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Barbados Governor General Dies After Collapse

December 20, 1995

GEORGETOWN, Barbados (AP) _ Nita Barrow, the first female head of state of Barbados, has died after collapsing at a Christmas party. She was 79.

Dame Nita died Tuesday night at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, where she had been hospitalized since collapsing Monday night at a police officers’ party.

The cause of her death was not revealed.

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

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

The sister of the late Prime Minister Errol Barrow, who died in 1987, Dame Nita served on a Commonwealth committee charged with persuading South Africa to abandon apartheid.

In 1985, she convened a series of workshops attended by 11,000 delegates in Nairobi, Kenya, to mark the end of the United Nations’ Women’s Decade. She also was a president of the World Council of Churches.

Dame Nita is survived by two sisters, Sybil Barrow and Ena Comma.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

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