All hail ‘My Fair Helen!’

The celebration of International Women’s Day held in March was taken a step further by local media personality Sharon Williams.
Williams told the STAR that since the month of March is considered “Ladies Month” she  decided to feature some of the St Lucian women who are currently making a significant contribution to the development of the island.
The focus was on women who were not “born with a silver spoon” as many seem to believe.
The show, broadcast on RCI, was called “My Fair Helen”—featuring the fiercest females of fair Helen. Host Sharon Williams interviewed them and produced the show. They spoke about what drives them, their obstacles and how they overcame them.
Among them was Carole Eleuthere-Jn Marie, a money manager from way back who started collecting coins from around the house and doing all kinds of menial tasks for her family to collect a coin here and there. Her parents were farmers and had a large family.
As a teen, she convinced her father to give her a box of ripe bananas and would leave her home in Babonneau at five every Saturday morning to go to the market to sell her bananas. From the money she made, she paid her Dad for the box—about $5 and the profit was hers. When she got her first job after she left school here, she had amassed a tidy sum of $1,000 to open her first bank account.
Hotelier Berthia Parle speaks of how her mother struggled to pay the $16 a term to send her to the Convent and how she “fell” into the hospitality industry. She was originally a science student and everyone thought she’d study medicine, but she was queasy and afraid of blood!
Dr Tanya “Bubbles” Destang spoke of selling chicken backs when she was a youngster and her commitment from a young age to become a doctor and with that in mind how she literally fashioned her path, doing the right subjects and focusing on healing.
Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy spoke of her humble beginnings in Laborie and while smart and succeeding at school, she could not envision a higher education, because the costs were so prohibitive and completely out of her reach. But she worked diligently and was awarded at least three scholarships in her lifetime.
The point of this is to show young people and especially young girls that in spite of their obstacles now, they can dream big and make those dreams come true, if they are prepared to work hard.
“I am very proud of the My Fair Helen series and how it came out,” Williams told the STAR. “Speaking with these amazing women and hearing their stories was eye-opening! I got major support from local business, three of whom sponsored the show—Baron Shipping, First Citizen’s Investment Services Ltd and First National Bank, as well as other businesses that gave me their products for the tea held at the Governor General’s residence for the featured women. There were also gift bags for the ladies with the compliments of Peter and Company, Crown Foods, Duty Free Caribbean, Renwick and Company and Frank B Armstrong. I have had much positive feedback from listeners and people are telling me that I should make it an annual affair!”

From left: Mrs Rumelia Dalphinis-King, Dr Tanya Destang-Beaubrun, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Mrs Berthia Parle, Ms Sharon Williams and Carole Eleuthere-Jn-Marie. (Photo: Daniel Marcion Photography)

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