Dr. E. F. Gordon’s first battle after arriving in Bermuda in 1924 was in support of Black Bermudian nurses. He was highly critical of the requirement for district nurses to be Queen’s Nurses. This was a UK qualification that automatically excluded US-trained Black Bermudian nurses.
Fittingly, MP Gordon was a member of the 1953 parliamentary Inter-racial committee whose key recommendation led to Black nurses being allowed to work at KEMH.
Three of Gordon’s four daughters with wife Clara Christian took up nursing. Barbara, Joyce and Marjorie attended a Catholic boarding school in the UK during the 1930s. The trio then entered nursing schools.
Barbara Gordon Wilcox, the eldest, did not continue in nursing. A gifted pianist, she served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force as a Section Officer and later studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She subsequently moved to Cleveland, Ohio with her American husband.
In 1955, Joyce Gordon Lloyd returned home to care for her father at KEMH in his final days, sharing nursing duties with Moira Tucker Cann. With the ban on Black nurses still in effect, they were given special dispensation to care for him. She later moved to New York where she continued her nursing career.
Marjorie Gordon Davis worked at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children in Surrey during the Second World War. Queen Mary’s was one of the most heavily bombed hospitals during the war and she often had to shield patients with her body during bombing raids.
She returned to Bermuda during the 1960s, but did not continue in nursing.