OBV trailblazer Councillor Cynthia Barker passes away


Philippines-born Cynthia Barker, who was destined to break barriers, and become a leader respected both here in the UK and in her native Philippines, has sadly passed away following a short period of illness.

In June this year Cynthia was appointed the Mayor of Hertsmere, and we believe the first to ever be appointed in the UK of Filipino descent.

But Cynthia never boasted: she was never puffed up about her ground-breaking achievements. All she wanted to do was serve her local community, be a national role model for women and particularly for the Filipino community here in the UK.

Last year Cynthia was chosen to be part of the prestigous OBV Pathway to Success Leadership Programme with our partners the House of Commons; Lloyds Bank; and the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government and Magdalen College.

During that residential week her quiet brilliance dramatically shone through.

The news for all of us involved in the Pathway Programme is pretty devastating, but as one colleague told me, ‘Simon, aren’t we all better human beings for having known Cynthia?’

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Rest in Peace Cynthia, your bright light will continue to inspire the many to follow you.

Simon Woolley