News Releases

Death of Mrs Patricia Charles, Former Resident Tutor, Saint Lucia

For Release Upon Receipt - March 2, 2010

St. Augustine

It is with deep sadness that the Open Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI) has learnt of the death of Mrs. Patricia Charles, the former Resident Tutor of the University Centre in St Lucia on February 24, 2010 after a short illness. After moving from Canada to St Lucia with her husband, Ferrel “Bam’ Charles in 1959, Mrs. Charles joined the staff of the then Extra-Mural Department of The UWI in 1963 and began her career in the regional higher education system as The UWI’s fourth Resident Tutor in St Lucia, until her retirement in 1977. Mrs. Charles completed her BA in General Arts at Brescia in 1958 and earned a Masters in Education in Adult Education from the University of Toronto in 1978. She was the recipient of the 2007 Carmelle Murphy Alumnae Award of Distinction from her alma mater.


Through The UWI, Mrs. Charles became deeply involved in development work in her adopted homeland, especially with her focus on drama and dance. According to the book, Breaking Down the Walls (2007), Mrs. Charles and other Resident Tutors in the Eastern Caribbean, played leading roles on committees organised to celebrate semi-independence from Britain. In the case of St Lucia, she worked on a committee which prepared a simplified form of the constitution for schools.


During her early years as Resident Tutor, Mrs. Charles served on numerous local committees, including the planning committee for Roddy Walcott’s St Lucia Drama Festival in 1965, the St. Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society and the Alliance Française.  Many of the projects spearheaded during her tenure at the Extra-Mural Department were taken over by other local bodies and associations, which allowed the Department to turn to new projects.  

In 1966, the Creative and Performing Arts Society was formed in St Lucia, primarily as a training operation, supported by Mrs. Charles through the Extra-Mural Department. The group produced indigenous and British plays until the society was replaced in 1974 by the Folk Research Centre. She was instrumental in founding the National Research Development Foundation on the island, an organization which continues to engage in and monitor research being undertaken in the country.


She was a member of the Open Campus Council from 2007-2009 and was Chair of The UWI Open Campus St Lucia Advisory Committee at the time of her passing. Her last experience with the Open Campus was her attendance at the October 16, 2010 induction ceremony for the Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus. At that ceremony the Principal paid tribute to Mrs. Charles for instilling in her and other students at the St. Joseph’s Convent a love for literature and the theatre arts and teaching them to the tools of critical analysis and to be critical thinkers.

Mrs. Charles has had a lasting and positive impact on many lives across the Caribbean region. The Open Campus in general and the Head and staff of Open Campus Saint Lucia in particular, mourn her passing, and extend condolences to her husband, children, family and friends.

For more information, please contact The Marketing & Communications Office at or (868) 662 9387.


For the latest UWI News, click


Related Links





UWI Today:



About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.