One of La Plaine's favourite daughters earns law degree
People, Places & Policy
Dr. Emanuel Finn
Catherina Allan-Flagg, the daughter of Mrs. Anna Guiste Allan of Laronde and Mr. Telemacque (Tele) Allan of La Plaine, graduated from the Glendale University College of Law in California last month. The school's challenging curriculum and supportive, success-oriented learning environment made it an excellent nighttime law school choice for Catherina due to her busy and demanding work and home schedules.
But this milestone of achieving a law degree came about in the old fashion way with a great deal of sacrifice, passion, perseverance, hard work, and remaining laser-focused. Catherina achieved this goal in 4 years while working two management-level jobs as a principal trainer for nurses at the University of California and as an administrative nursing supervisor at a Los Angeles area hospital.
Mrs. Allan-Flagg attended the La Plaine Primary Government and Dominica Grammar schools. After migrating to the Washington DC region she attended Howard University where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree (Honors) in Business Administration in 1998. In May 2005, she also achieved a Bachelor of Science degree (Honors) in nursing from the University of Maryland. She has excelled in the nursing profession both in California and Maryland and has received many awards and commendations.
Ask Cheryl (as we call her back east) where she gets her fortitude, drive, and resilience from and she quickly answers that it is from her La Plaine strong work ethic and a passion for learning and acquiring knowledge. She emotionally told me that during her studies and everyday duties when her energies are down and the stress levels are high, she always gets an instant boost of energy when she thinks of her late son, Kieron who died at the age of 23. He always cheered her on. May his soul RIP.
Kieron was taken by a vicious and angry ocean current while swimming at Boute Sabe ( LaPlaine beach) in July 2011 during the Allan family reunion in La Plaine. Catherina had organized the reunion to bring the vast family together from all parts of the world to our ancestral village. The objective was to get together harmonically and reminisce on our humble beginnings and say special thanks to our grandparents and other departed relatives. The reunion was also to highlight the distinguished life and legacy of our grandfather, the late Burton Allan (Papa Bort), the former oral historian of La Plaine. After Kieron's unfortunate and untimely death, Catherina returned to the U.S and picked up her life again.
But no matter how much Catherina has archived or how far and wide she has traveled, La Plaine is and will always be on her mind. She always says, "There is only one way home." In 2016, she started the very popular Facebook page called the La Plaine Gazette. The Gazette which has about 1,000 followers, tries to capture all things La Plaine and its people ('Jea Au-Vent') at home and all over the globe. It's a meeting place (a virtual platform) far away from the 87-year-old Jubilee Cross in the village square where Cheryl grew up in her father's grocery store. There is the decorative daily birthday greeting list, La Plaine history trivia, death announcements, news and fun facts about the village, and other interesting and entertaining content. The Gazette reminds us that La Plaine is not only home to the majestic Sari- Sari Falls, but also the gateway, anchor, and provincial capital of the south-eastern Windward 'Au-Vent' region.
What does the future hold for Catherina? She will continue to contribute in whatever way she can towards the development of her community by working with the La Plaine school principal, rounders team, and other development projects in the village. She is interested in exploring estate planning, wills, trusts, and family law. She wants to teach Dominicans the importance of holding on to their lands and estates for their future progeny.
She hopes and plans to work 'remotely' from her future dream home in La Plaine at the site of Papa Bort's old small wooden house up the hill from the banks from the middle part of the Sari-Sari River (Livière Caco). There she will be at home and able to enjoy the beautiful and breath-taking panoramic view of the rolling hills of Case 'O' Gowrie and the lush evergreen rain forests of Morne Gouverneur on the other side of the river valley.
Catherina has three sons; Kwesi, who served with the U.S army in Iraq, and Khari, who is a practicing ICU nurse in California. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, James, and son James Jr.
Congrats Catherina, you have made us proud and most of all, you did it your way.