When Rich Folks Don’t Like To See Barbados Chattel Houses…

chattel-house-barbados.jpg

February 27, 2007

The Editor,
The Advocate,
Fontabelle, Bridgetown

Dear Sir,

Barbados history

At a recent political meeting in St Andrew, the newspaper reported that the Prime Minister, Owen Arthur, was against poor people being made to move to accommodate rich people building up-market housing in their area. It was dealing with the developments at Apes Hill and Waterhall by Sir Charles Williams, whom he described as “silly”.

The public record will show that about 6 years ago a number of persons living in chattel houses in Speightstown, on lands owned by government, where most of the families had lived for over 50 years, were forced to re-locate against their will, to a development at Mount Brevitor, near Mile-and-a-Quarter, St Peter, in the Prime Minister’s constituency. These residents were not happy to be moved as most were old, and it was a settled community. This land was part of the old Sanitation Services truck depot. However, when Schooner Bay was built, it was decided that this up-market development did not wish to look out on chattel houses.

I recall that in about 1995, when government announced that the new garbage dump would be sited at Greenland in the Scotland District National Park, Penny Hynam, CEO of the Barbados National Trust, wrote to the press objecting, as it is the Trust’s mandate to protect places of historical significance and beauty for the people of Barbados. The President of the National Trust, Mr Paul Altman, received a telephone call from the Prime Minister that the Barbados National Trust must not object publicly to his plan, and the President of the National Trust ordered the CEO of the National Trust to write a letter withdrawing this objection. This was done.

The Minister of Health of the day made a public statement that her government would listen to responsible agencies like the Barbados National Trust, in making a policy decision on the site of the garbage dump at Greenland, and the National Trust had not objected.

Basic investigative journalism would show that the President of the National Trust at that time is also one of the major developers of Schooner Bay. It is a classic case of you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours. I love to watch politicians ballet dancing and fooling the Barbados public. Perhaps history will show who are the real Barbados heroes.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Goddard

photo courtesy of Barbados Photo Gallery.Com (link here

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38 Comments

Filed under Barbados, History, Politics & Corruption

38 responses to “When Rich Folks Don’t Like To See Barbados Chattel Houses…

  1. Jupiter

    Thanks Richard Goddard for being a true son of the soil.

    It’s citizens like you,aidrian loveridge,leonard st hill,the late wendell mcclean and others who give us hope that all is not lost – there are some who are still moved by the courage of their conviction and will speak out despite this government’s attempt to muzzle them.

  2. John

    Love the imagery contained in the statement “I love to watch politicians ballet dancing and fooling the Barbados public. ”

    Next time I hear a politician holding forth I will picture them in their tutu’s doing their pirouettes.

    Imagine Mia, Liz or Owen in a tutu.

  3. Snob-orRealist?

    Who could blame developers for moving eyesore chattel houses and their occupants
    (including the ubiquitous yelping,frustrated yard-dogs,
    ever-chained behind rusty paling!) ??

    Those ‘unfortunate’ elderly people now removed from the Schooner Bay site
    are now in modern homes,
    and despite the typical Bajan-malcontent grumblings
    they’re now a lot happier where they are, at taxpayer expense.

    PLEASE would someone come and move me, at taxpayer expense?! – pleeaase?!

    Only one way to get to “First World Barbados” status, kiddies…and it’ll involve a few personal upheavals, sorry!

  4. concerned

    Snob-orRealist?
    I think you missed the point here.

    My take on this is that we have a two-faced government which does not give two hoots about our country, particularly our environment, is manipulative, lacks foresight and will do anything for money.

  5. Littleboy56@caribsurf.com

    Now that Owen and George Payne have realized that access to homes is important for the “little” people as well, i hope that Ms Sixt and Anthony Bamford will be told that they have to removed their encumberances as well.
    Strangely enough, there have been protests for years but we never heard a word from them before!!
    Strangely, too , George Payne was quoted as saying that he only speaks when he has something to say…could that mean “only at election time”?
    Could they not have joined the protest with Austin Husbands,George Hutson, Donville Inniss and the DLP and nipped these encroachments in the bud?
    Maybe they would have saved Rawle Eastmond from blurting out (his) “disappointment…of the diabolical forces”.

