Today I thought I’d share the first part of the eulogy that I read for my mother’s funeral along with my side note regarding a certain event where I believe a lot of my mother’s “attitude” and ambition originated.
Daisy Elizabeth Teresa King Bellony was born on Sept. 26th, 1937 to David King and Catherine George King in the village of Seaview Farm, Antigua. She was the youngest of 13 children. In school, she excelled in many areas, but her passion was public service, primarily in the fields of health and education. She attended the prestigious Antigua Girls High School and graduated in 1954.
While studying at the Antigua Nursing College, she worked as an assistant in the medical office of her eldest brother, Dr. Peter King. Yet, she aspired to expand her educational opportunities by applying and being accepted to the University of the West Indies (UWI) School of Nursing in Jamaica.
In Antigua, Dr. King was loved by many as one of the first local pharmacist and physicians and my mother looked up to and aspired to be successful like her brother. But through my mother’s eyes, he had one dark side when it came to her educational goals.
In 1957, she experienced a deep personal lost when both her mother and father passed away. Yet, without Daisy’s knowledge or consent, her brother wrote to UWI and told them that this wouldn’t be a good time for her to attend college because of the loss of her parents. My mother happened to find the correspondences between the University and her brother and viewed his actions as an attempt to hold back her educational goals so she could continue to work in his office. She not only wrote back to the school to be admitted, she also demanded that her brother pay for her tuition as well!
I still remember my mother telling me how she called her brother after she graduated on one of those rotary phones where you spoke into the speaker and held the receiver to your ear. She told him, “I am just calling to let you know that I made it!”