984 Mr. Brizan entered politics and for three consecutive terms was elected to the Grenada House of Representatives, first with the New National Party and then with the National Democratic Congress. In 1987 George Brizan formed and led the National Democratic Party, which later merged with the Herbert Blaize led Grenada National Party and Dr. Francis Alexis led Grenada Democratic Movement in August 1984 to create The New National Party (NNP).
In April 1987, Brizan went into opposition and founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He was subsequently succeeded as NDC leader by Nicholas Brathwaite. Braithwaite became Prime Minister following the NDC victory in the 1990 general election.
George Brizan was elected head of the National Democratic Congress in September 1994 following the resignation of Nicholas Braithwaite as party leader. He then became Grenada’s sixth Prime Minister on 1 February 1995 and served for four months when Braithwaite stepped down as Prime Minister and a new Prime Minister was elected following NDC’s loss at the June 1995 General Elections.
During his terms in office, the portfolios for which he has had responsibility include that of Prime Minister, Minister of Agriculture & Tourism, Education & Youth, Finance, Trade, Industry & Energy. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 1995 to 1999.
Mr. Brizan has been President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Council of Ministers of the Lome Convention and Chairman of the Standing Committee of Caribbean Community Ministers responsible for Agriculture.
A prolific author, his publications include “Grenada Island of Conflict”, “The Nutmeg Industry- Grenada’s Black Gold”, and “The Education Reform Process”.
Brizan died at the General Hospital in St. George's, Grenada, on 18 February 2012, aged 69.