As I continue to research and record the history of Bermudians I’m proud to relate the accomplishments of several Black Bermudian Women in this section I again cover the Historical Reflections of Bermuda our past our Heritage.


Gloria Juanita Darrell was born on November 10th. 1926 in Flatts, Bermuda she was the second daughter of Hilgrove Darrell and Dorothy Darrell(Nee Pearman). She attended Elliott School and the Berkeley Institute before going to Howard University.


In 1948 while at the University she married a fellow Howardite Bert McPhee of the Bahamas. They later had two children. She continued her education at McGill University in Montreal, where she obtained a Masters of Science degree in Zoology. Gloria trained as a Medical Technologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Flint, Michigan where her husband was doing an internship and residency. The family moved to Bermuda in 1955 and Bert started his medical practice. Gloria worked in the office with her husband as a Medical Assistant and Office Manager until 1967. She later entered the Political Arena representing Hamilton West, winning her seat in 1968.

She became Bermuda’s first female Cabinet Minister and for the duration of her tenure, she was the only female Cabinet member. She held major portfolios that of Health and Social Services, Prisons and Junior Training Schools, Education, Libraries, Archives & Museums, and Planning and Environment. Gloria served as acting Minister of Youth and Sports. Parliamentary Secretary of Finance, and acting Premier. She piloted the creation of significant pieces of legislation, the Bermuda Hospitals Board Act(1970), the Bermuda Archives Act(1972) and the Bermuda College Act(1973). She commissioned the first full-scale survey and evaluation of Bermuda’s School System, established the first Secondary School Certificate and the first School Library. She spearheaded the development of Stonington Beach Hotel as a training facility for the new Department of Hotel Technology. Mrs. McPhee and Mr. Thaddeus Trott, who was the chairman of the Bermuda College, secured the present site “Stonington” for the Bermuda College Campus.

Mrs. McPhee served on the Berkeley Educational Society’s Management Committee and was also a member of the Berkeley’s Board of Governors. In1976-79 she was Director of Personal at the Southampton Princess Hotel. In 1980 she left the political scene. In 1995 she received the O.B.E. from the Queen. Gloria authored a book of poetry, ‘Thoughts & Images’ History will show that the Honourable Gloria Juanita Darrell McPhee was truly one of Bermuda’s heroines.


Dr. Norma Cox Astwood PHD, also known as Lady Blackman was an Independent Senator in the local Bermuda Parliament and was the first woman to serve as Vice President of the Senate of Bermuda from 1988-1996. She is the founder of the Common Wealth Woman’s Parliamentarian Group. Dr. Norma Astwood started out as a teacher, she later went on to study Psychology. After years of study, she obtained a PHD in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University New York from 1973. she was a Clinical Fellow in Psychology at Harvard University Medical School. Norma was married to the late Leonard Astwood Sr. of that union are three children. She later married Sir Frank Blackman of Barbados in 1995. Her contribution to the Country will not go un-noticed.



Dr. Cheryle Peek-Ball was a native of Florida and spent some of her early years in Ohio. She is the wife of Bermudian Anthony Ball and moved back to Bermuda in 1989. Dr. Peek-Ball completed her family practice residency near Philadelphia. She worked in a private practice on Victoria Street in Hamilton. Dr. Peek-Ball took a job with the public Health in Maternal Health Family Planning in January 1991. She became a Senior Medical Officer in 2009 and was mentored by Dr. John Cann and took over the role of CMO in 2013. She worked along with the P.L.P Minister of Health Hon. Kim Wilson during a most trying time in Bermuda the Covid Crisis from 2019-2020. Dr. Peek-Ball retired in the year 2020. Thank you Dr. Peek-Ball for your invaluable advice and time to the Bermudian People. Job Well done.