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Emily C. Martinez Service Award: Dorine O'Garro

Dorine Silvester O'Garro Dorine Silvester O'Garro

Dorine S. O’Garro was born in Montserrat, spent her first scholastic year at the Kinsale Primary School.  She migrated with her family to St. Kitts, where she attended St. Johnson’s Village School and the Catholic School in Basseterre. 

She returned to Montserrat eight years later where she completed elementary education.

Upon migrating to New York in her early adolescence, her aunt and guardian, Eleanor Elizabeth Skerritt Hypolite, promptly brought Dorine to the Montserrat Progressive Society to join its Juvenile Chapter.  It was a very wise decision, because then Emily C. Martinez and the Ryan sisters - Catherine, Anita and Bella volunteered to be her academic advisors.  She was taught about the New York City Board of Education and its school system.  After graduating from high school, Dorine started her college education at City College, but was advised by Catherine Ryan  to transfer to Hunter College because the text books were free.   She majored in Spanish and French, and taught in the New York College Schools for thirty-two years - Gustave Straubenmuller Junior High School 22 in Manhattan, John Bowne High School in Flushing, and Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan.  Dorine retired on July 10, 1995.  The volcanic eruptions, that destroyed two-thirds of our homeland Montserrat, began eight days later on July 18, 1995. 

Her village, Kinsale, was completely destroyed.  It was that destruction that propelled her into writing.  In her first two books, Montserrat on My Mind, and Montserrat in the Heart of the Caribbean, America and England, she wrote, in fiction, of its rich Afro-Irish-British history, culture, cuisine, and comedy. Most foreigners had never heard of Montserrat before the volcanic eruption, but Dorine is honored to speak of her homeland whenever the   opportunity arises, because our “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” still blooms verdantly”, in spite of many years of volcanic eruptions.

Dorine is being honored today, because she understands what community means, service to church, family, and friends and her beloved Montserrat Progressive Society, Inc of New York, financially and otherwise.  Her mentoring in the Juvenile Chapter has been a success story.

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