Dominica celebrates 35 years as an independent state today.
But long before Dominica became an independent nation November 3 has always played an important role in its history. The day was originally observed as “Discovery Day” being the day it was sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493. In 1965 Edward Le Blanc conceived the day as a one of nationalistic celebration or “National Day.” It was also chosen for the day of full independence in 1978.
Dominica’s first Prime Minister was Patrick Roland John but political discontent led to the formation of an interim government, led by Oliver Seraphin. It was replaced after the 1980 elections by a government led by the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) under Prime Minister Eugenia Charles, the Caribbean’s first female prime minister. In 1995 the DFP government was defeated in elections by the United Workers Party (UWP) of Edison James. In the February 2000 elections the UWP was defeated by the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), led by Rosie Douglas.
Douglas formed a coalition with the DFP but died suddenly after only eight months in office, on October 1, 2000, and was replaced by Pierre Charles. On January 6, 2004, Prime Minister Pierre Charles, who had been suffering from heart problems since 2003, died. He became the second consecutive prime minister of Dominica to die in office of a heart attack.
Upon the death of Pierre Charles, Osborne Riviere acted as prime minister but was soon replaced by Roosevelt Skerrit, who is still the prime minister today.
For more information on Dominica’s history please visit lennoxhonychurch.com.
Dominica’s Prime Ministers (from left): Patrick Roland John, Oliver Seraphin, Eugenia Charles, Edison James, Rosie Douglas, Pierre Charles, Osborn Riviere, Roosevelt Skerrit
Dominica’s national bird
Dominica’s national flower, the bwa kwaib