|Arnold A. Francis, QC, JP, OBE
Former Leader of the Opposition of Bermuda
Arnold Francis was a Bermudian politician and a former Leader of the Opposition in Bermuda.
Early life and education
Arnold A. Francis was born on 17 May 1922. He was educated at the Central School, now known as Victor Scott, before attending Berkeley Institute.
He attended Mico College in Jamaica where he received a teaching qualification before returning to work at the Central School in 1949.
In addition to his studies Francis was an avid cricketer and in 1948 he represented St George’s in Cup Match.
Francis went on to study law at the University of London where he received his LLB Degree and was called to the English bar in 1952.
Upon his return to Bermuda, Francis started his legal practice and got involved in political life.
Francis was voted in as a Member of Colonial Parliament in 1958.He was the a founding father and first Political Lleader of the Progressive Labour Party (PLP), leading it in its earliest formative years, as a Member of Colonial Parliament in Pembroke. He served as Leader of the Opppositon from 1963 to 1966.
During the Theatre Boycott in 1959 - which ended officially sanctioned segregation in public places in Bermuda - Francis was the Parliamentary spokesman for the organisers in the Progressive Group.
Francis' time with the PLP ended in the mid-1960s. He went on to focus on his legal career and set up his own practice before joining others in the 1980s to make the Richards, Francis and Francis firm. He was the president of the Bermuda Bar Association from 1976 to 1979.
Francis was married to wife Ann Francis, and the father of one son - Arnold O. Francis - and four daughters - Jennifer Ming, Nadine Francis, Kelly Francis, and Libby Francis.
Honours and awards
Francis received the Officer of the Brisih Empire (OBE) in the 1977 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
He was the first Bermudian to be awarded the title Queen’s Counsel for his legal work in 1980.
Francis died on 25 January 2011 at his Pembroke home., aged 88.