JIS News

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on Tuesday (May 17), honoured Jamaican heroine, Mary Seacole when it named its Boardroom at Beckford Square in her honour.
High Commissioner, Her Excellency Gail Mathurin who officially unveiled the plaque, said she was elated to see that Mary Seacole was finally receiving the international recognition she deserved.
“As a Jamaican, I am elated to see that Mary Seacole is finally starting to receive the international recognition she deserves as a significant historical figure. She was a caring woman who was absolutely resolute in her dedication to help others, which she never doubted was her calling in life,” she said.
The High Commissioner said Mary Seacole was a fine example of the long tradition of Jamaican women, who had forged ahead in the face of adversity to make their way in the world.
“Few of us today can even comprehend the adversity inherent in travelling the world unaccompanied in Victorian times while being a coloured, widowed, Jamaican woman. Examining her life in the context of where and when she lived, one cannot overstate what a pioneer she really was – as a healer, as an entrepreneur and as an individual. Mary was well aware of the fact that there were many obstacles in her path and had no intention of letting other people’s limited expectations of her become one of these obstacles,” Miss Mathurin added.
Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Andrew Haines said the decision was taken to honour Mary Seacole to mark the bicentenary of her birth in 1805. “By naming this room after her, the school acknowledges her inspirational legacy and aims to keep her memory alive among students and staff,” he said.
Professor Elizabeth Anionwu, Head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice at Thames Valley University who also spoke at the ceremony, described Mary Seacole as very courageous, noting that the aim was to acknowledge her legacy and keep her memory alive.
Author of a 2004 biography of Mary Seacole, Jane Robinson said Mary Seacole refused to be ‘pigeonholed’, and had inspired her. She also spoke about Mary Seacole’s strength of character and supreme self-confidence.
In recent years, there has been increased interest in Mary Seacole in the United Kingdom. Last year she was named the greatest black Briton and this year there are several activities planned to mark the bicentennial of her birth.

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