A Profile of
Sir Alexander Bustamante
Place of Birth: Hanover
Date of Birth: February 24, 1884
Date of Death: August 6, 1977
When Sir Alexander Bustamante began to make his presence felt in Jamaica, the country was still a Crown Colony. Bustamante was quick to realise that the bad social and economic conditions, had to be countered by mobilisation of the working class.
– Sir Alexander Bustamante was born in 1884 in Blenheim, Hanover
– His father was Robert Clarke and he was named William Alexander Clarke
– In 1905 he started visiting other countries like Cuba, Panama and the United States of America..
– In 1934 he returned to Jamaica after travelling for several years. He changed his name to Alehandro Bustamante. Later by deed pool he officially changed it to Alexander Bustamante
– When he returned to Jamaica he saw a lot of hardship. People were suffering from low wages and poor working conditions
– He was a voice for the people and would organize strikes among workers.
– In 1938 he organized a major strike at From Sugar Estate in Westmorland and some workers were killed. He had the people marching through the streets calling for more pay
– There was a confrontation with the police and he was arrested
– The people refused to go back to work so they released him. He became the champion of the working class.
– He then later formed the B.I.T.U (Bustamante Industrial Trade Union)
– In 1939 he organized another big workers’ strike and was imprisoned for 17 months
– In 1943 he found JLP(Jamaica Labour Party) after he left the PNP
– Sir Alexander Bustamante died in 1977 at age 93
– He received Order of National Hero in 1969 along with his cousin Norman Manley
– He was the first Prime Minister in 1962 after Jamaica gained Independence
– Sir Alexander is known as the undisputed champion of the working class and was never afraid to confront powers of the government.
– His face is on the $1 coin
– A statue of him is at St. William Grant park
A Profile of