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Special Collections: Dame Nita Barrow

This site contains items housed in the Special Collections Unit of the Sidney Martin Library, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.

Some simple facts

In 1991 the government of Barbados issued special stamps to commemorate the 25th anniversary of island’s independence.  The stamps carried the face of Dame Nita Barrow on 10¢, 25¢, 65¢, 75¢ and $1.00 

Extracted from: Blackman, Francis. Dame Nita: Caribbean Woman, World Citizen / Francis "Woodie" Blackman. Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle, 1995.

In 1995 the Jamaican government selected Dame Nita Barrow to be the face for their $50.00 postage stamp along with the Order of the Caribbean Community.

Extracted from: Sydney, Albert W. B. Oaths of Allegiance : A Biographical Profile of the Heads of State of the Commonwealth Caribbean / Researched and Compiled by Albert WB Sydney ; Foreword By, Sir Anerood Jugnauth ; Introduction By, Timothy M. Shaw ; with Contributions By, Kamalesh Sharma, Sir Tomu Sione and Hamid Ghany. Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad & Tobago: A. Sydney, 2009.



“Our job, stated Nita Barrow in her own comments on “social development and the Caribbean woman” is to rid ourselves of this stereotype.  But the way to do this, she felt, was not through the slogans of women’s lib.  In fact, she said. “I have refrained from using the term woman’s liberation because of my own lack of belief in it.”

People: the magazine of the Caribbean. Vol.1 No.1 (August 1975).

“As with most people of her international stature, Dame Nita is a study of superlatives and contradictions.  A woman, whose career though rooted in compassion, is described by associates as “a powerful manager who has the combative spirit of a freedom fighter.”

Extracted from: Barrow, Nita. Dame Nita Barrow : A Profile in Service. New York, N.Y.: Distributed by the Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations [198-?], 1980.

Dame Nita Barrow’s mother was born in Tobago.  Her mother was called Ruth by her mother Catherine (nee Prescod) and her father Joseph J. C. O’Neal.  Catherine’s father was a farmer and on many occasions sends her by schooner to Barbados to sell the product.  The Prescod’s owned a small family business in Barbados.  Catherine and her other sisters and brothers migrated to Barbados.  It is probably through this avenue that Catherine met Joseph who was a shareholder in the Barbados Building and Loan Society established in 1889.

Blackman, Francis. Dame Nita : Caribbean Woman, World Citizen / Francis "Woodie" Blackman. Kingston, Jamaica: Ian Randle, 1995.