DENTIST IN THE HOUSE
Thomas Canterbury Stowe was born on November 15th. 1907, at Bridge View House in Flatts Village. He attended the Berkeley Institute under Mr. DaCosta, Thomas sailed to the United States to enter Wilberforce University High School . He graduated from College of Liberal Arts in 1931 with a BSc. Degree. He was a member of the Alpha College Fraternity and of Phi Kappa Delta, a pharmaceutical and chemical professional fraternity at Wilberforce. In 1981, he was honoured by their alumni association for 50 years of loyalty to the ideals of Wilberforce University.
Dr. Stowe studied Dental Surgery at Meharry college, where he won the Forsythe Dental Scholarship. He entered the Forsythe Dental Infirmary for children (graduate school for Harvard and Northeastern Universities) in 1932. He returned to Bermuda in 1938 as a DDs and practiced Dentistry here for the next 50 years. In 1940, Thomas married Marion Swan at St. John’s Church Pembroke. They were blessed with three children: Elaine, Thomas and Angela. They were blessed to celebrate 50 years of marriage before Mrs. Stowe passed.
Dr. Stowe was appointed to the Dental Board in 1981, one of the first four black appointees to serve on a government board and served for 21 years under three Governors. During his term as Chairman, Dental Technicians, hygienists and nurses were organized and required to take examinations before entering their field of training and the make up of the board was restricted to dentist. In 1971, he was also appointed a member of the Bermuda Rent Increase Advisory Panel and served as chairman in 1977, retiring in 1980.
Dr. Stowe was President of the Pembroke Political Association in the 1950’s before Universal franchise in Bermuda. The Association sought to promote the political rights of black people. He joined Keep Bermuda Beautiful when it first became an Independent organization. During the 3 year as a chairman (1967-1970), the K.B.B. established it’s first international contacts with Keep America Beautiful and Keep Britain Tidy Group. During this same time period, he created the Junior KBB in School. In 1971 he received the KBB service award, Dentist Stowe was the first President of the Matilda Smith Williams Home for the aged and served for twenty years. He was the first black Bermudian member of the Hamilton Rotary Club, a life member of the Bermuda National Trust and a founding members of the Probus Club of Bermuda, the first branch located in the Western Hemisphere.
Dr. Stowe was a Trustee of St. Paul A.M.E. Church for 31 years. In 1973, he received the church’s highest lay award ‘The Richard Allen Award’. In 1988 the A.M.E. first District honoured Dr. Stowe with an award for Meritorious service to the people of Bermuda, and especially Matilda Smith William’s Home for 25 years. Dr. Stowe was awarded the Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1970. He was made a Justice of the peace by the Governor Sir Richard Sharples that same year. A dedicated family man he enjoyed gardening, was strong in his faith he worked tirelessly in his community and church. He left an example for all to follow.