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Educator to Many

The country of Barbados is well renowned for its scholars and Professor Henry Fraser is no exception. As one of the most noteworthy intellectuals, the island has ever had, his contributions to the country, innovative ideas and energy he so happily and ably puts behind his work have all aided in the development of the island. Henry Fraser has shown that making your life-work the development of your country is a pursuit that is worth chasing.

Born on June 25th, 1944 in the rural parish of St. John, where he later attended the Lodge School, also in the same parish. At the age of eighteen, he was awarded the prestigious Barbados Scholarship. He then attended the University of the West Indies Mona Campus where he pursued his studies. Two years into his degree he left for Britain before returning to Mona.

On his return to his island home, he started working at the country’s general hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was there that his zeal for change was first seen. He quickly got to work, putting his ideas into motion. His feelings towards diabetes guided him down a path that would see the introduction of countermeasures aimed at reducing the disease in the country. He was the first person who saw it as a major issue in a country so small and made it his focus to reduce the number of persons afflicted by the illness. The Chronic Disease Research Centre was opened as a result of his efforts, the first of its kind on the island, in fact, it was the very first in the Caribbean.

His career didn’t stop there, he had far much more to offer. Though he was a trained doctor, he also had a passion for history and architecture and with the full ethos that was within him, he pursued all his passions. One may wonder how could one man achieve so much in one lifetime, but he shows that it is possible. Many know him as the one who teaches about the history of architecture throughout the island, he was that well known in that arena. Still, he served as the Dean of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, all this while directing the Chronic Disease Research Centre. These achievements show his extreme ability and willingness to serve his country.

When he finally decided that it was time to rest, his retirement was monumental. For a man who had served his country so long and so excellently, all the stops were pulled out to show how much he was appreciated. His retirement celebrations lasted for an entire week! The appreciation and well wishes were innumerable!

In 2014, when he was age 70, he was knighted with the honour of Knight of St. Andrew.  This tribute was bestowed upon him for his years of great servitude. This and many other awards were given to this amazing stalwart of patriotism, a man who worked hard to make his country a better place by not only turning his ideas into reality but by educating the population about their rich history and the architecture that can be found in and around the country.

For decades Henry Fraser has been an educator, a facilitator, and a mentor to many. He has shared his mind and creativity to ensure that the island grows in a positive direction. His actions have changed the course of the island concerning medical growth and health care. Added to that he has made it one of his life’s work to teach about the rich architectural heritage of the island, successfully sharing his two passions with the people and creating the life he wanted, a path he steered honourably.