Sunday 29 March, 2020

Loop’s #WCW: 6 Facts about Dame Nita Barrow

(Internet image)

(Internet image)

Barbadians celebrated the life and achievements of her younger brother the late Rt. Excellent Errol Barrow, the proclaimed Father of Independence of Barbados, but his accomplishments do not dull hers in any way.

Just as her successor, the second female Governor General of Barbados, Dame Sandra Mason is a woman of many firsts, Dame Nita was a pioneer in her time.

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Born in the most Northern parish of St. Lucy, Dame Nita broke barriers locally, regionally and globally.

Here are six facts about the late Dame Nita and Loop’s Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) for today, January 24, 2018.

1. Though most recently the Governors General have demitted office, she died in office. She served as Governor General of Barbados from June 6, 1990 until her death December 19, 1995.

2. Dame Nita followed in the footsteps of her uncle, the late Dr. Charles Duncan O’Neal, and pursued Medicine. She studied Nursing in Barbados, continuing her studies at the University of Toronto, Edinburgh and Columbia Universities. She was a trained nurse, midwife, and health care administer.

3. Dame Nita was appointed to several international bodies. Amongst them, she was the President of the World YWCA (1975-83); President of the International Council of Adult Education (1982-90); and Ambassador to the United Nations (1986-90).

4. Dame Nita Barrow, is actually Dame Ruth Nita Barrow. Nita Barrow was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II a decade before taking office. In 1980, she was knighted as Dame of St. Andrew and Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Thereafter, she became known as Dame Ruth Nita Barrow. Imagine if Dame Sandra Mason had not listened to her son and had chosen to be known as ‘Dame Prunella’?

5. Dame Nita Barrow is buried in Westbury Cemetery. Surprised? You can go visit if you’re in the area ever, then swing by Rihanna Drive.


6. In 2016, when Senator Irene Sandiford laid a wreath at Dame Nita’s gravesite, she said that when she visited the continent of Africa on an official trip, the nurses there still talk about the late Dame. In 1985, Dame Nita presided at the International Women’s Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. In 1986, Barrow was appointed Barbadian Ambassador to the United Nations. She was the only woman named to the Eminent Persons Group, and that Group was responsible for investigating racism in South Africa.

May she continue to rest in peace.

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