Friday 22nd March, 2019- More information has been revealed about the contributions of Dr. Margaret O’Garra to medicine in Antigua and Barbuda.
Dr. O’Garra passed away on 16th March at the age of 90 years.
She was born in Plymouth, Montserrat on 17th August, 1928 and attended the Montserrat Grammar School, obtaining her Senior Cambridge School Certificate in 1946 and winning the Leeward Islands Scholarship that year.
In 1947, she travelled to London and did a preliminary year studying Science subjects in preparation for her studies in Medicine which she began in October 1948 at University of London.
O’ Garra graduated in May of 1954 and after a period of Internship, she returned to the Leeward Islands in 1955 and was stationed in Antigua in Medical “District 4” which is ‘out East’ in Carty’s Hill. In those days some of her patients did not believe it was possible to be a ‘lady-Doctor’ and the name “Doctress” was coined and conferred upon her.
In a bio, it was outlined that she was an outstanding Pediatrician and contributed much to the lowering of the infant mortality rate in Antigua and Barbuda to the lowest in the world.
While at Holberton Hospital, Dr. O’Garra served as a Consultant both in Medicine and in Paediatrics. She served at all levels of medical administration and acted on numerous occasions as the Medical Superintendent and Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. O’Garra was responsible for establishing the Children’s Ward at Holberton Hospital. She also co-founded the Adele School for Special Needs with Dr. Adele Savory to enable the differently abled to maximize their fullest potential.
In 2018 she was nominated for an honour from Her Majesty Queen by the Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams for her outstanding services in health care for over 50 years to Antigua and Barbuda. Her Majesty was pleased to confer upon her right of membership as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Years Day Honours.
Amongst the several awards made to her:
- In 2002 she received an award from PAHO for reducing Infant Mortality in Antigua and Barbuda to the lowest in the World.
- In 2012 she received Order of Merit – GOLD for her years of service in the field of Medicine.
A funeral for the late prominent Pediatrician Dr. Margaret O’Garra will be held on Wednesday 3rd April, 2019 at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 2:30 pm.