UWI to award honorary degree to Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton, governor general of St Kitts and Nevis

Sunday, September 29, 2019

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The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus will confer the degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) on Sir Samuel Weymouth Tapley Seaton, current governor general of St Kitts and Nevis, for outstanding public service to his country.

The service will be held in Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday, October 12 at St John's Pentecostal Church, St John's.

An alumnus of The UWI and an attorney by profession, Sir Tapley has made his mark as a regional pioneer in the field.

Admitted to practise law in 1975 from among the first group of graduates of the Faculty of Law at the UWI Cave Hill Campus, he went on to become the first of the cohort to be appointed attorney general in 1980 at the age of 29. This made him the youngest attorney general in the Commonwealth.

In 1985, Sir Tapley was awarded the rank of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Queen Elizabeth II, during a royal visit to St Kitts and Nevis. In 1988 he was elevated to the rank of Silk (Queen's Counsel), becoming the first graduate of the West Indian law school to achieve the honour.

He served as attorney general of St Kitts and Nevis for 15 years, becoming the longest-serving attorney general in the region. With his tenure spanning both the pre- and post-independent Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Sir Tapley also became the first attorney general of the independent State, having earlier served as crown counsel, acting registrar, and magistrate.

After his public service as attorney general ended in 1995, Sir Tapley spent 20 years in private practice, during which time he served as a director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a member of the Tripartite Committee (Government/Chamber/Trade Union) and a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal.

He held other prominent positions such as president of the St Kitts and Nevis Bar Association, president of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association, first president of St Christopher National Trust, vice-president of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society and chairman of the UWI's Territorial Advisory Committee.

In September of 2015, Sir Tapley was appointed governor general of St Kitts and Nevis and later that year, Queen Elizabeth II conferred knighthood on him. He continues to share his passion for law, history and conservation to enhance citizen patriotism.

Each year, UWI recognises individuals for making significant contributions to the region and the wider world in their respective fields of expertise.


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