By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Thirty-two Saint Lucian women – alive and dead, remembered and forgotten, known and unknown – will be honoured tomorrow evening (Thursday, March 18) when The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) pays brief but fitting tribute to 30+2 of the island’s daughters who’ve contributed to its history in the fields of education, arts and culture; and preservation of the Kweyol Language and African Cultural Heritage.
The women including academics and authors, musicians and cultural activists, lawyers and legislators, politicians, women’s rights advocates and an ultimate victim of domestic violence are the first to be virtually inducted in a ‘Hall of Honor of 100 Saint Lucian Women’ for the 50th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2025.
Two prominent Saint Lucian women – ambassador Dr June Soomer and veteran performing and traditional arts specialist June King-Frederick — top the NRC’s List of 2021 honorees.
But also among the inaugural inductees are Saint Lucian women heroes not yet heralded for their roles, but who have nonetheless persevered in their respective fields of worthy endeavour from prolific author of Children’s Books A. L. Dawn French, pioneer advocate for diversity and equality Kenita Placide and Women’s rights advocate Catherine Sealys, to veteran Kweyol language and traditional culture promoter Armelle Mathurin, national archivist Margot Thomas, independent senator Mauricia Thomas Francis and UWI TV’s managing director Janet Caroo.
Deceased contributors are also included, among them: The Late Dame Sesenne Descartes, Joyce Auguste, Pat Charles, Sixtus Charles, Petronella Deterville, Eliza Maxwell, Heraldine Rock and Frances Michel.
Also to be remembered Thursday evening are Mary Ratcliff and Ione Erlinger-Ford, one of Saint Lucia’s first celebrated ultimate victims of domestic violence, whose death gave life to the Saint Lucia Crisis Center, pioneered by the other.
Eighteen of the 32 women are alive, but none were approached for permission or informed of their selection in advance, the organizers saying their honours have been duly earned and the initiative would hopefully be a pleasant and welcome surprise to each.
Ten of the honorees are expected to participate in the online event, which starts at 7:00 pm and continues until 9:00 pm on the following UWI Open Campus platforms:
Courtesy: Earl Bousquet, Chair of the Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC).