Donald Sangster has the unfortunate distinction of being the shortest-serving Prime Minister to date.
Sir Donald was in the post for less than two months before succumbing to illness, but he still made a contribution to Jamaican politics.
A St. Elizabeth man, he ventured into politics by running for and winning a seat in St. Elizabeth's Parochial Board, on June 22, 1933. He segued, into national politics in 1944 as an independent candidate but later joined the Jamaica Labour Party and won a seat in the 1949 General Election.
He was Minister of Social Welfare from 1950 to 1953 and Minister of Finance from 1953 until 1955 when his party lost the general election. In 1962 when the JLP was returned to office, he was appointed Minister of Finance and subsequently Deputy Prime Minister. He was a member of the Joint Committee of Parliament, which framed the Constitution for independent Jamaica, and he was a member of the delegation that went to England in 1962 to discuss it with the British Government.
After being sworn in on February 22, 1967 as Prime Minister, Mr. Sangster was preparing his Budget speech when he suffered from a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage and was flown to the Montreal Neuro-Psychological Institute for treatment. He died on April 11.
At the time of his death he represented the constituency of North Central Clarendon. While serving as Prime Minister, he also held the positions of Minister of Finance and Defence.
'Power is like fire - a good servant, but a bad master and the misuse of power is one of the greatest faults of any government; indeed, it is a crime against the people." Taken from The Voice newspaper, July 27, 1957.
Did you know?
While at Munro College, he was quite the sportsman, excelling in traditional sports such as cricket, but also at gymnastics.
At one time, he was captain of the St. Elizabeth parish team in the Nethersole Cricket Cup Competition.
Like most politicians, he was a solicitor by profession.
He entered politics at the age of 21.
Sir Donald acted as 'give-away' father to Gladys Longbridge when she married then Prime Minister Sir Alexander Bustamante.
Sources: www.nlj.org.jm/ and www.jis.gov.jm.