Tribute Paid To Former UBP MP Anita Smith

December 20, 2012

Former Opposition Leader and St George’s MP Kim Swan paid tribute to Anita Smith, who died recently at age 95. Mrs Smith was elected to Parliament for the United Bermuda Party in 1968, and represented St. George’s North from 1968 to 1980.

Mr Swan said: “Cindy and I mourn the passing of former St. George’s Member of Parliament Mrs. Anita Smith. Mrs. Smith and her family are personal friends of ours and we are deeply saddened by her death. In July of this year Mrs Anita Smith celebrated her 95th birthday and I was most honoured to have been invited to attend a special party in her honour.

“Anita B.R. Smith was a schoolteacher by trade who taught for many years at East End School. However, she made her mark in history when she was first elected to Parliament for the United Bermuda Party under the new Constitution Order of 1968. Mrs Smith was the former Member of Parliament for St. George’s North from 1968 to 1980. She was a backbencher who served on many committees, most notably, the Public Accounts Committee and was Deputy Chairman of Marine & Ports.

“She was a member of the UBP Black Caucus formed in 1975, who were aided by a by psychologist Dr. Kenneth Clark, who produced a report outlining their areas of concern and called for greater efforts on the on the part of the UBP to ensure that blacks islandwide, participated equally in the islands prosperity.

In a publication ‘The History of the United Bermuda Party’ produced in 1987 the following was written:

” late in 1975, a group of black parliamentarians, calling themselves the “The Black Caucus”, were not satisfied with the progress the Party had been making in the area of racial equality.” They produced a Report outline their areas of concern and called for greater efforts on the part of the of the United Bermuda Party to ensure that blacks, not only in the Party but island-wide, participated on an equal basis in the islands prosperity. They were aided in the preparation of their report by Dr. Kenneth Clark, a noted black psychologist from the United States.

“The signatories were: Gloria McPhee, Clarence V. Woolridge, Dr. Clarence E. James, Dr. Stanley Ratteray, Arnold A. Francis, Anita B. R. Smith and Helene A. Brown

Mr Swan continued: “Personally, I have been closely connected with Mrs. Smith family for 45 years – her late brother Robbie Rowling was like a father to me when I worked at the Belmont Manor Hotel as a young man – it was my good fortune that during my early political days Mrs. Smith also took a special liking to me an help guide me through the political waters. After her retirement from Parliament she remained active in the branch and she made it a point to attend the branch’s AGM until more recent years.

“It is my understanding that, until her passing, she was the second oldest surviving former Member of Parliament. Our condolences go out to her son Gary Kent-Smith, his wife Marie and their family.

“Thank you Anita Smith for providing good service to St. George’s and Bermuda. May she rest in peace,” Mr Swan concluded.

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