Black Immigrant Daily News
When sign language interpreter Bonnie Leonce was bestowed the honour of Barbados Service Star on November 30, it was one of the “defining moments” in her career.
Leonce was conferred on Independence Day for her dedication to the empowerment and integration of the deaf community into mainstream society in Barbados.
She has been an interpreter for 25 years. Leonce holds a BSc in ASL/English Interpreting, is a sign language teacher, and an interpreter. She also is a wife and mother of three.
A familiar face to the Barbadian public, many know Leonce for being in the little corner of television screens during the CBC TV News, and also interpreting during national press conferences.
She played a critical role during the COVID-19 pandemic, winning the hearts of many Bajans.
During an interview with Loop earlier this year, Leone spoke about the importance of including the deaf community.
“The Deaf are a part of us. They are Bajan and want to know everything that concerns us,” she stressed.
Following the ceremony on Independence Day, Leonce took to her social media to share her gratitude and appreciation.
“Receiving a national honour was something I never expected because I don’t do what I do for accolades. However, it showed me that people are now paying attention to not only what I do, but the people I SERVE….the Deaf community. Every last one of them is my boss and I do not take that lightly.”
“So to my Bajan Deaf community, this Barbados Service Star is YOURS as well. You made me who I am. Thank you and I love you,” Leonce said.