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Winifred DeAllie (1943-2023): tireless nurse and mentor

Winifred DeAllie (Photograph supplied)

A career nurse who mentored colleagues throughout the health ministry and beyond was “a walking exemplification of love, compassion and empathy”.

Winifred DeAllie qualified as a registered nurse in 1960s London, which was “then considered a milestone for a Black Bermudian woman”, according to Ian DeAllie, her son.

He added: “She then embarked upon her career of selfless giving to her patients and her extended family in London.”

Hailing from a rural childhood at Ramgoat Hill in Smith’s, Ms DeAllie attended Harrington Sound Primary School followed by The Berkeley Institute before heading to Britain and nursing training at South Western Hospital in London.

She met Frank DeAllie, who ultimately gave up the life of a pop star, as one of the founding members of the British soul band Hot Chocolate, to move to Bermuda with her in the early 1970s.

The couple also have a daughter, Samantha.

Mr DeAllie recalled of his childhood: “There was so much love, and everything was about family.

“Hot nights were sometimes spent sleeping on a veranda to keep cool, and the doors were never locked — neighbours knew each other well, and it was almost a small village atmosphere.”

Ms DeAllie went to work as a nurse and midwife at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, becoming a junior sister in the maternity ward.

Her son added: “The work was hard, and she would come home exhausted after working long hours, but still found the time for me and my family.”

She moved next to the Department of Health, where her work included health education as well as the role of school nurse.

She treated schoolchildren like one of her own, and she was often approached by former pupils and their parents expressing gratitude.

She fought through breast cancer in the 1970s, at a time when treatment for the illness was far more limited, becoming an example to others as a survivor.

Laura Lynn Jackson, chief nursing officer with the health department, called her “a nurse, a colleague, an inspiration and a woman of faith” who combined a meticulous work ethic with compassion and humour.

The two began working together as community nurses in 1994, with Ms DeAllie being “tireless” in promoting healthy nutrition.

Volunteering included serving food to the homeless, along with the Reach to Recovery cancer charity.

Ms Jackson said that she persevered through her own health challenges up to her retirement in 2008 — and stayed on an extra six months as a volunteer.

Joshua DeAllie, her grandson, said: “She had an aura that would warm the space around her and bring joy to those around her.

“That being said, do not let the lightness of her spirit mislead you. She was a strong and steadfast woman who held her principles in high regard.”

A devout Seventh-Day Adventist, Ms DeAllie taught her children and grandchildren the importance of charity and respecting the environment.

Her grandson said: “In spite of all the hardship she faced in her life, both personally and medically, she was able to accomplish incredible things like beating cancer and carrying out charitable goods for as long as she could — certainly for as long as I have been alive.

“She travelled often, and her love was felt across the globe as she would often take time to call and check in on everyone.”

He added: “She has left us with these memories and lessons so that we can carry on her mission and make the world a better and more loving place for those around us and those who will come after us.

“I know we won’t let her down.”

• Winifred Ann DeAllie, a devoted nurse at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital as well as with the Government, was born on March 18, 1943. She died on November 5, 2023, aged 80

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Published December 06, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated December 06, 2023 at 7:57 am)

Winifred DeAllie (1943-2023): tireless nurse and mentor

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