  6. Littleboy56@caribsurf.com

    A note of correction!!
    The three oldest residents (Mrs Westerman, Mr Bowen and Mrs Scantlebury)who occupy the property opposite the former premises of the SSA depot at Queen Street (Almshouse Gap) are still there.
    A clandestine attempt to purchase contiguous lands to “provide a beach access” resulted in a no-confidence motion brought by Clyde Mascoll and the DLP.
    It was really an attempt to provide a service access for Schooner Bay, and lands owned by Bjorn Bjerkhamn aback Schooner Bay.

  7. Victor

    The chattel houses are beautiful and barbados is famous for them.

  8. reality check

    talk of abuse of power and conflict of interest by the President of The National Trust?

    Someone needs to inform him what the meaning of Trust is.

    Why hasn’t Paul Altman been given his title yet for selling out the Trust?

  9. Velzo

    Who remembers that George Payne – as Minister of Housing – went down to an old lady called “Ms. Nola” who had a small chattel house next to Kings Beach and told her to move if not government would acquire the property? His clients – the Rothschilds – wanted the land!

    These guys make me sick.

  10. John

    If Schooner Bay only took place because the chattel houses had to be moved, why would there be public funds spent to relocate the people to another location?

    Was Schooner Bay subsidized by the taxpayer? Hope no consideration passed to get this to happen.

  11. John

    I think the letter by Chris McHale is very topical.

    The point he makes about developers making a social contribution in civilised countries I think is an interesting one.

    http://bararchive.bits.baseview.com/archive_detail.php?archiveFile=./pubfiles/bar/archive/2007/February/27/Editorial/33893.xml&start=0&numPer=20&keyword=mchale&sectionSearch=&begindate=1%2F1%2F1994&enddate=12%2F31%2F2007&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=1&IncludeImages=1&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=Daily+Nation%09%09%09

    The Rooneys benefited from concessions, made their profits and then sold off their shares to the tune of US100Million in under 10 years.

    I recall COW’s partner crowing at the opening of apes Hill that he would come out in 5 years the way things were going.

    Both these projects seriously impact the water supply.

    What contribution are these projects making to rectifying the serious impact they have or will have on the water supply?

    Will they put back what they take out?

  12. John

    reality check

    Understood that the title was due for the past New Year’s list but that Owen didn’t want anything to detract attention from his award.

  13. Snob-orRealist?

    Victor… yes The Barbadian Chattel House is a thing of beauty if maintained and presentable, but if it looks like the example,accompanying this article(see pic above)….. …??

    Concerned… you appear to take Wess Indyan politicians at face value.
    You believe campaign promises?
    You reckon Manifesto’s promise the truth?
    You figure that politicians always speak the truth?
    You are a babe in the woods, sir!

    Politicians say what people want to hear!, muh boh..
    but you like you en’ ketch-on yet.

    One day you’ll be old and cynical like I am,
    give it time…it’ll develop..
    after all, we live in Paradise! –riiiight!

  14. Rumplestilskin

    So titles are given out now for making pots personally without any real contribution to the country per se?

  15. Rumplestilskin
    February 28th, 2007 at 4:30 pm
    So titles are given out now for making pots personally without any real contribution to the country per se?
    —————————————————-
    Wuh Rumple, how else can you equate Louise Tull’s complaint that he couldn’t get a house spot for his constituents, with his knighthood? You forget the David Simmonds is also knight? wuh he do? people say it is wuh would have done if de did not get it, that got him the title. :D

  16. Snob-orRealist?
    February 28th, 2007 at 4:24 pm
    Victor… yes The Barbadian Chattel House is a thing of beauty if maintained and presentable, but if it looks like the example,accompanying this article(see pic above)….. …??

    Concerned… you appear to take Wess Indyan politicians at face value.
    You believe campaign promises?
    You reckon Manifesto’s promise the truth?
    You figure that politicians always speak the truth?
    You are a babe in the woods, sir!

