‘Hold women high’
Women across Barbados were yesterday praised by Monsignor Vincent Blackett as he spoke during a special service to commemorate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day at the St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, which falls tomorrow.
Blackett, addressing a congregation that included members of the National Organisation of Women and the Bureau of Gender Affairs, female representatives of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Girl Guides Association and other uniformed groups, said Barbadians needed to focus more on the positives of women, instead of seeing only the negative.
The priest, highlighting several women and their accomplishments, urged the congregation to continue to uphold women and rally around them, “be it in the humanitarian, media, political, musical, legal or any other field”.
Blackett said he longed to see the day when Barbados could have a female Prime Minister, and recalled his joy at the special ceremony where THE NATION was handed over to a female: Chief Executive Officer and Publisher Vivian-Anne Gittens.
Among the names he bestowed praises on were Dame Olga Lopes-Seale, Marva Manning, Jeannette Layne-Clarke, Dame Nita Barrow, Dame Billie Miller, Maxine McClean, Gertrude Eastmond, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, Marilyn Rice-Bowen, Elizabeth Thompson, Esther Byer-Suckoo, Mara Thompson and journalists like Gercine Carter, Avonda Scott and Dawn Morgan.
But it was Barbadian pop star Rihanna and wife of the Barbadian High Commissioner to Canada, Francilia Greaves, that he paid special tributes to.
Blackett, who has no qualms about his love for Rihanna, said he would always be proud of her achievements.
“Since the popular Mount Gay Rum, which bears the name of a Barbadian, we have not had another Barbadian whose name is attached to a product until Rihanna came along, and I look forward to more products bearing her name.”
The priest congratulated Greaves on her recently launched book Things My Mother Taught Me. The book contains stories from 35 Caribbean contributors between the ages of 25 and 80, who speak of the love for their mothers and sacrifices they would have made in order to make sure they were educated and could achieve.
Blackett said the book recalled the important role of mothers in society.