Categorized | National News

Bethel – Quintessential Caribbean Woman

Said to be the quintessential Caribbean woman, attorney, scholar, poet, film-maker, essayist and short story writer, Marion Bethel was honoured in a special ceremony at Government House on Friday after achieving yet another top honour.

Ms. Bethel is now in the company of a very prestigious group of women in the region.

During a special ceremony at Government House Friday morning, Prime Minister Perry Christie saluted Ms. Bethel as a lady, whose platform others will build on for years to come.

“When you put this award in its greater context, it is a wonderful inspiration for all Bahamians, but more so for our women and our young girls. It marks the dawning of a new day. It speaks to reaching what once seemed the unreachable star and it speaks to The Bahamas being a part of the big league regionally when we speak about female academicians and scholars,” Mr. Christie said.

Social Services and Community Development Minister Melanie Griffin agreed, adding that Mr. Bethel’s award and life will service as a beacon for other females.

“Marion, we thank you for facing and overcoming the challenges of juggling all the various roles you play. Thank you for representing us so well regionally and internationally,” she said.

“We thank your husband, children and family for being your support and strength through it all and we remind you that God is not finished with you yet.”

With a grateful heart, Ms. Bethel said she accepted the 11th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women on behalf of all women for The Bahamas and The Caribbean.
“I did so with deep joy and humility and a profound awareness that it is indeed an award for which I am only the vehicle or medium of its transmission,” she said.

“This CARICOM award represents primarily and ultimately without a shadow of a doubt on my part the celebration of the work and contribution of many, many, many women through me. It therefore belongs to all of us.”

The Caricom Triennial was introduced in 1983 to honour those women whose work made a significant contribution in the field of women’s development and the socio-economic development of The Caribbean.

The first award was presented in 1984.

Past honourees include Trinidadian, Nesta Patrick (1984); Barbadian, Dame Nita Barrow (1987); St Vincent and the Grenadines national, Dr. Peggy Antrobus (1990); Guyana national, Magda Pollard (1993); Jamaican, Dr. Lucille Mair (1996); Guyana national, Professor Joycelin Massiah (1999); Trinidadian, Rhoda Reddock (2002); Guyana national, Justice Desiree Bernard (2005); Jamaican, Professor Barbara Bailey (2008); Barbadian, Professor Violet Eudine Barriteau (2011) and Bahamian, Marion Bethel (2014).

Ms. Bethel has been the recipient of numerous other awards, among them the James Michener Fellowship awarded by the Caribbean Writers Summer Institute in Miami, Florida in 1991 and the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Prize awarded in 1995 for her volume of poetry called Guanahani, My Love. She was also a Bunting Fellow at Radcliffe College, Havard University in 1997.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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