Sir James Fitz-Allen Mitchell, former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines has died.
The former Vincentian Prime Minister, 90 years old, died at the Port Elizabeth Hospital, Bequia on 23rd November, surrounded by family members.
Mitchell, who governed the Eastern Caribbean island from 1984 -2000, fell ill on 31 October and was rushed from Bequia to mainland St Vincent for urgent medical care.
Sir James was treated for an infection upon hospitalization at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and was battling multiple medical conditions, including gallstone, kidney failure and an enlarged prostate. He was later diagnosed with Dengue Fever.
The 90-year-old former leader was flown to Barbados for advanced medical treatment on Wednesday, 3 November, later that evening Pneumonia was added to the list of medical complications Sir James was already battling.
On Thursday, 4 November, Mitchell’s son-in-law Dwight “bing” Joseph said that the former Prime Minister was in stable condition. However, by Friday 5 November, Joseph indicated to News784 that Sir James was requesting a famous song by Madonna, “Don’t cry for me Argentina”.
Joseph told News784 on Monday 8 November that Sir James was still warded in the ICU and was joined by his four daughters and other family members.
On 18 November Sir James was discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and placed on 24hr nursing care at home. Sir James in the latter part of his life became a champion for vaccination against the COVID-19 virus. He was fully vaccinated at the time of his death.
Mitchell Hospital Time Line
Former SVG Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell Has Fallen ill
Published (31st Oct 2021)
News784 understands that former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell has fallen ill.
Sources also told News784 that the illness is not associated with COVID-19.
Sir James was Hospitalized at the Port Elizabeth Hospital in Bequia, before being rushed via Coast Guard to the mainland.
Sir James Mitchell in Barbados for further medical care
Published ( 3 Nov 2021)
Former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir James Mitchell, who fell ill on Saturday, will be flown to Barbados on Wednesday 3 November for advanced medical treatment.
News784 spoke with Dwight “Bing” Joseph, the son-in-law of Sir James, who told us that Sir James would leave the island sometime around 3.45 pm.
Joseph told News784 that the state will cover the cost to have the former Prime Minister flown to Barbados.
He further told News784 that the family’s call for blood donation after Sir James was diagnosed with Dengue has been overwhelming.
“It was just phenomenal; persons came from all walks of life to donate blood. The leader of the Opposition, Dr Godwin Friday was the first to do so. Although there is a political divide, individuals from both sides donated blood”.
Joseph told News784 that the former Prime Minister’s platelet count as of Wednesday morning was in the mid-’60s and noted that he was in good spirits.
Joseph said Sir James’ care at the island’s main health facility has been exceptional and praised the doctors and nurses for the care of Sir James.
Pneumonia added to Sir James Mitchell medical woes
Published (Nov 3 2021) update
Pneumonia was this afternoon added to the medical woes of Former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir James Mitchell.
News784 was informed of this development on Wednesday afternoon by Sir James’ son-in-law Dwight “Bing” Joseph.
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames your lungs’ air sacs (alveoli). The air sacs may fill up with fluid or pus, causing symptoms such as a cough, fever, chills and trouble breathing.
Sir James took a fall in his kitchen about four months ago and had been experiencing minor health challenges since then. The former Prime Minister was diagnosed with Dengue Fever when he was admitted to the MCMH in Kingstown.
Sir James Mitchell is in stable condition
Published (4 Nov 2021)
Former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir James Mitchell, who fell ill on Saturday, is now resting comfortably at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.
News784 spoke with Dwight “Bing” Joseph, the son-in-law of Sir James, who told us that Mitchell is currently at the hospital’s ICU unit, and is in stable condition.
Sir James says ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’
Published (5 – Nov 2021)
Former St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Sir James Mitchell, who remains in stable condition, sends a special message from his hospital bed in Barbados for the citizens of the nation he once governed.
“Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”, Sir James said.
The song was made famous by the American singer-songwriter Madonna.
