| Dame Hilda Louisa Gibbs Bynoe, DBE
Former Governor of Grenada
Dame Hilda Louisa Gibbs Bynoe was the first female Governor in the British Commonwealth and the first native Governor of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.
Early life and education
Hilda Louisa Gibbs was born o the 18 of November 1921 on the Caribbean island of Grenada by the border of St David's and St Andrew's near the central west coast in the village of Crochu. She was educated at the village school where her father, Thomas Joseph Gibbs, was headmaster and where her mother Louisa (née La Touché), sister and aunts had at one time or the other been teachers and at St. Joseph's Convent, the island's only Catholic Secondary School for girls.
The first few years of her adulthood were spent as a Teacher at the St. Joseph's Convent in San Fernando and at Bishop's Anstey High School in Port of Spain, Trinidad, as a Science Student; and afterwards at her Alma Mater as a Teacher. In 1944 she left for Europe to study Medicine and graduated from London University, Royal Free Hospital, then the London School of Medicine for Women in 1951. While still a student, she met and married Peter Bynoe, a Trinidadian, R.A.F. Officer and student of Architecture; and it was there that her two sons Roland and Michael were born. The Bynoes returned to the West Indies in 1953 and Dr. Hilda Bynoe served in various disciplines of Medicine in Guyana and in Trinidad and Tobago for the next fifteen years.
Her life was to service in the teaching and medical professions to family and community. Her appointment as Governor of the Associated States of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique in 1968 was no surprise and gave tangible proof of the esteem in which she was held.
It was in Grenada that Dame Hilda first began to write her poems and short stories, her essays and vignettes and she continued off and on with these after she returned to Trinidad in 1974 to resume her medical practice and her community service.
In 1990, she retired to continue her writing and to assist in the care of her grand-daughters, Olukemi and Nandi Peta. She continues her Patronage of a number of organizations , including that of The Caribbean College of Family Physicians, The John Hayes Memorial Kidney Foundation and The Caribbean Women’s Association. She is a member of the Academic Board of St George’s University.
Her book "I Woke at Dawn" was published in 1996.
Honours and awards
She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969 and retired from the duties of Office in February, 1974.
Dame Hilda passed away at her home in Trinidad on Saturday, 6 April 2013 at the age of 91 after a relatively short illness. Her funeral took place on Friday, 12 April 2013 at St. Finbar's Roman Catholic Church, Morne Coco Road , Westmoorings, Trinidad. She was buried at the Mucurapo Cemetery, Port of Spain, Trinidad.