By the Caribbean Journal staff
St Lucia is mourning the loss of Heraldine “Ma” Rock, who became St Lucia’s first-ever female Member of Parliament when she won the election for the Castries South East constituency in 1974.
Rock, who was also the first woman to serve as a Minister of Government, passed away at the age of 79.
“Ma Rock, as she was affectionately known by friends and adversary alike, had her political baptism during the heyday days of the 1970s, and was a champion of the people of South East Castries,” said Acting Prime Minister Phillip J Pierre.
Rock served as St Lucia’s Minister of Housing, Community Development, Local Government and Social Affairs from 1974 to 1980.
“Castries South East in particular, and the people of St Lucia in general, have lost a great daughter of the soil, a trail blazer who found no boundaries in being of service,” Pierre said.
Rock was a former executive member of the current Opposition United Workers Party.
“Heraldine Rock was a strong and courageous woman who endured the hostility of the male-dominated arena of politics,” the UWP said in a statement. “Her bold move to enter the arena of politics provided confidence and opened the way for other women who followed.”
The UWP said Rock would “forever remain a ‘rock’ among women who have contributed to our national development.”