Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lady Allen receives distinguished Haitian Josefa Gauthier

Most. Hon Lady Allen flanked by Digicel Haiti Foundation Chair
Mme. Josefa Gauthier and Digicel Jamaica Foundation Chair
Jean Lowrie-Chin 
Another high point of hope last week was a tour with my colleague, trailblazer and former Haiti Government Minister Josefa Gauthier, Chairman of Digicel Haiti Foundation (I chair the Digicel Jamaica Foundation). We made a courtesy call on Lady Patricia Allen, wife of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen. Lady Allen, an accomplished nurse educator in her own right, shared her thoughts on Haiti’s brave history and the continued struggles of her people.

Lady Allen noted that when she taught at West Indies College (now NCU), there were some 30 Haitian nurses and so she developed an interest in the country and her people. She said she was deeply saddened at the devastating earthquake and admired the resolve to the Haitian people to rebuild their country.

“She is so knowledgeable. What a beautiful and caring lady,” noted Josefa, as she recalled Lady Allen’s conversation, indicating her involvement in several health and education programmes.

We were conducted on a tour of King’s House, by Maxine Francis and Anya Edwards. It was rebuilt after the 1907 earthquake, and Josefa remarked on the similarity of the architecture with Haiti’s presidential palace which had been destroyed in the earthquake. She was impressed to learn that Their Excellencies grow most of their own food right there in the beautiful gardens at King’s House, as they are vegetarians.

A lovely surprise for me was the King’s House Museum, curated by my longtime media colleague, Joy Scott.  We saw treasures from the days of Queen Victoria to the present and were enthralled by Joy’s well-researched narrative. A thought – photographs and reproductions of those pieces for stationery and souvenir items could raise good funds to expand the museum.

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