Sterling Community Service

Sylvia Richardson, Iris Davis and Caro Spencer Wilson gave sterling service to the community.

The one bright spot for Black Bermudian nurses was the Health Department, popularly known as the Clinic. Sylvia Richardson was the first Black nurse taken on. Iris Davis was second.  

Sylvia Richardson, who became the first graduate of the Cottage Hospital Nursing Home in 1937, joined the Health Department in 1947. A midwife and  Health Visitor, she had a distinguished career as a public health nurse. The Sylvia Richardson Care Facility is a testament to her legacy.

Iris Davis, a 1943 graduate of the Cottage Hospital Nursing Home, worked at the Health Department early in her career. Her passion for nursing took her to the UK, where she qualified as a State Registered Nurse and a State Certified Midwife. She resumed her career at the Health Department, retiring as a nursing supervisor.  

Caro Spencer Wilson was in a league of her own. She graduated from the Lincoln Hospital School for Nurses in 1929. When she was unable to join KEMH or the district nursing service, a group of Hamilton Parish residents formed the Hamilton Parish Nursing Association and hired her to work as a community nurse in Smith’s and Hamilton parishes. Her career spanned 40 years.

All three were recognised for their services to nursing: Sylvia Richardson was awarded the British Empire Medal; Iris Davis, an MBE and Caro Spencer Wilson, a Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour.