Faith Temple honours 2 outstanding women
April 1, 2010
Faith Temple honours 2 outstanding women

For a lifetime dedicated to improving the quality of life of others, two of this country’s female stalwarts were honoured as part of the International Women’s month celebrations.{{more}}

The Faith Temple Women’s Ministry Department on Monday March 29, honoured Alma Millicent Iton nee Williams and Cornis Delbretha Sprott nee Edwards for their contributions to social work at a ceremony held at the Faith Temple Church in New Montrose.

The 82-year-old Iton could not stop smiling throughout the entire event as parts of her biography were read aloud. The small gathering performed small skits and poems in honour of the women.

Born in 1928, in Georgetown, Iton is highly regarded as one of this country’s pillars in social work. Iton attended the Georgetown Government School and then the Girls’ High School. She successfully completed a Bachelor of Arts in Social work and also obtained a diploma in social policy and administration.

The second of four children, Iton attributed most of her successes to her grandmother, whom she described as “instrumental”. “She was the one who influenced me a lot when I was growing up and I still think of her fondly today,” Iton chimed.

Iton said that she was quite surprised when she got the word that she was going to be honoured. With a keen memory, Iton said that she will be celebrating 62 years of marriage later this year.

Iton has racked up quite an impressive list of accomplishments over the years. Some of these include: Director of Canadian Save the Children Fund Windward Islands; UNICEF programs coordinator for St Vincent; Organizer of Child Development Program in the British Virgin Island and Turks and Caicos islands from 1984-1989. She also served as secretary of the Young Women Christian Association (YMCA) from 1956-1961.

In 1978, Iton was named on the Queen’s Honours List and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to social work.

Seemingly, Iton’s age is nothing more than a number as she still indulges in horticultural pursuits, singing and a good game of Scrabble. She currently holds the position of class leader in the Kingstown Methodist Church. “Our work is not finished. We still do what we can but at a much reduced rate,” Iton chuckled.

As for Sprott, the other recipient, she exuded much energy as she stood to give her acceptance speech. Sprott, a nurse with more than 30 years experience, thanked God and the members of the Faith Temple Women’s Ministry Department for honouring her.

Sprott, born in Spring Village on May 31, 1927, began her public service career on November 17, 1945 as a trainee nurse at the Colonial Hospital now known as the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital. After three years of training, Sprott was appointed staff nurse in 1948. However, she held that post for only one year and went in search of greener pastures.

Sprott enlisted in the teaching profession, but later went back to her true calling of nursing. Sister Sprott as she is affectionately called, re-enlisted in the nursing profession in 1962.

She acted as senior nursing officer on a number of occasions from 1978 through 1981.

After her retirement, Sprott managed the Thompson Home for two years and assisted people in various districts.

However, Sprott admitted that it was never an easy road in life for her. She recounted that her mother did not want her to join the nursing profession because it meant travelling to Kingstown. “My mother never wanted me to do it, but being disobedient I went and filled out the application and sent it,” Edwards laughed.

She noted that her mother eventually found out about the application and allowed her to write the nursing exam in Kingstown. “I went and did the exam and it was about 80 of us and only five passed. I was one of that five,” she boldy stated.

Sprott expressed some concerns with the way nurses are going about their duties today. She said that patients need to be loved and nurses must understand their responsibility. “It hurts my heart sometimes when I hear the stories about how nurses are treating patients, but all we have to do is pray for them,” she said.