Dame Olga Lopes-Seale
Dame Olga Lopes-Seale, DA, GCM, MBE, BSS was born in Guyana on December 26, 1918.
In 1952 she started full-time radio broadcasting with Radio Demerara where she was the first Guyanese woman to become a news anchor.
Her warm and friendly voice along with her caring personality made her extremely successful with programmes such as “Yours Truly, Olga”, as well as her Children’s Talent Shows. She also launched the Radio Demerara Needy Children’s Fund. This fund sought to meet the needs of poor children across Guyana.
She moved to Barbados in 1963 and became synonymous with community broadcasting at Barbados Radio Rediffusion. There she launched the Rediffusion Needy Children’s Fund. She also became known for her Saturday morning children’s radio programme where many a talent was born and cultivated.
In 1961 Olga was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for her humanitarian work and for her contribution to broadcasting in Guyana. In 2005 she was made a Dame of St. Andrew in the Barbados Independent Honours for extraordinary and outstanding achievement and merit in service to Barbados and humanity at large.
While Olga was known and respected as a world class broadcaster, it was her work with the poor and indigent, her indefatigable spirit that resonated with Barbadians, she and her small band of volunteers on a daily basis ensured that those in need had support and a friend who could be relied upon.
Her fund raising efforts are legendary, the Ship Inn Fun Race being among the best known. Her home was like a warehouse, storing materials and supplies donated and directed for the use of those in need. Up to almost age 90 she could be seen daily, driving herself across the country to assist the needy.
Embraced and loved by two countries as their own, Olga was above all else a humanitarian who put the needs of the needy before her own. She died in her second homeland in February 2011.
Olga Lopes-Seale was inducted into the CBU Hall of Fame in 1997.