John Banks Elliott
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John Banks Elliott was Ghana's first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Moscow USSR from 1960 to 1966. During his tenure, he was Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Head Commonwealth Ambassadors, Head African and Diplomats, Head African Ambassadors Group. His appointment as Ambassador designate to the USSR was announced in Moscow on 8 January 1960.
His accreditation to the Soviet Union was directed by the last Governor-General of the Dominion of Ghana, the Earl of Listowel, William Francis Hare under the direction of Queen Elizabeth II. Ambassador John Banks Elliott presented his credentials to the then Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Mr. K.E. Voroshilov. On 1st July 1960, Ghana became an independent Republic within the Commonwealth, and the first President of the Republic of Ghana Dr. Kwame Nkrumah reaccredited his appointment, which he presented to the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council Mr. Leonid Brezhnev.
Born in 1917 to Gerald Barton Elliott a Lawyer and Auctioneer at large and Mary Wood-Elliott a Sacristan, he was named after his grandfather who came to the Gold Coast as a timber merchant with attention to detail, one of his passions was photography, J. Banks Elliott's photographs of Gold Coast showing trading stations, factories, towns, markets and people taken in 1880-1890 is archived at the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies, Rhodes House, Oxford.
In his lifetime, Ambassador Elliott witnessed, discussed, advocated, endorsed, recommended, proposed, advised etc., and been involved in all sorts of intrigues and controversies of the world stage, some in the forefront, and other, behind the scenes. He met with and got to know some very interesting people during his endeavours, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion of Israel. King Idris I, of Libya. Prince Souvanna Phouma of the Kingdom of Laos. President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. Commander in Chief Fidel Castro of Cuba. President Sukarno of Indonesia, and many, many more.
In Ambassador Elliott’s opinion, Ghana is one of the important African countries in the world. There was rivalry between pro-Communists’ and non-Communists’ bloc for Africa in the 60’s. In those days opposition parties, pro-Western agents and unwitting accomplices did everything in their power to undermine the First Republics progress and that of its Ministers, its Political Appointees and the Presidents stance. What President Nkrumah envisaged for the OAU is still on the discussion table today.
Mr. John Banks Elliott throughout his private and official life is renowned for his successes in building the Republic of Ghana’s image as the first African Country to gain Independence. He is resolute and holds no grudges towards any persons or institutions that are inequitable towards him or his achievements’. He resides in Maidenhead, the Royal Borough of Berkshire, United Kingdom. He is happy meeting old and new friends for a chat and catching up with current affairs of the world.
- "A Chronicle of the day, 1960 № 13". Newsreel Daily News. 1960. http://www.net-film.ru/en/film-10894/?search=p6%7cv2%7cs1. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- Miller, John (2010). All Them Cornfields and Ballet in the Evening. Hodgson Press. pp. 40–. ISBN 9781906164126. http://books.google.com/books?id=EfBI2FD-cMMC&pg=PA40. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- "(title unclear)". Pittsburgh Courier. 9 April 1960. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/40045823/. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
- The Current Digest of the Soviet Press. American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. 1960. http://books.google.com/books?id=yicJAQAAIAAJ.
- Report of the Conference of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations J. Delegates and observers attending the tenth session of the conference http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5573e/x5573e0t.htm
- (two volumes reference number GB 162 MSS.Afr.s.1956) http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/blcas/elliott-jb.html