Max Beverly Ifill papers
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Biographical / Historical
Max Beverly Ifill was born in Arouca on 24th September, 1920 to Joseph Irving Ifill and Florencia Aletia Braithwaite. He spent his early childhood years in New Grant (5 miles east of Princes Town) and then moved to Port of Spain. He attended Tranquility Boys’ School and also taught there from 1937 – 1951. He won a scholarship for the London School of Economics and then attended the University of Oxford, where he studied Agricultural Economics.
He worked in the Colonial Secretary’s Office as an Administrative Cadet from Eric Williams’ appointment as Chief Minister in Trinidad and Tobago. He left the Civil service in 1959 and worked briefly with the Trinidad Manufacturer’s Association. From 1961-1965, he became heavily involved in Trade Union activities, advising and writing articles. He was a member of the Industrial Development Corporation and Trade Union’s Congress, Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers, and the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union. He was employed with the Caribbean Congress of Labour and as such represented Eric Gairy in Grenada between 1964 and 1965. In 1968 he left Trinidad and Tobago to work with the United Nations in Tanzania, Nigeria and the Caribbean and for the Canadian Federal Government in Ottawa. He was UN/ECLAC’s Regional Economic Adviser for the Caribbean for more than four years when he retired in 1980.
He lectured in History, Economics, Economic History and Politics at the Trinidad Polytechnic and the Extra- Mural Department of the University of the West Indies. He is the author of many pamphlets on the African Diaspora and spoke on numerous occasions about the development problems which confronted Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. He stated that his main concern was “the urgent need for society to adopt a more spatial approach to development, to establish socio-economic goals which would avoid the polarization of income distribution in the society, and to develop a political system which would permit meaningful participation of the citizenry.”
Max Ifill was also active in politics and was briefly involved in 1966 with the Workers and Farmers Party which was founded by C.L.R. James, Stephen Maharaj and George Weekes.
He passed away on 17th October, 2002 at the age of 82 years.
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The papers are arranged into six series reflecting his various activities. These series are Subject Files A-Z, Trade Unionism, United Nations Regional Planning Projects, Economic and Business Research Information and Advisory Service, United Nations Projects: Publications, and Publications.
The collection belonged to Max Beverly Ifill and was donated to the Alma Jordan Library by his children: Julie, Alison and Richard in 2009.
- Max Beverly Ifill papers
- Special Collections; Arrangement and Processing by Aisha Baptiste.
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