Sir Solomon Hochoy
Seventeenth Governor of Trinidad and Tobago
From July 4th 1960 to 31st August 1960.
First Governor-General of Trinidad and Tobago
From 31st August 1962 – 15 September 1972
Born in Jamaica on 20th April 1905
Died in Blanchisseuse on 15th November 1983
He married Thelma Edna Huggins on the 17th September 1935.
He worked as a Tally Clerk in the Coastal Steamers Department in 1927.
Joined the Trinidad Port and Marine Department in 1931.
He became an Industrial Adverser's clerk in 1939.
A Labour Officer in 1944.
He became Deputy Industrial Adviser in 1946. And Commissioner of Labour three years later.
He was appointed Deputy Colonial Secretary in 1955. One year later he became Colonial Secretary of Trinidad.
He was announced as Governor on November 21st 1959. He was sworn in on July 14th 1960.
At the swearing-in ceremony he told the Legislative Council "I am no stranger to you. It is with pride that I claim that I am one of you."
Sir Solomon Hochoy had been selected by the British authorities to be Governor of Trinidad succeeding Sir Edward Beetham, months prior.
He was the Governor from 1960, he was the first local to occupy that position.
On his appointment to Governor congratulations came Chen Ching-Wen, the chairman of the Commission for Oversea Chinese Affairs at Taipei, Taiwan.
In a confidential telegraph sent to Trinidad by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the British Conservative Party politician Iain Macleod stated Sir Solomon "He is the best man for the job".
The headline in the Waikato Times of New Zealand declared, "First Coloured Governor Named: Post in Trinidad."
The Star of Blanchisseuse remarked, "Beginning as an obscure clerk on the waterfront he has risen to the highest office in the land. That makes us aware that it is perfectly possible for each one of us to do the same."
The press and radio held a dinner in honour of the new Governor in October 1960. at the Bel Air Hotel, Piarco, it was reported that Sir Solomon entertained them with old tales from his school days."
As Governor-General Sir Solomon gave one press conference, (until that time Governors had not done so). In September 1972, one report stated: "Sir Solomon had a large gathering continually in fits during his one-hour interview with his sharp wit."
When he retired in 1972, the PNM Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams described him as "a close friend whose judgments I have learnt to welcome." He further told the Parliament Sir Solomon was, "one who has served his country long, faithfully and well in a difficult period, one of the outstanding examples to and the most conspicuous successes of the policy of West-Indianisation of our Public Service". He praised his "capacity for unerring judgement".
He was a member of the Chinese Association in Trinidad.
A Prominent member of the Chinese Cricket Club.
An accomplished rider and as Governor-General rode with the mounted escort.
When Trinidad and Tobago became independent he applied for citizenship. His application, dated October 25th 1963, it was approved by the Red House on the same day.
In 1962, when Trinidad and Tobago became an Independent Unitary State within the British Commonwealth under a Governor General, the Government House in Tobago was named Governor General’s House.
The Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway which is named in his honour, is the major north-south highway, It meets the Uriah Butler Highway at Chaguanas, constructed as a two-lane highway in the early 1970’s it was expanded to a four-lane dual carriageway in the late 1970’s. The four-lane highway is 30 km long between Chaguanas and Golconda.
The Solomon Hochoy Trophy for football is also named in his honour.