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Joyce Evelina Williams
March 2,1899-December 16,1955
Nurse, community worker


Joyce Williams was a graduate of the Bermuda Nursing Home in Pembroke, which opened around 1905 and was the first training school for Black nurses. She also did additional studies through the Chautauqua Correspondence School of Nursing in Jamestown, New York. At the Nursing Home, which was located on Curving Avenue in Pembroke, she trained under English matron M.A. Hodgson.

Trustee

Because the Cottage Hospital, the island’s first hospital, and then King Edward VII Memorial Hospital were off limits to Black nurses, she worked primarily as a private duty nurse. According to her obit, which ran in The Royal Gazette, she was highly esteemed and active in the community. She was a Red Cross Nurse and a trustee of the Haven, Millicent Neverson’s children’s home and school.

She was also a member of the Nursing Home Auxiliary, the fund-raising arm of the Nursing Home and its successor, the Cottage Hospital Nursing Home, and worked with the blind community.

Williams, who was from St. George’s, was the daughter of Anna Pauline and David James Richardson. In 1920, she married Lawrence Williams, a police inspector. The couple lived on Brunswick Street, Hamilton.

Desegregation

She died in 1955 at age 56, three years before KEMH lifted its ban on Black nurses. She was survived by her husband, daughters Alathea DeShield and Gloria Stowe, and sons Quinton and Edouard Williams. Edouard and his wife, Rosalind Ratteray Williams, were leading members of the Progressive Group, organisers of the 1959 Theatre Boycott, which brought about the desegregation of cinemas, restaurants and hotels.

Sources:
Joyce Williams obits and funeral notices, The Royal Gazette, Dec 17, 1955; Bermuda Recorder, Dec 17 and 31, 1955

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The Bermuda Nursing Home on Curving Avenue, Pembroke,
Right, The Nursing Home building today.

 


 

 

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