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Sir Paul Scoon – former Commonwealth Foundation Deputy Director dies aged 78

Sir Paul Godwin Scoon, GCMG, GCVO, OBE, former Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation has died aged 78.

‘As former Commonwealth Governor-General, Sir Paul faced more challenging times than many of his contemporaries,’ said Vijay Krishnarayn, Director of the Commonwealth Foundation. ‘He was rightfully dubbed ‘Grenada’s saviour’ at a crucial time in the country’s history’.

Sir Paul was Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation form 1972-78.

Within months of his appointment as Governor General of Grenada in 1978, Sir Paul faced the overthrow of the constitutionally-elected government of Grenada by the New Jewel Movement led by Maurice Bishop on March 13, 1979. Bishop and his comrades established the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG), and their initial response to Sir Paul was one of hostility. Afterwards, they adopted a more conciliatory approach.

Four years later in 1983, when a split emerged in the central committee of the PRG, the regime collapsed in the face of violence and mayhem which led led Sir Paul to make a request for military intervention by the United States of America. Sir Paul asserted that he was the sole constitutional authority, and he claimed the doctrine of necessity as the basis for making his request. 

The actions of Sir Paul in the aftermath of the crisis placed Grenada on a path back to democratic government through the appointment of an advisory council led by Alister McIntyre on November 8. Just over one year later, general elections were held in Grenada on December 3, 1984 and Herbert Blaize and the New National Party won. Parliament opened later that month and Grenada returned to democracy.

Sir Paul attended St John’s Anglican School and Grenada Boys’ Secondary School before going overseas to pursue university education in the United Kingdom and Canada. He was born in Gouyave, Grenada, on July 4, 1935, and died on 2 September 2013.