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Hundreds Attend Burial Of Dame Nita Barrow

December 29, 1995

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) _ The first woman governor general of this Caribbean island was remembered at her burial Friday as a feminist who led by example and was ``as strong as an ox and as mild as a dove.″

Hundreds of mourners stood under a broiling sun Friday as pallbearers took the brown oak casket containing the body of Dame Nita Barrow to its final resting place.

Dame Nita died Dec. 19 after collapsing the previous night at a police officers’ party. She was 79. The cause of death was not disclosed.

The island’s 250,000 people observed two minutes of silence Friday for the woman known as the mother of Barbados. Workers wore black or white clothing or black ribbons to show respect.

Hundreds of residents attended a memorial service at the crowded James St. Methodist Church or watched the ceremony on closed circuit television at the much larger St. Mary’s Anglican Church.

``She was as strong as an ox and mild as a dove,″ said Phillip Potter, who delivered the eulogy. ``Nita helped women equip themselves to have their own identity, their integrity, in equality with men. And she did this with her own shining example.″

Dame Nita was appointed in 1990 as Barbados’ first female governor general. In that post, she served as Queen Elizabeth II’s representative to this former British colony.

A nurse and public health expert, she was knighted by the queen in 1980 and appointed Barbados’ ambassador to the United Nations in 1986. In 1988, she lost a bitter fight for the presidency of the U.N. General Assembly to Dante Caputo, then Argentina’s foreign minister.

She also was a president of the World Council of Churches.

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