“Bourne to be honoured on Friday”

parliament

From Friday evening, the Committee Room in the East Wing of Parliament will bear a new name, that of Edna Ermyntrude "Ermie" Bourne.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley made the announcement late Tuesday night before the House was suspended.

On December 18, 1951, Bourne became the first woman to be elected to the House of Assembly in Barbados.

The former Barbados Labour Party representative for St Andrew, who would have celebrated her centennial birthday this past August, was praised as a trailblazer by Mottley and she noted that Bourne's election represented a significant achievement for women at that time, who had only a few years earlier been granted the right to vote.

“We believe that it is important for all who come here after to know of the significant trailblazing that was done by Dame Ermyntrude in being elected to that wonderful parish of St Andrew and that she opened the doors for all others to believe that it was possible for their girl children to achieve the same thing," the Prime Minister said.

“I am conscious that we stand here only on the shoulders of those who went before and whether it is Dame Ermyntrude as the first [female] Member of Parliament elected to the House of Assembly in Barbados for over three centuries, or whether it is Dame Billie Miller who became the first woman to serve in a Cabinet of Barbados. I'm conscious that these achievements inspire our girl children in this country and create a platform that all can believe that they can play a part in nation-building,” Mottley said.

Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley also supported the renaming which will be done during a ceremony on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

“I think that her presence here in the Chamber would have been reflective and representative of significant development in our democracy which is still maturing. I think the moment choosing to do the designation in terms of centennial anniversary and this particular week is not only appropriate, it's quite fitting,” Atherley said. (SDB Media)