Barbados, a former British protectorate has finally made the move to become a republic, joining Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago in breaking free of past colonial ties.
Removing the Queen of England as the head of state, the new republic had to elect a President. Sandra Prunella Mason, the last Governor General of the island nation has been elected as the first president of the republic.
Dame Sandra Prunella Mason was born on 17 January 1949 in Saint Philip, Barbados and enrolled in the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, where she earned a Bachelor of Laws, making her one of the first graduates of the Faculty of Law of the university.
In 1975 she obtained a Legal Education Certificate from Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago and was admitted to the baron 10 November the same year, becoming the first woman to join Barbados Bar Association.
In 1978, she began working as the Magistrate of the Juvenile and Family Court and simultaneously tutoring in family law at UWI. Ten years later, she graduated from the Royal Institute of Public Administration in London’s course on Judicial Administration. She served on the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from its 1991 inception until 1999, holding the vice chair from 1993 to 1995 and chair from 1997 to 1999.
In 2018, she was appointed the Governor General of Barbados, making her the second woman to hold the office since it’s inception in 1966.
The republic operates a bicameral Parliament and has a Prime Minister and a President.