St. Lucia's second native governor was Sir Ira Simmons, a former civil servant who retired from the service in April, 1971. Upon the retirement of Sir Frederick Clarke in September 1971, Sir Ira Simmons acted as Governor. Prior to his appointment as Acting Governor in 1971, he had served twice as Governor's deputy.
Born on March 17th 1917, Sir Ira Simmons attained his early education at the Castries Methodist School and after being awarded a Government scholarship he attended the St. Mary's College in 1928. Six years later, upon completion, he joined the teaching profession and was awarded the St. Lucia Teacher's Certificate of Competence, First Class, as the most outstanding teacher for that year.
Sir Ira Simmons attended the Trinidad Government Teachers' Training College for a period of two years after which he rejoined the staff of the Castries Methodist School in 1938. He served there until 1944. He joined the civil service as a third class clerk in his department. In 1949 he was appointed Assistant Labour Commissioner. Prior to the aforementioned appointment, he was made officer - in - charge of displaced persons following the disastrous Castries fire in 1948.
In 1953, he was awarded the Coronation Medal and spent several months in Washington as a liaison officer for the British West Indies Central Labour Organisation while holding the post of Labour Commissioner from 1955 to 1958. Sir Ira Simmons was appointed to act as Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Production in 1958 and later became its Permanent Secretary with the introduction of a new constitution in 1960. In 1963 he was transferred to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour.
He was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire (O B E) in 1967, of the Imperial Service Order (I S O) in 1971 and was admitted as Commander (brother) of the Order of St. John in 1972. Sir Ira was an honorary Jaycee, Local Chief Scout, Patron of the Ex - Services League, President of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme and the President of the St. John's Ambulance Brigade.
Sir Stanislaus James was born in the town of Soufriere on November 13th 1919. He acquired his early education in Soufriere and proceeded to the St. Mary's College from 1934 to 1939. He received the Cambridge Senior Certificate upon his graduation. He spent a school term at the St. Aloysius R. C Boys' school as a temporary teacher, after which he left for Trinidad in 1940 to pursue his studies at the Training College for Teachers. In December 1941, he successfully completed his training and was awarded the Trained Teacher's Certificate.
In January 1942, he was appointed a Trained Assistant Teacher on the staff of the Soufriere Boys' Primary School. In June 1944, he was appointed as supervising teacher for the in - service training of unqualified teachers, the first supervising teacher for the training of unqualified teachers. He travelled by horse to the rural schools and by canoe to the coastal villages of Canaries and Anse-La-Raye.
In 1945, Sir Stanislaus James was transferred to the Education Department in Castries as head of a small number of supervising teachers who covered the entire island.
In 1946, after studying through correspondence, he was successful in obtaining the Diploma of Associate of the College of Preceptors (ACP) London, the first Saint Lucian to obtain a Diploma in Education.
Sir Stanislaus stands out as the key architect in the establishment, organisation and development of St. Lucia. It is he who was responsible for conceptualising and implementing youth development and community programs and projects which saw the establishment of youth clubs, sports and community centres and playing fields island wide.
Over the years, his work as Head of the Departments dealing with probation, social welfare, community development, public relations and poor relief has laid the foundation and structure for activities which are today the shared responsibility of the Department of Human Services and the Ministry of Legal Affairs.