Trade between our countries began over 300 years ago, with Barbadians exporting sugar, rum and molasses and importing salt fish, ice and lumber from Canadians. In the intervening years, many Canadian businesses have chosen to invest in Barbados. Many Barbadians, in turn, have invested in their education by studying in a Canadian university. Immigration has worked to strengthen both countries.
On Sunday, February 24, the Canadian Women’s Club celebrated 90 years of social and charitable connections between Canadians and Barbadians, by hosting an anniversary luncheon on the grounds of the Canadian High Commission.
What began as a social club of 12 women has evolved into a club of almost 200 members who work hard to make positive contributions to Barbados.
Members include Canadians who live permanently in Barbados, who winter here, who work or invest here, or who are Barbadian-Canadians returning home.
Members organise fund raising events in order to be able to donate to charities in Barbados, especially those which work with children, women, the elderly, or people with HIV/AIDS. The charitable links are supported by businesses, many of which generously partner with the Club. Golf tournaments, auctions, plays, balls and food festivals are some of the fund raising initiatives which allow the Club to raise money for further social investments in Barbados.
The Canadian Women’s Club of Barbados is the oldest international women’s organisation in Barbados.
The Club was formed in 1922 when Mrs. Flood, wife of the first Canadian Commissioner to Barbados, invited other Canadian women to tea. Many of the founders and original members of the Club were nurses who married Barbadians who had been studying medicine in Canada; others were spouses of Canadian businessmen or diplomats.
Service to the people of Barbados is not only achieved through donations of funds or goods to local charities: members also donate their time.
Last Christmas, close to 100 stockings were prepared with gifts and treats and distributed to local seniors homes. Canadian Women Club Members are also found visiting the QEH Children’s Unit and helping with homework at various children’s homes. All participants learn and benefit from the social interaction!
Her Excellency, Lady Belgrave, is the Patron of the Club.