The following is a biographical profile on Cleopatra White (1898-1987), a Belize Pioneer:
- Cleopatra White was born June 28th, 1898 to parents Joseph and Maria White.
DID YOU KNOW THAT CLEOPATRA WHITE…?
- Was a member of the Methodist Church and the Black Cross Nurses Association (an auxiliary branch of the UNIA) that she was integral in shaping
- Is now acknowledged as the pioneer of rural nursing well before formal training for nurses became available in the early 1940’s
- In addition to providing nurses services in Double Head Cabbage, Gales Point Manatee and Roaring Creek she also did so in Belize City, and Hattieville (most notably after the 1961 Hurricane)
- Was the founder of the Ebenezer Choir and Women’s League
- Was instrumental in pushing for the construction of a town clock in the Gales Point Manatee, unfortunately the clock was set facing the sea which remained a source of amusement for the community until its destruction during Hurricane Hattie.
- Wrote scripts and songs and organized entertainment for the small community of Gales Point Manatee. She was also an excellent story teller.
- Many of her plays and songs have been entered in the National Festival of Arts.
- Nurse White served as a kind of counsellor at times, when young girls were making the transition from childhood to adolescence
- Ms. White was known for her love of dancing, and at social events would often pull the unsuspecting male in for a dance
- Some suggest that the decision to implement and formalize village councils was as a result of Ms. White initiative in setting up village lead¬ership councils when she first arrived in these rural communities to which she was often dispatched
- After Hurricane Hattie in 1961 Hattieville was established. Ms. White commuted back and forth to the community to care for those who had been affected by the hurricane
- Was awarded with a Medal of the British Empire for her role in the development of community life.
- Sadly, Cleopatra White died as a pauper at the Old Folks home in Belize City.
Photos Courtesy of: Belize Archives and Records Service
Information from: From Colony to Nation: Women activists and gendering
of politics in Belize 1912-1982. Anne Mcpherson, 2007; Mothers of Modem Belize: Profiles of four Belizean patriots. Slivana Woods. 1919
How to cite:
ISCR/NICH. “Cleopatra White (1898-1987).” Belize’s Heroes, Patriots & Benefactors Exhibit. Retrieved from: [Insert BHA Website URL]
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