Oliver Seraphin

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Oliver James Seraphin
Prime Minister of Dominica
In office
June 25, 1979 – July 21, 1980
PresidentJenner Armour
Aurelius Marie
Preceded byPatrick John
Succeeded byEugenia Charles
Personal details
Born (1943-08-02) August 2, 1943 (age 76)
Roseau, Dominica
Political partyDominica Labour Party

Oliver James "O. J." Seraphin (or Seraphine; born August 2, 1943) was the Minister of communication and works and housing for the Labour Party government from 1975- 1979 and Prime Minister of Dominica from June 25, 1979, until July 21, 1980.

Early life[edit]

Seraphin grew up in Roseau, the capital, and received primary and secondary education at Roseau Mixed School and Dominica Grammar School; later in life, he studied at the Carnegie Institute in the United States and in Cuba. Prior to politics, he worked in the insurance industry.[1]

Government Minister[edit]

He served in the socialist Dominica Labour Party government of Prime Minister Patrick John from 1975 to 1979. Seraphin originally held the posts of Minister of Communications, Works, and Housing, but in a cabinet reshuffle, the Prime Minister made him Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Caricom Affairs.[1] During this time, the Commonwealth of Dominica gained its independence from the United Kingdom. When violent crowds opposed to the John government protested outside the House of Assembly, Seraphin resigned.[1]

The path of Hurricane David. Dominica is obscured by an orange dot.

Time as Prime Minister[edit]

Seraphin became Prime Minister on June 25 1979, at the request of the "Committee of National Salvation." In August 1979, Dominica was hit by Hurricane David, which killed over 76 people, and devastated much of the island. Seraphin was preoccupied with rescue and rebuilding efforts. He traveled to Barbados, Canada, France, the United States, and Venezuela to seek financial aid for rebuilding his country's infrastructure, in which he did. He was known to also help and rebuild homes for the homeless financing it all from his own personal account. He restored the island and helped create jobs. In his one (1) plus year in office he is set to have helped over half of the population of the island in the most biggest hurricane disaster the commonwealth of Dominica has ever faced.

Although he was loved by many, he lost the 1980 election by [1] Eugenia Charles. He has not returned to politics.

Life after politics[edit]

Seraphin's government is commonly referred to as the "Interim Government." Since leaving politics, he has returned to business, especially that which is tourism-related, and maintains a public profile.[1]

He is also taking time to spend it with family; His long time wife Lily Seraphin, and his many children. His first child (daughter) Cheryl Seraphin is said to be now living in Paris France; an early retired child Psychologist now pursuing her own high end cake art company in Paris called English Dream Cake.

Non of his children entered the world of politics.


  1. ^ a b c d e Honychurch, Lennox. "Seraphin, Oliver, James "O.J.":". Lennox Honychurch's A-to-Z of Dominica's Heritage. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
Preceded by
Patrick John
Prime Minister of Dominica
25 June 1979—21 July 1980
Succeeded by
Eugenia Charles