Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett is proposing that a Women’s Gallery of Heroes be created to pay tribute to those outstanding Barbadian women who are unsung heroes and beacons of their communities. He was speaking last weekend during the Third Triennial Awards Ceremony ‘Honouring Barbadian Women in Communities’ at the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex, University of the West Indies (UWI).

The ceremony, coordinated by the Community Development Department in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Institute for Gender and Development Studies, was in commemoration of International Women’s Day, which was celebrated on Sunday, March 8, 2009.

Minister Blackett also encouraged the Community Development Department to work in conjunction with UWI to develop a yearbook, which would profile all the women who had been honoured so far during these ceremonies.

“The yearbook would add to the historical database and, hopefully, inspire others to emulate and to share the limelight with those already featured in the Gallery,” he explained.

Mr. Blackett stressed that the role of women in society and in particular the community was immeasurable, noting that they touched the lives of everyone around them.

“It is a great honour and privilege to recognise and pay tribute to eleven very special Barbadian women, for their outstanding contribution. Each [one] in her own unique way has contributed to the betterment of her parish, and by extension, to the development of Barbados as a whole.”

The two-hour ceremony saw a representative from each of the eleven parishes awarded for invaluable service to their communities. They were: Thora Margaret Blackman of St. Andrew; Meta Edghill of Christ Church; Pauline Rawlins of St. George; Juan Gibbons of St. James; Helena Ashby of St. John; Judith Shepherd of St. Joseph; Louise Armstrong of St. Lucy; Ethel Tryhina Harper of St. Michael; Cheri Boyce of St. Peter, Marcelle Rudder-Clarke of St. Philip and Movelle Kellman of St. Thomas.

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