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Nurse’s recognition

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Fri, Feb 24. 2012

Editor: I read with great appreciation an article by Ken Wyllie which appeared in your midweek edition of 24th Jan, 2012, and which paid tribute to Doris “Nurse” Providence, under the caption “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.{{more}}

Such sentiments are in keeping with the appeal made by the Honorable Minister of Health, Cecil Mckie, in his message on the occasion of Nurses’ week, which was featured in your issue of Friday, 13th May, 2011. In his message, the Minister had asked the public to join him “in recognizing these wonderful nurses of St. Vincent and the Grenadines”. He also noted that “in certain circumstances, particularly in rural communities, populations rely heavily on nursing services to fulfill their health care needs”. He pointed out, too, that they did so “in many of the most challenging settings”.

I wish here to compound his sentiments by making reference to the eulogy given on the occasion of her passing in July almost three years ago.

“I beg to take you now beyond Troumaca to Rose Hall, to Rose Bank to Petit Bordel and Chateaubelair, to Coulls Hill …. This is the territory in which “Nurse”climbed long years before the advent of mini buses, cell phones, or for that matter land lines and the Internet, but rather in a setting of donkeys, sail boats, row boats and word of mouth.

“Many here seated may have known her during such climb. Many would have watched her go clad in white and yet perhaps not clad in white, but yet clad with a sense of purpose, a sense of dignity to where ever duty called. Whether it was at a clinic, or to many a humble home in the dead of night, guided by God’s strength and a flashlight. She was not only nurse, but I say without restraint doctor, too. There were times when, without warning, while at home, she would have to lay down the tools of home making and take up the tools of her trade when someone with confidence in her proven abilities would arrive on her door step at Madame Gett, unannounced, but nevertheless welcomed.

In Troumaca and beyond, Doris ‘Nurse’ Providence brought beauty, brains and esteem to the profession. Many a trainee nurse worked under her skilled guidance. I remember, too, it being said of her that one child cried for his “nice nurse” to attend to him. The dignity she bore caused the name “Nurse” to transcend the very field of nursing into a sort of community watchword, a sort of recognition and understanding.

Other aspects of her well rounded personality, however, must not be allowed to slip by unnoticed. She was also a farmer. She was also a seamstress. She was most notably a musician, as many a student of hers and the members of her church would attest to. Her fingers graced many a church organ, and she also loved the violin. This love of music she has nurtured, shared, passed on.”

Many residents of the villages mentioned above would echo the sentiments of Mr. Wyllie when they reflect on the life and times of Doris “Nurse’ Providence.

It is indeed lamentable that such recognition is most often bestowed at a time when the soul to whom such honour is directed is understandably unable to acknowledge it. Therefore, in keeping with the sentiments of the Honorable Minister, it is reasonable to expect that Mr. Wyllie’s proposal would be given due consideration, thus lending tangibility to the Honorable Minister’s words.

G.D.John

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