Speculation about Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin’s potential knighthood has been circulating, but new information suggests that his nomination for this Independence Day honour was actually put forth by his constituents, rather than the government.
A letter obtained by the Daily Observer references a petition endorsed by more than 50 constituents, acknowledging Benjamin’s contributions as the Member of Parliament for St John’s City South.
The letter highlights the historical significance of Benjamin’s political career, noting that he is one of only two surviving active politicians who were Members of Parliament when Antigua and Barbuda achieved independence from Britain in 1981, along with Sir Robin Yearwood.
It outlines Benjamin’s record, spanning 38 years as a parliamentarian and lauds his role in changing the legal architecture in Antigua and Barbuda, where he is recognised as one of the leading Attorneys General in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The letter also commends Benjamin for his stewardship of the First Model Criminal Sexual Offences Court, which originated in Antigua and Barbuda and was the first of its kind in the region.
It also acknowledges his instrumental role in implementing sentencing guidelines for the sub-region, a landmark achievement that was launched in Antigua and Barbuda and adopted by the OECS.
The document underscores Benjamin’s contributions to public service and community development, including his sponsorship of the Ovals Basketball Team since 1982, and his facilitation of young men’s and women’s access to scholarships to further their education.
Additionally, it acknowledges his pivotal role in negotiating the establishment of the University of the West Indies’ fourth landed campus at Five Islands.