Matilda Jane Barrow, affectionately known as “Tilly or Baba,” was born to James and Martha Skeete, at Pickering, St. Lucy. Tilly lost her parents at an early age and as a result, she and her siblings became residents of the Almshouse. Tilly was eventually moved from the Almshouse into the care of Dinah Phillips.
Mrs. Barrow attended St. Clement’s School, St Lucy. On leaving school, she worked as a labourer at Lamberts and Mount Gay Plantations, St. Lucy until retirement. On May 12, 1932, she married Arrington Barrow, now deceased. That union produced nine children, two deceased. They also had 24 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
Tilly was described as a generous person. She and her husband grew ground provisions, and kept and sold animals to supplement their income. Those who visited the Barrows never left empty-handed. In fact, Tilly made sure that sugar cane grown on her land was given to the Cave Hill, Seventh Day Adventist Church for their annual harvest.
As a devout worshipper, she attended the Pilgrim Holiness Church, Pie Corner and later switched to the Seventh Day Adventist, where she was a baptized member of the Cave Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Mrs. Barrow was an active member serving as Sabbath School Superintendent, Teacher, Deaconess and Community Services Leader. She also played a role in the construction of Chance Hall, Seventh Day Adventist Church.
In latter years, a knee injury prevented her from attending church, but it didn’t stop Tilly from singing and humming her favourite hymns as she reflected on the goodness of God.