Pearline Venetta Henry née McIntosh
Nurse, Musician, Seamstress… are some of the titles that Pearline Venetta Henry née McIntosh were known as. She was born in the town of Sandy Point on April 16th, 1934 the first and only girl of the four living children of Arnold and Mary McIntosh, a couple whose entrepreneurial spirit extended to their daughter.
Being a nurse was Pearline’s childhood passion and she willingly answered the call to enter the nursing profession in January 1956 where she started her training at the Cunningham Hospital in Basseterre. She received her nursing certificate as a Registered Nurse in 1959 and one year later, she successfully completed her training as a midwife.
If you attended school in Sandy Point during that time, you would have been one of the lucky ones to have been vaccinated by the “white nurse” describing nurse Henry by the colour of her uniform.
Nurse Henry served as Staff Nurse at the Pogson Hospital in Sandy Point for eight (8) years, from 1960 to 1968 before moving to the British Virgin Island where she continued in her profession for the next three years, at the Peebles Hospital, in Tortola. In 1972, she returned to St. Kitts and to her hometown, Sandy Point as the District Nurse/Midwife where she served for the next 6 years.
Venetta had another passion as well. She loves music and this love came at a very early age in her life. At the age of ten she became a pupil of “Miss Meen”, Wilhelmina Armatrading who rendered piano lessons from her home. Her love for the piano may have stemmed from witnessing both of her parents playing the instrument which was a staple item amongst the furniture in their home.
Venetta became so adept in playing the piano that she began playing for morning devotions at the Sandy Point Girls’ School and later the Girl’s High School in Basseterre. She was such a natural with the instrument that at the age of fifteen years, Miss Armatrading started giving her lessons on the Church’s pipe organ.
Wherever Venetta went, her passion for the piano was exhibited. She often played at the Methodist Church in Road Town, Tortola during the three years she worked there as well as at the Coke Methodist Church in Kingston, Jamaica while she was a student at the West Indies School of Public Health in 1978.
Between 1981 to 2000 Nurse Henry served with distinction as the Organist and Choir Director at the Sandy Point Methodist Church. She did all this to the Glory of God whom she attributed her immense talent to and as such, never accepted payment for the service she rendered so willingly.
For sixty-four years she gave of her time, talent and resources to her community and country and humbly retired at the age of seventy-nine years from the music ministry.
Nurse Henry retirement from the noble profession on nursing came in 1994, after 38 years of serving in various positions including Staff Nurse, Midwife, Community District Nurse, Public Health Nurse and Family Planning Administrator.
Her achievements are honorable, her service exemplary and her legacy everlasting but the greatest blessing for Nurse Henry is her three children, her six grandchildren and her five great grandchildren all of whom bring her the purest of joy and pride.