Hon. Derek Hugh Taylor
Hon. Derek Taylor born on the island of Grand Turk on October 1, 1951 was the sixth child of seven children. He completed his Primary and Secondary school education on Salt Cay and Grand Turk. He was always active in his community as a child. To name a few, Sunday School, Boys Scouts and Cricket. His ability to recall stories and recite poetry saw him maintain top position in his English Literature Class and for this many teachers and students remember him.
Upon completion of his formal education in 1970, Hon Taylor joined the Civil Service of the Turks and Caicos Islands, a place where he developed his skill and love for service. In Grand Turk he served as an employee in the Treasury and Customs Department. During his more final years in the Civil Service, he served in several managerial administrative roles, that of District Commissioner in South Caicos, Middle Caicos and North Caicos and Deputy Collector of Customs. He also served on a number of Boards and Committees. His natural ability to lead saw him rise to the higher echelons in the Civil Service Association, having served two years as President and seven years as Vice President. While in the Civil Service, he attended many courses, seminars and workshops in the Region and the United Kingdom.
In 1988, he entered Politics when he became a member of the Peoples Democratic Movement, the first political party in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In the elections of 1988, his Party won by a landslide, the only one of its kind in history, and he served as Minister of Commerce and Development under the youngest Chief Minister ever to serve in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In 1991, after a defeat at the polls, Hon Taylor was elected Leader of the Opposition. However, in 1995, he was about to take the Turks and Caicos Islands on a journey that would defy history. Under his leadership his Party won the next three General Elections and he became the longest serving Chief Minister in history. He continued to serve as Minister of Finance, Development and Commerce and under his leadership, the Turks and Caicos Islands gained financial maturity and stability. The Turks and Caicos Islands became the fastest growing economy in the Region and was known as the "Star of
While serving as Chief Minister, he attended various courses, seminars and events, including the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Washington. He served on the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank on three separate occasions. He was also elected as the first President of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association
He was honored by the Queen during the Millennia Celebrations in 2000 and he received the Order of the British Empire joining a small and exclusive list.
Shortly after his victory in 2003, bi-elections were held by an Order of the Court and his Party lost its majority Hon Taylor now serves as the Leader of the Opposition.
In this his 35th year in the Public Service of these Islands, he continues to embrace every opportunity to serve in his community. He is known for his work with all ages, whether it be for his regular visits to the Geriatric Ward and the hospital where he would spread cheer among the old and sick, or assisting in any way he can with the children of our schools and community. A founding member of the Kiwanis Club of Grand Turk, he now serves as President. He is also a member of the Red Cross, a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum since its inception and a member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Cancer Foundation. He also serves as a Justice of the Peace and a Notary Public.
Hon Taylor, cousin to the founder of our political system, first Chief Minister, and only named National Hero, the late Jags McCartney, is husband to one woman, father of three and grandfather of two. He is a child of God and an active member of the Methodist Church where he is a lay Preacher. Those who know and love him, respect him for his honesty, integrity and genuine goodwill. He is held in high esteem by his fellow men, and by those who had the privilege to meet him at regional and international events.