Dale Hinkson gives everyone who comes to the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home her specialty welcome. It is warm and embracing.
Smiling, she will launch into a barrage of questions mainly about your well-being and that of your loved ones. She omits no one in your circle once she has heard their name. Dale is also known for her outstanding memory and her dancing, especially to Red Plastic Bag’s ‘Boat Ride.’
When ‘The Boat’ is rocking, Dale is in her element; none of the other sailors can out-dance her. Her energy peaks as she travels every nautical mile of that ride at 40 knots an hour until she finally drops anchor. And she drops it!
Dale is also a ‘Q in the Community’ devotee. “Aunty, you know where Q coming from today?” is one of her trademark questions. She does not attend but follows on the radio and advertises to everyone the next location of ‘Q’ as well as gives a synopsis of what happened at the last event.
Along with twin brother, Jefferson, Dale came to live at the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home many years ago, after their parents found it difficult to care for them and had previously placed them at the Farr’s Children Home. While at Thelma Vaughan, Dale’s education was not neglected. She attended the Vocational Centre, The Challenor School and the Charles F. Broome Annex. “I liked doing Mathematics and English as well as my homework,” she said.
As a young woman, Dale did several chores at the Home but her involvement is limited now due to physical challenges. Today, she participates in craft classes, singing, dancing and several other activities offered at the Home. Dale, who has visited Puerto Rico, is confident that people with disabilities in Barbados can do a lot more than they now do. She would like Barbadians to become more aware of this fact so they can advocate for positive change.