23rd March 1970
Guernsey nurse Elizabeth Lincoln elected to the States

Guernsey’s election of March 1970 brought more women into the States of Deliberation than ever before. Sadly, though, they still represented only six of the 33 winning candidates. The rest – along with the majority of the local parish representatives – were still men.

Elizabeth Lincoln was successful in winning a St Peter Port seat, where she attracted 1853 votes. It was a resounding victory. As The Times reported two days later, under the headline “Personality counts in Guernsey”, “the heavy reform policies advocated by the two local Labour Group candidates… polled only 573 and 522 votes each”.

Elizabeth Lincoln: more than just a deputy

A nurse, who had been born in Norwich, Elizabeth Lincoln moved to Guernsey in the 1950s. She started to research cancer on the island around five years later and set up Prop, which supports Guernsey cancer patients and their families.

For a while, she was chair of the Guernsey branch of the Royal College of Nursing and vice president of St John’s Ambulance.

Her research involved collecting 30,000 samples from over 11,000 Guernsey women. These have been used for decades since in diagnosing the causes and possible treatments for cancer. Almost 50 years after the first samples were gathered, they were still being worked on at the University of Southampton by scientists hoping to devise a simple blood test for breast cancer.

Her work in this area earned her an MBE for services to cancer research in 1968.

A versatile politician

During her time as a politician, she served on numerous boards. Over 18 years, she was the president of the housing authority and the board of Guernsey Prison. Outside of politics, she showed her commitment to her adopted home through her membership of both the National Trust of Guernsey and La Societe Guernesiaise.

Elizabeth Lincoln, known to many as Binnie, died at Les Bourgs hospice, aged 79, in August 2003.

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