One of the speakers who paid tribute to the late Dame Yvonne Maginley on Tuesday has called on the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to re-name the National Public Library after her.
Psychiatrist Dr. Terry-Ann Joseph was among the hundreds of people from all walks of life who assembled at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to pay their last respects to the former Director General of Tourism, one of the many positions through which she contributed to the nation.
“The monument that is the National Public Library stands as a symbol of the pride, leadership and commitment to people’s development by this lady of significant dignity and acclaim – Dame Yvonne Maginley,” Dr. Joseph said during the official funeral ceremony.
“The National Public Library Building Committee humbly graces the consideration of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with this plea that the library be named Dame Yvonne Maginley National Public Library in honour of her extraordinary vision, work and leadership in the realization of the National Public Library.”
Meantime, Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez highly commended Dame Yvonne for the role she played in developing Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism industry on the world stage.
He also highlighted the fact that she had received numerous awards both locally and regionally, including from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).
“Her mark in tourism was recognized around the region . . . acknowledged in 2010 with her being awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by the Caribbean Tourism Organization. By the time she was appointed Director General of Tourism in 1984, she had already clocked up many thousands of miles of air travel promoting Antigua and Barbuda as a premier tourist destination,” he said.
Fernandez, the Parliamentary Representative for St. John’s Rural North, told the congregation that Dame Yvonne brought her vast experience of the tourism industry – which she garnered over 26 years – along with a passion and ambition that made Antigua and Barbuda second to none on the global tourism map.
“Dame Yvonne understood that, given our limited natural resources but blessed with the most alluring beaches in the world, tourism gave our nation an opportunity to break out of the darkness of poverty and emerge into the bright light of prosperity.
“For her, giving all Antiguans and Barbudans that opportunity to claim a better life became a life-long determination.”
Following her official funeral at the recently restored Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dame Yvonne was laid to rest at the St. John’s Public Cemetery.