Dwight “Bing” Joseph, the son-in-law of Sir James, who spoke with News784 on Friday, said that the former SVG pm kept repeating the phrase over and over “, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”.
“He kept saying, please, don’t cry for me Argentina, don’t cry for me Argentina, and every time he wants to hear it, he taps his finger. He kept requesting to hear it from YouTube”.
Joseph says he has been getting the best care and stated that the doctors and nurses in Barbados have been more than professional.
Sir James Mitchell joined by family members
Published (8 – Nov 2021)
Sir James Mitchell, former St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, remains in the ICU unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.
The latest reports indicate that Mitchell continues to receive excellent care and attention from the doctors and nurses, particularly from Dr Fakoory (head of ICU) and Dr Emtage and Vincentian Dr Wilson (related to Andrew Wilson of National Parks). The latter is also on the ICU team.
The former PM’s daughters Louise and Sabrina have been with their father over the past few days.
Sir James would be joined today by Gretel and Gabija, his other two daughters and other family members.
Mitchell continues to enjoy having his favourite song ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina, played for him daily as well as having hymns and other favourite songs sung to him and prayers read, as well as poems including a new favourite “, Chant for the Bequia Easter Regatta,” by Richard Dey.
Sir James Discharged From QEH
Published (18-Nov 2021)
Sir James Mitchell was discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at noon today (Thursday 18th November 2021) to return to his beloved home Bequia.
He is 90 years old and remains resilient in spirit. He has been placed on 24-hour nursing care with the ongoing medical guidance of Dr Yamiry Lugo.
Sir James Mitchell Dies
Published ( 23 – Nov 2021)
Sir James Mitchell, former SVG Prime Minister died at the Port Elizabeth Hospital, Bequia on 23rd November surrounded by family members.
Mitchell who was battling multiple medical conditions was discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados on 18 November and placed on 24hr nursing care at home.
The former Prime Minister was 90 years old.
Early life and education
James Fitz-Allen Mitchell was born on 15 May 1931 on the Island of Bequia in the Grenadines. At age 9, tragedy struck his family when his father, a sea captain, disappeared aboard the vessel “Gloria Colita” in the Bermuda Triangle. Sir James received his secondary education at St. Vincent’s Grammar school, following which he pursued studies at the imperial college of Tropical agriculture, Trinidad, and the University of British Colombia, Canada.
The Rt. Hon. Sir James Fitz-Allen Mitchell, a Privy Councillor since 1985, economist, agronomist and politician, has been a dominant figure in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for almost three decades2
Sir James was first elected to parliament in 1966 as the St. Vincent Labour Party’s representative for the Grenadines. He was re-elected the following year. In 1972, he successfully contested in the general elections as an Independent Candidate. With the election ending in a 6-6 draw between the SVLP (St Vincent Labour Party) and the PPP (People’s Political Party), Sir James an independent candidate struck a deal with the PPP’s Leader E.T Joshua and became premier under the Alliance government. Two years later, the SVLP regained power when they won ten seats at the general elections.
In December 1975, Sir James founded the New Democratic Party (NDP). He was an opposition Member of Parliament from 1975 until 1984 when he lead his party to a 10-3 victory over the SVLP.
Sir James, at age 53, became his country 2nd Prime Minister in July 1984. Four years later, Sir James party made history when it swept all 15 parliamentary seats in the General Election.
In 1984, his party was again returned to power for a third consecutive term when it won 12 of 15 seats. One of the longest-serving prime ministers in Caribbean history, Mitchell was also a foreign minister from 1984 until 1992. He retired voluntarily as Prime Minister in 2000.
Notwithstanding his public duties, he has found the time to write and has published articles and books on agriculture, including studies on fungicide usage and land reform, and also on the problems of Caribbean society.
Sir James’s autobiography “Beyond the Islands” was published by MacMillan Caribbean in 2006. Sir James was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1995.
Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell, at 90, “Now Belongs to the Ages”.