Wenona Grace Robinson
Elocutionist, speech teacher, founding member of the Sunshine League.
Born April 30, 1890

Born into a prominent family, Wenona Robinson was an elocutionist who took her training in public speaking on stage and into the classroom.

She was also a Girl Guide leader and a founding member and long-time treasurer of the Sunshine League, the children’s home started by her sister Agnes May Robinson in 1919.


Parliament passes women’s voting rights bill
April 21, 1944

By a 19-14 majority, Parliament approved a bill giving women the right to vote. It was victory at last for Bermuda’s suffragettes, led by the formidable Gladys Misick Morrell, who had been fighting for change for more than two decades. 

Future government leader Henry Tucker piloted the bill in the House, but it was Black MP Dr Eustace Cann who was credited with helping to turn the tide, thereby ensuring its passage. 

Cann announced that he had come to Parliament prepared to vote against the bill but changed his mind. Other MPs followed suit. 

Cann broke ranks with his fellow Black MPs who were opposed to women’s suffrage because it did not advance the cause of universal suffrage. 

While The Royal Gazette said the bill was the first “broad extension” of the Island’s franchise system in more than 100 years, it did not usher in significant political change. It gave women the right to vote on the same basis as men, meaning they had to be property owners. Universal suffrage would take another 20 years to achieve.

Black MP Eustace Cann, whose “yes” vote was crucial to the bill’s success.

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