Sir Clarence Fitztroy Bryant
Our children are a heritage and blessing from Lord. They bring richness to our lives in each treasure stored.
Born on 27th February 1937, in Antigua, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant moved to St. Kitts with his mother in 1946. He attended the St. Johnston Village Primary School and won a scholarship to the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School. He completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree by distance education, with the University of London. He continued his education in Britain and graduated from Lincoln’s Inn as a lawyer and solicitor.
After returning to St. Kitts he joined the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and served as Chairman for a number of years. From 1966 – 1980 he served as the parliamentary representative for constituency number eight, Minister with responsibility for Health and Social Affairs and Attorney General.
Clarence Fitzroy Bryant’s greatest contribution was in the field of education. He introduced sweeping policies in education that positioned St. Kitts and Nevis as a leading country in education reform.
In September 1966, months after his first appointment as Minister of Education, he ushered in the era of universal secondary education in the country. The bold and revolutionary initiative democratised and decentralized education in the Federation, and shattered the social and financial barricades that had for many years excluded a large number of young people from working class families from the education system.
His vision for education included the introduction of tertiary education. He sought and obtained from the University of the West Indies a programme that would offer part-time study to Kittitians and Nevisians who wished to pursue studies leading to undergraduate degrees. He envisioned the establishment of a tertiary education institution, was instrumental in introducing a Teachers Training College, and a Technical and Vocational College. It is, therefore, a fitting tribute to his exemplary educational reforms that the first national post-secondary/tertiary college was named in his honour, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College.
Clarence Fitzroy Bryant not only led the revolution in formal education, but he promoted and participated in non-formal education. He was loyal to the Trade Union Movement and was its General Secretary until his death in 1997.
The quality of life for the citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has been enriched by the contribution and by the social infrastructural development initiated by Clarence Fitzroy Bryant. His legacy will live on. A large new middle class has emerged as a consequence of free, universal secondary education to the children of working-class Kittitian and Nevisian parents.