Dominica: The Melville Hall Airport is now the Douglas-Charles Airport


The airport everyone knew as the Melville Hall Airport is now the Douglas-Charles Airport. The airport was being renamed in recognition of two past prime ministers, Pierre Charles and Roosevelt (Rosie) Douglas. The renaming ceremony took place on Monday afternoon. Here are excerpts:

The citation for the renaming of the airport said Douglas gave “heroic service to the people of Africa, the African Diaspora and the Commonwealth of Dominica.” It said he “proposed practical solutions to the liberation of Dominica.”

“Rosie worked tirelessly to educate the people while at the same time listening to and learning from them,” the citation said. “The result was he gained the people’s love and admiration.” It went on to say his selfless commitment to the struggle to transform Dominica is an example for all future political leaders.

Pierre Charles’ citation said he dedicated his life to the political independence of Dominica. “And upon becoming prime minister of independent Dominica tackled the national, fiscal and ecomonic crisis of the first decade of the 20th century,” it said.

[. . .] Roosevelt Bertrand Douglas was the fifth prime minister of Dominica. He came into office on February 3, 2000, remaining in power until his sudden death on October 3, 200. He was prime minister for eight months.

He first became a member of parliament in 1985 and leader of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) in 1992, after the death of Mike Douglas, his brother. He led the DLP to victory over the Edison James-led United Workers Party in January 2000. He later formed a coalition with the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP).

After his death he was succeeded by Pierre Charles, who was prime minister from 2000 to 2004. He became MP for Grand Bay in 1985 as an opposition parliamentarian with
the DLP, which was under the leadership of Mike Douglas. He maintained his seat in the 1990, 1995 and 2000 general elections. When the DLP formed the coalition government with the DFP he was made minister for communication and works.

He died suddenly on the evening of January 6, 2004.

The airport got its original name from General Sir Robert Melville, British Governor General of the Southern Caribbee Island Colony of which Dominica was a unit, according to a Facebook post by local historian, Dr. Lennox Honychurch. [. . .]

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