Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174
− The Ministry of Health and Social Development is inviting residents within the Capoon’s Bay area to submit comments on the recommendation to rename the clinic after the following prospective honourees.
Theresa (Smith) Blyden
Theresa was born to Ms. Lizzy Potter and Mr. John Smith of Little Apple Bay on October 1, 1911. She developed a love for nursing and eventually functioned as a midwife, a skill which she learnt from her grandmother. Her career as a midwife and primary health care provider spanned the period from 1940 – 1960s, delivering many babies including a set of twin girls. Seeing Tae-Tae moving slowly around her house or through the village, one could not believe that she had the ability to exert herself. But it was evident that she reserved her strength to answer the frequent calls and aided in delivering hundreds of babies. Those calls came from Frenchman’s Cay to Carrot Bay and even as far as Cane Garden Bay. In 1981, Theresa was recognised for her years of service as a midwife by the BVI Nurses Association. The then president of the Association noted that “the community is indeed indebted to them [the midwives] for the role they played in the evolution of our health system”. Mrs. Blyden was also a business woman and shopkeeper. That shop in Spice Town was the link to the outside world. It was where villagers and residents from neighbouring villages met and shared the latest news. It was at the same shop that telephone calls were made and received and that’s where the children in the village gathered to watch television. Mrs. Blyden was in every aspect of community life, she was a member of Zion Hill Methodist Church and a founding member of the West End Women’s League.
Trinita was born in Carrot Bay, Tortola on June 5, 1930 and died on August 3, 2000. She taught at the West End Primary School at age 15. A few years later, (after 1945) she moved to the Nurses Home in Road Town to study nursing. This nursing study came about as a result of her writing a letter to Dr. Joseph summoning him on behalf of her sick mother. Dr. Joseph was so impressed that he encouraged her mother to send her to study nursing. She worked at Cottage Hospital. She completed her studies and became a midwife. Trinita came back to Carrot Bay and served the district as nurse and midwife from Brewers Bay to Frenchman’s Cay. Trinita’s nursing career ended around 1954-55. She then returned to nursing at the urging of the District Representative until she fell ill.
Jennifer Cameron Bertie
Jennifer Bertie started her nursing carrier straight out of high school on September 1, 1969. As an assistant nurse for just over two decades, she developed the art of caring as a result of her experience at Peebles Hospital in the latter 1970's by testimony of the advanced skills and watchful eyes of nursing leaders like the late Adina Donovan and Geraldine Norman. At this point Jennifer had acquired the trust and confidence of her senior and was relied on to take on the responsibility of nurse in charge, with the assistance of the late Dr. Robert Thomas. This was not only the privilege of Jennifer but other peers who showed interest and were responsible. With her commitment to be an outstanding employee, Jennifer for a short time was able to work very closely with the surgeons and developed a strong affinity for operating room nursing. Her other main interest in regards to nursing area preference was the maternity ward.
Mainly at nights many babies were assisted at birth, a process which brought much joy as she is often reminded by parents, "Nurse, this one is yours." Her professional training began at the Joseph N. France Hospital in Basseterre, St. Kitts in 1988 through 1992. She obtained a diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery. She returned to the British Virgin Islands and served as a Registered Nurse at the Peebles Hospital. She also served a short stint in Community Health. Jennifer exhibited the true qualities of a nurse: thoroughness, thoughtfulness, humility, respectful, empathy, devotion and insight. In 1996 Jennifer was the President of the British Virgin Islands Nurses Association. Jennifer retired from active duty but remains a true community health advocate. She presently is involved as one of the reliable trainers in the Red Cross Home Basic Programme.