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Maurice Bishop

Maurice Bishop

Known For: Acting


Maurice Rupert Bishop was born on 29 May 1944 on the island of Aruba, then a colony of the Netherlands as part of the Netherlands Antilles. His parents, Rupert and Elment Bishop, came from the northeast of the British island of Grenada, where his father earned only 5 British pence per day. At the end of 1930, to improve his financial position, he moved to work in the oil refinery on the island of Aruba with his wife Elment. Childhood and adolescence. Until the age of six, Maurice was raised in Aruba with two older sisters Anne and Moran. In 1950 his father took the family back to Grenada and opened a small retail shop in the capital, St. George's. Maurice was sent to study at the Wesleyan elementary school, but after a year transferred to the Roman Catholic St George primary and high school. At the age of nine Maurice was teased because of his height which made him look much older. As an only son, his father pushed his education and expected much of him. He expected perfect grades from him, not 95 but 100%, and when the family purchased a car his mother expected him to walk to school like the others.For his secondary education, Bishop received one of the four government scholarships for study at the Roman Catholic Presentation Brothers' College. He was elected president of the Student Council, of the Discussion Club, and of the History Study Group, along with editing the newspaper Student Voice and participating in sports. He later recalled: "Here I had much interest in politics, history and sociology." He also established contacts with students from the Anglican Grenada Boys' Secondary School, his own school's competitors. He was an ardent supporter of the West Indies Federation established in 1958 and the ideas of Caribbean nationalism. He also recalled the great interest the 1959 Cuban Revolution aroused in him. Bishop recalled: "In fact, for us it did not matter what we heard on the radio or read in the colonial press. For us, it comes down to the courage and legendary heroism of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara. ...Nothing could overshadow this aspect of the Cuban Revolution."In those same years Bishop and his colleagues became interested in reading the works of Julius Nyerere and Frantz Fanon. In 1962 Bishop graduated with a gold medal for his outstanding ability.Shortly before graduation, in early 1962, Bishop and youth leader from Grenada Boys' Secondary School Bernard Coard, created the Grenada Assembly of Youth Fighting for Truth, designed to bring the island youth to political life in a debate over pressing issues. Members gathered on Friday in St. George's main square and arranged open political debates among the people. Both friends and enemies celebrated his charisma and good oratory skills, including his skilful use of humor in his speeches. Education in England. The group's activities ended nine months later when Bishop and the other Assembly leaders left to study at universities in Europe and the United States. In December 1963 the 19-year-old Maurice Bishop arrived in London to study law at the University of London, and Coard travelled to the US to study economics at Brandeis University. In London, Bishop received his Bachelori of Law at Gray's Inn in 1966. He often worked in London as a postman or vegetable packer. In 1963–66, Bishop was president of the Students Association of Holborn College and in 1967 headed the association of students of the Royal College. While studying Grenadian history, Bishop focused on anti-British speeches and Julien Fédon, the head of the 1795 uprising. In 1964 he participated the UK's West Indian Standing Conference (WISC) and Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD). He travelled from the UK to socialist Czechoslovakia and the German Democratic Republic. During this period he studied the works of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong. Bishop was particularly impressed by Julius Nyerere's Ujamaa: Essays on Socialism (published by Oxford University Press in 1968) and the Arusha Declaration of 1967.From 1967 to 1969 Bishop worked on his thesis "Constitutional Development of Grenada", but left the job because of disagreements with the supervisor in assessing the 1951 disturbances. In 1969 he received a law degree and became one of the founders of the Legal Aid Office of the West Indies community in London's Notting Hill Gate. This was volunteer work, and his main source of income came from work as an auditor of additional taxes on the British Civil Service. During this period he corresponded with friends and developed a two-year plan of activities upon his return to Grenada. The plan called for temporary withdrawal from participation in political activities and his work as a lawyer to co-create an organization capable of taking power on the island.Returning to Grenada in December 1970, Bishop gave legal defence to striking nurses at St. George's General Hospital, who hoped to improve the living conditions of patients. He was arrested along with 30 other protestor

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