The Grenada National Women’s Organisation (GNOW) has extended tribute to the late Gloria St. Bernard of St. Patrick’s, who passed away on June 10 at the age of 90.
St. Bernard was the first female to be elected Mayor of the Town of St. George in 1964 and 1965. She died at the General Hospital after a period of ailment. Her funeral service was held June 24 at the St. George’s Cathedral and her body was laid to rest at the St. Valentine Cemetery in St. George’s.
In an interview with THE NEW TODAY, GNOW President Gloria Payne-Banfield referred to St. Bernard as one who was always a friend of the organisation.
“She was always a friend of GNOW. Any problem we had, she was always willing to give advice and encouragement”, Payne-Banfield said.
The following tribute was paid to St. Bernard by Banfield on behalf of GNOW:-
“In 1999, on the occasion of this celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), the Grenada National Organisation of Women (GNOW) honoured a group of outstanding women who had made significant contribution to the promotion of women in Grenada.
Prominent on this list was the name of Gloria St. Bernard. In the citation that preceded the announcement of her name, Ms. Gloria St. Bernard was described as a trailblazer, breaking ground in the field of women’s participation in politics and nation building.
A member of the Grenada National Party, Ms. St. Bernard was active in frontline national politics. Although she hailed from the northern parish of St. Patrick’s she was particularly interested in local government and sat for several years as a member of the St. George’s District Board.
Her election as Mayor of the Town of St. George in 1964 and 1965 was the highpoint of her career just before the dissolution of Local Government a few years later. Gloria St. Bernard is recorded as the first and only female Mayor of the town of St. George.
She stood out where ever she went – she was always well tailored and well groomed. Her speeches were fiery and hard hitting; she was articulate and commanded a good grasp of the English Language.
Gloria St. Bernard was the mentor of many young ladies who tried their very best to emulate her. It is reported that she stood her ground in a male dominated Party. She was no walkover in any era when women were considered and treated as second class citizens.
The Grenada National Organisation of Women will miss Ms. St. Bernard’s encouragement and advice. She was a source of inspiration to the Executive and members and was available to share her experiences.
Her service to her Church, her beloved Town of St. George, her Alma Mater, the St. Joseph’s Convent, her political affiliations, the women of Grenada and to her country will always be remembered when the list of influential and powerful Grenadian women is inscribed.
The President, Executive and Management Committees of the Grenada National Organisation of Women take this opportunity to extend sincerest condolences to the family and relatives of the late Gloria St. Bernard.
May she rest in peace.