By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Mon. Aug. 22, 2021: Barbados is set to replace the Queen as head of state with a President as the country moves to become a republic by November 30th. Here are five things you should know about her.
1: She is Dame Sandra Prunella Mason, GCMG, DA, QC, who is the 8th Governor-General of Barbados, with a term beginning on January 8, 2018. She could become the first President of Barbados and its first female President as well if approved by Parliament in November.
2: Dame Sandra was born on January 17, 1949, in East Point, Saint Philip, Barbados. She went on to attend and graduate from St. Catherine’s Primary School and Queen’s College, and soon after became a teacher at the Princess Margaret Secondary School in 1968. The following year, she went to work at Barclays Bank as a clerk and was promoted to Trust Administrator for the period 1975-1976. She was later transferred to Barclays Bank Jamaica Ltd., then returned to Barbados and continued her banking career with Barclays Finance Corporation.
Mason enrolled in the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, earning her Bachelor of Laws in 1973. In doing so, she became the first Barbadian female Attorney-at-Law to have graduated from the Hugh Wooding Law School. She was admitted to the bar to begin her practice on November 10, 1975, becoming the first woman member of the Barbados Bar Association.
3: In 1978, Mason began working as the Magistrate of the Juvenile andFamily Court and simultaneously tutoring in family law at UWI. She stopped tutoring in 1983 and continuing as magistrate. In 1988, she completed the Royal Institute of Public Administration in London’s course on Judicial Administration.
Mason left the family court in 1992to serve as an ambassador to Venezuela and was the first woman magistrate from Barbados to serve in that position. Dame Sandra also served as Ambassador to Chile, Colombia and Brazil for the period 1993-1994. Upon her return to Barbados, in 1994, she was appointed as Chief Magistrate for Barbados and then in 1997 became the Registrar of the Supreme Court.She continued to serve as Registrar of the Supreme Court until 2005, when she was appointed as Queen’s Counsel to the Inner Bar of Barbados. In 2008, Mason was sworn in as an Appeals Judge, becoming the first woman to serve on the Barbados Court of Appeals. In 2013, she was the first Barbadian appointed to membership in the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT). The Tribunal operates among members of the Commonwealth of Nations to resolve issues concerning contract disputes.
4: Dame Sandra has also worked in other arenas internationally and regionally. In 1991, at the inception ofthe UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, she began serving and was namedthe vice chair from 1993 to 1995 and chair from 1997 to 1999. Between 1991 and 1992, she also was one of the two women appointed to the 13-member CARICOM commission charged with evaluating regional integration.
5: Dame Sandra was appointed a Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George after being appointed governor general and became the Chancellor. She is 72 years old and has one son, Matthew. Dame Sandra also takes an avid interest in reading, playing scrabble, watching cricket and travelling.