Orville Turnquest, who once served as Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General
and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Free National Movement government,
has had an illustrious career as a barrister-at-law and counsel
and attorney. He became Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General
and Minister of Foreign Affairs on September 1, 1993, having served
as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs
since August 21, 1992.
was born in Grants Town, New Providence on July 19, 1929, to the
late Robert and Gwendolyn Turnquest.
obtained the Cambridge Junior Certificate, Cambridge Senior Certificate
and London Matriculation Certificate at the Government High School
between 1942 and 1945, he was an articled law student in the chambers
of the late Hon. A. F. Adderley from 1947 to 1953. Sir Orville Turnquest
was called to The Bahamas Bar on June 26, 1953. [He was called to
the Inner Bar in January 1993.] He earned a bachelor of laws degree
with honours at the University of London between 1957 and 1960,
and was admitted to the English Bar in July, 1960, after successfully
writing his Bar Examinations as a member of Lincoln’s Inn,
private practice since 1953 as counsel and attorney and notary public,
Sir Orville was a senior partner in the law firm of Dupuch and Turnquest
prior to his becoming a Cabinet Minister. He acted as Stipendiary
and Circuit Magistrate and coroner in 1959, and served as President
of The Bahamas Bar Association and Chairman of The Bahamas Bar Council
between 1970 and 1972. He is a former part-time lecturer in law
at The Bahamas Extra-mural Department of the University of the West
Indies and a member of The Bahamas Law Revision Committee. He was
a law tutor and a member of the Examining Board for admission to
The Bahamas Bar from 1965 until his ministerial appointment.
Orville Turnquest also served as Secretary-General of the Progressive
Liberal Party from 1960 until 1962 and served as a Member of Parliament
for the South Central Constituency of New Providence from 1962 until
1967 as a representative of the Progressive Liberal Party; he was
Opposition Leader in the Senate from 1972 to 1979 and appointed
Deputy Leader of the Free National Movement in 1987. He also served
as Chairman and Treasurer of the Party. In the General Election
in June 1982, he won the Montague seat. He retained the seat in
the following two general elections, including that of August 19,
1992, when the FNM ousted the PLP from office.
was a delegate at The Bahamas Constitutional Conferences in London,
England, in 1963 and 1972, He was also a Bahamian delegate at a
conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in
New Delhi in 1976, and an observer at a 1983 CPA Conference in Nairobi,
Orville Turnquest is Chancellor of the Diocese of Nassau and The
Bahamas, including the Turks and Caicos Islands, and serves on several
executive bodies of the Anglican Church, including the Diocesan
Council and the Diocesan Finance Committee. He is a member of the
Anglican Central Education Authority, the Bahamas National Committee
of United World Colleges, and the boards of governors of St. John’s
College and St. Anne’s High School.
has also served as a member of the Provincial Synod of the Anglican
Church of the West Indies and on several of its executive committees,
including the Provincial Standing Committee, the Commission on Theological
Education, the Canons Revision Committee, and the Anglican Conference
of North America and the Caribbean.
is a former Director of Education and Past Exalted Ruler of the
Elks Lodge. He is also a former member of the Airports Board.
Orville Turnquest married Edith Louise Thompson on February 19,
1955. They have two daughters and a son—Caryl Antoinette Eileen
Lashley, a barrister-at-law; Michele Cecile Edith Fields, a chartered
accountant; and Orville Alton Thompson Turnquest, a bank officer
who won the Mount Moriah House of Assembly seat in the August 19,
1992, general election and was a Parliamentary Secretary in the
Office of the former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham.
Excellency Sir Orville Turnquest departed office November 13, 2001.
of The Bahamas Information Services