Dr. Barbara Ball. *File photo
Dr. Barbara Ball. *File photo
MONDAY, MAR. 14: Bermuda has lost a monumental figure with the passing of Dr. Barbara Ball. Born in 1924, Dr. Barbara Ball spent her lifetime as a champion of workers’ rights in Bermuda. In 1954, Dr. Ball, a white Bermudian, returned from medical training overseas and began to practice. In those times, there was little to no integration, however, Dr. Ball opened her practice to all.

The former Bermuda High School student qualified as a medical practitioner and was positioned to climb the ladder of economic success and social prominence. She was, however, alienated by certain sectors of society because of her willingness to associate with and work with black people and the Bermuda Industrial Union.

She joined the Bermuda Industrial Union and was in the vanguard of those who were determined to improve the lot of ordinary Bermudians.

Dr. Ball was a member of the infamous “Class of 1968’, when she was elected to the House of Assembly as a Progressive Labour Party candidate in the first general election held under Universal Adult Suffrage. She was a Member of Parliament for two successive terms, 1968 and 1972, representing Pembroke East Central.

Dr. Ball was the first female doctor to practice in Bermuda, the first white person to hold a position within the Bermuda Industrial Union, and the first female to represent Bermuda’s workers at the United Nations, when she called for an independent Bermuda. These are but a few of Dr. Ball’s numerous achievements and contributions.

In recognition of Dr. Ball’s contributions to our country, the Progressive Labour Party government established the Dr. Barbara Ball Public Health Scholarship.

We recognize and appreciate the considerable sacrifice and skills of this valiant woman of the people. Dr. Ball spent forty-four years of her life fighting for the rights of the working class people of Bermuda, and the Progressive Labour Party thanks Dr. Ball.

We mourn our loss and thank God that her life was shared with us.