Orrin Barrow was a New Caribbean Man

Dear Editor,

I saw Orrin Barrow at Queen’s College.  He was ahead of me so we never really met.  I think he was in B House and when I entered Queen’s I was placed in E House then transferred to K House when Sanger-Davies expanded the Houses from six to ten.What I remember about Orrin Barrow was that he walked through doors with confidence.  The boys in the lower forms gaffed that Barrow’s father was a medical doctor from Edinburgh University, a city councillor, and a BG (British Guiana) scholar.  Orrin inherited confidence.

He was also cultured.  He played the piano while moving through Queen’s academically. Some other boys of culture combined sports or religion with school work and home-work.  Years later, as ‘old boys,’ we heard that although Orrin repeated his second MB exams at University College of the West Indies UCWI Jamaica (too much time was devoted to steel band music) he brought first in every subject in his final year and was awarded the gold medal in medicine.  Failure cannot defeat or destroy men of confidence (Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea).

‘Old boys’ also heard that he was Burnham’s doctor and P J Patterson’s doctor.  About two years ago I finally met Orrin and other ‘old boys’ at the Georgetown Club over drinks and snacks and we talked about the many talented boys who attended Queen’s in the 1950s.  I have a dream that one day the University of the West Indies UWI will be renamed University of the Caribbean Community UCC.  Orrin Barrow has a place in the history of West Indies transformation to Caricom as one of the New Caribbean Men.

Yours faithfully,
Tom Dalgety

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