Loblack, Emmanuel, Christopher (1898 1995)

Trade unionist, legislator. Born at Grand Bay he became a mason and builder, eventually employed by the Public Works Department. In 1939, when the Moyne Commission was visiting Dominica to investigate conditions here, Loblack appeared before the Commission and with others, accompanied its members to view the slum areas of Roseau and made complaints about wage rates and the tenuous position of tenant farmers. One member, Lord Citrine, encouraged the setting up of a trade union, as he had done in other territories. It was not until the 1940's however, that Loblack with the assistance of Austin Winston and Ralph Nicholls, launched the Dominica Trade Union on 11 January 1945. The union grew rapidly, soon having 26 branches around the island. In 1949, Loblack represented Dominica in Britain at the International Confederation of Trade Unions. When Phyllis Shand Allfrey returned from England in 1953, she and Loblack worked together to found the Dominica Labour Party on 24 May 1955. By that time Loblack's hold on the DTU was weakening as new younger members became more active and he was expelled from the DTU in 1957. His role as a political activist for the DLP strengthened however, and he was rewarded with a nominated seat in the legislative council when the DLP won the 1961 general elections. The expulsion of Felix Allfrey from the DLP in September 1962 caused Loblack to fall out with the hierarchy of the DLP and he grew increasingly critical of the government. By 1968, Loblack and Allfrey joined with Eugenia Charles and others to found the Dominica Freedom Party and for the rest of his life Loblack was an outspoken supporter of the DFP. He received a meritorious service award from the State and a certificate of commendation from the University of the West Indies.




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