Agnes Crossley & Maria Barker Given National Honours

A government release confirmed on Sunday (16th September, 2012) that the Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, has agreed to the recommendations to honour Agnes Crossley and Maria Louise Barker as the recipients of the 2012 National Honours Awards.

Ms. Barker will be awarded STAR OF MERIT for her contribution to nursing, while Crossley, on the other hand has been awarded the Medal of Honor, for her 55 years of contribution to the agricultural sector.

Mrs. Barker is well known in the medical community for her sterling years of service. In 1968 she was recruited by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to help establish the School of Nursing to educate nurses from St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla to support Human Resources Development for the newly built Joseph N France General Hospital (JNF) and other local heath care facilities.


Following the destructive Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Ms. Barker liaised with the European Union to solicit financial assistance for the repair and upgrading of the JNF General Hospital, and the Alexandra Hospital in Nevis respectively.                  


In 2002, Ms. Barker coordinated the 23rd Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Association in St. Kitts and Nevis. Throughout her long illustrious nursing career Ms. Baker went on to receive several Scholarships and Awards.


Crossley, who was born in Cayon in 1937, knew from the youthful age of 19 that work in agriculture was her calling, making an invaluable contribution to the development of the Federation for over five decades.

Beginning as a small business vendor in farm produce, Mrs. Crossley set up her stall outside RAMS Supermarket on the Bay Road before moving to the Basseterre Public Market. Her business strategies demonstrate a clear understanding of the economies of scale.

In times of scarcity of specific vegetables, she seeks these out and purchases them for resale to her numerous customers. This demonstrates another business strategy of networking and seeking out contacts, for she has established functional business relationships with vendors from other OECS countries thus maintaining her reputation of being a reliable supplier.  

Mrs. Crossley’s fame is such that visitors seeking vegetables are often sent directly to her stall.

On Saturdays, in particular, one can witness several French, German, British and other European nationals frequenting her stall in the Public Market. She has become a regular one-stop-shop for locals and a number of Windsor and Ross University students as well.

Her astute business knowledge garnered from many decades of service to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and further afield, has enabled Mrs. Crossley to become generally regarded as the most successful vendor of farm produce in St. Kitts.


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