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Johan Ferrier

In office
November 25, 1975 – August 13, 1980
Succeeded by Henk Chin A Sen

Born May 12, 1910(1910-05-12)
Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana
Died January 4, 2010 (aged 99)
Oegstgeest, Netherlands
Birth name Johan Henri Eliza Ferrier
Nationality Surinamese
Political party NPS
Alma mater University of Amsterdam (PhD)
Occupation Politician
Religion Reformed Protestant

Johan Henri Eliza Ferrier (May 12, 1910 – January 4, 2010) was a Surinamese politician who served as the 1st President of Suriname from November 25, 1975 until August 13, 1980. He was that country's last governor before independence, from 1968 to 1975, and first president after it gained independence from the Netherlands. He was deposed in a military coup on 13 August 1980. [1]

He was named the twentieth century's most important politician in Suriname in 1999. [2]




Early life

Ferrier was born in 1910 at Suriname's largest city and its capital, Paramaribo.[3 ] A teacher by trade outside political life he assisted in the establishment of the country's National Party in 1946, at a time when it was only a colony of the Dutch. [4]


Ferrier was a member of the National Council until 1948.[3 ] He then went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to learn education theory.[3 ] When he went back to Suriname he continued to study and to have a career in education.[3 ] He served as both prime minister and interior minister for a three-year period from 1955 until 1958.[3 ] He also spent time as Suriname's head of education.[3 ] From 1968 until 1975 he retained the post of governor. [4] At this stage Suriname was made independent. [4] Ferrier was selected as President of the country. [4] Dési Bouterse's 1980 rebellion prompted Ferrier to resign within six months. [4]

After Politics

Ferrier then accompanied his relations to live in the Netherlands. [4] He lived with them in Oegstgeest. [5] His daughter Kathleen (named after the singer Kathleen Ferrier) is a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands for the Christian Democratic Appeal. In 2005, Ferrier's memoirs Last Governor, First President: The Century of Johan Ferrier, Surinamese were published. [4] The Dutch Queen gave him a knighthood.[6 ] An obituary in national morning daily De Volkskrant said he had claimed: "Even in the darkest days, I kept my optimism".[6 ]


Ferrier died while sleeping in his Dutch home at the age of 99, six months short of his 100th birthday. His body was found early morning on January 4, 2010. [4] [7].

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands paid tribute. [5] Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Ferrier was "an authoritative and wise statesman". [5] Politician and diplomat Jan Pronk paid tribute to his work at uniting divisions. [5]

Ferrier was buried on January 11, 2010 in the Dutch town of Oegstgeest, where he had been living since 1980 [8].


External links

Simple English

John (Johan) Henri Eliza Ferrier Ferrier (1910 - 2010) was the last governor of Suriname, and then became its first president in 1975.[1] Ferrier was a teacher, a trade union leader and a radio pioneer.[1] In 1946 he helped start the National Party of Suriname.

Suriname was a Dutch colony, and Ferrier was made an adviser to the Minister of Education. In 1968 he was made Governor of Suriname. The country became independant on November 25, 1975, and Ferrier was made the first President of Suriname.[1] The government was overthrown by a military coup in 1980, led by Desi Bouterse.[1]

Ferrier and his family moved to the Netherlands where he wrote a children's book called "The Anansi Book".[1]



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