FORMER Bahamian politician and lawyer Sir Geoffrey Johnstone.
By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER Bahamian politician and lawyer Sir Geoffrey Johnstone died in Doctor’s Hospital in the early hours of Friday morning. He would have been 90 years old next month.
Sir Geoffrey, who has been in failing health for some time, was admitted to hospital on Tuesday.
Born in Nassau on September 19, 1927 he was the eldest son of Bruce Eric Johnstone and Wilhelmina Helena Aline Johnstone nee Kemp.
He was graduated from Queen's College in Nassau in 1945, after which he worked for two years as an insurance agent for British American Insurance Company Ltd.
In 1947 Sir Geoffrey studied law at the Inns of Court in London and was called to the Bar of England and Wales from Middle Temple in June 1950. In August of that year he was also called to the Bahamas Bar. That same year he joined the law firm of Higgs & Johnson and was admitted into partnership in 1952. He later became the firm's senior partner in 1968 and continued in that role until his retirement in 1999.
Sir Geoffrey was elected to the House of Assembly for the Eastern District of New Providence in November 1962. He served as Minister of Road Traffic and Records in the United Bahamian Party government from January 1964 to 1967.
In January 1967 he was returned as member for the Montagu constituency where he served until September 1972. He also served as Leader of the Opposition from February 1970 to July 1971.
Sir Geoffrey also served as Bahamas Bar Association President from June 1973 to June 1975 and as vice-president from June 1975 to June 1976.
On December 31, 1994, Sir Geoffrey was appointed a Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Twelve years later he was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG). in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. “Prince Charles actually knighted me,” he said at the time, “as the Queen was away.”
Sir Geoffrey served as Chairman of the Hotel Corporation of the Bahamas in the early 90s. He also served as deputy to the Governor General on several occasions.
Funeral services for Sir Geoffrey will be announced later. However, they have been tentatively set for next Saturday when the Minister of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk, Rev Bryn McPhail, is expected to officiate.
Sir Geoffrey is survived by his wife, Lady Anne Johnstone, his younger brother, Peter, and several nieces and nephews.