    Politicians say what people want to hear!, muh boh..
    but you like you en’ ketch-on yet.

    One day you’ll be old and cynical like I am,
    give it time…it’ll develop..
    after all, we live in Paradise! –riiiight!
    ———————————————————-

    Amen:
    It is hard reaching middle age without some sort of bitterness and political insights. But some people miraculously get old and never do.

  17. What Richard Goddard says makes me sick to my stomach:

    1. Peggy Hynam, CEO of B’dos Nat. Trust wrote to “the Press” (presumably Nation and Advocate) complaining about Greenland Garbage Dump being placed inside Scotland Nat. Park.

    2 Her boss, Paul Altman, President of B’dos Nat. Trust received a call from Owen Arthur, Prime Minister, telling him that the National Trust should not object publicly to “his” plan (presumably in reaction to the letters).

    3. Paul Altman instructed his CEO to write a letter withdrawing the objection to the siting of the dump, which she did (presumably under implicit threat of losing her job).

    4. Paul Altman was at that time (c.1995) financially involved with the development of Schooner Bay.

    5. This clearly implies that the PM was in a position to threaten Altman a) with respect to the funding of the Nat. Trust and b) with respect to approval etc for his development project.

    6. Liz Thompson, Min of Health, stated that she would listen to responsible agencies such as the Nat. Trust if they objected to placing the dump in the national park, BUT THAT THEY HAD NOT DONE SO.

    7. Did Altman tell others of the call from the PM? How else would it be known? Is it fact or conjecture? He may well have told Hynam to justify his orders.

    8. Were Peggy Hynam’s letters to the press ever published, or were they “held in moderation” by both editors until they got the OK from the PM?

    9. If they were published, Liz could not claim the Nat Trust had not objected. Hynam’s letters of withdrawal would not need to be published if the original letters had been held back. The editors would be free to throw them in the wastebasket. If they HAD been published, the letters of withdrawal would also have to be published to put the record straight. I suspect they never saw the light of day.

    10. What an unsavoury scenario this if factual comprises:
    a) blackmail by a PM
    b) unethical behaviour for personal gain by Altman
    c) unprofessional censorship by the press
    c) lying publicly by the Minister of Health
    d) spinelessness by the CEO of the Nat Trust. Her job was not worth the depredation of our environment.

    If only BFP had been around then, an outcry might have changed things.

  18. bajejun

    I thank people like Mr. Richard Goddard and Mr. Adrian Loveridge(hope I spelt it right, if not forgive me)for having the courage to expose such behavior, we need more such as youselves to keep these dishonest politicians on their toes.
    We need investigative journalism, and INTEGRITY LEGISLATION.

  19. Andrew

    David Thompson promises ‘Integrity Legislation’. lets hold him to it. In other words, lets remind him of it at every opportunity.

    ***************

    Comment by Marcus

    Not good enough by half. Thompson could implement integrity and conflict of interest rules for his own people tomorrow. He could also have been working on a private member’s bill for the last year and introduce it tomorrow. Make the government say No to integrity legislation.

    What have we heard from the DLP and Thompson? The same promise they made two decades ago – this time qualified with “only if we have a majority”.

    Oink Oink!

  20. Hants

    Littleboy56 says.

    A clandestine attempt to purchase contiguous lands to “provide a beach access” resulted in a no-confidence motion brought by Clyde Mascoll and the DLP.

    Does Clyde Masscoll remember these things?

    This is why I do not support floor crossers.

  21. paul sealy

    In my opinion they are all “kachars”,kochos and high class criminals….making bajans second class citizens in their own country…..and graduating nothing but thieves,whores and murderers in this place….do as the rich say..not what your electorate says…the voters that put you there don’t mean sh#t….Lord come for your world or save Barbados from these festers that see personal dollar signs every morning they wake up,no wonder Rawle Eastmond done with the charade cause at least he seems to have a conscience.

  22. Yardbroom

    Barbados has got the type of Government it deserves, short term enrichment of its officers, wins over the public good every time. Until Barbadians have the will and discipline, to change this unedifying status quo, the masses will have to watch this fiasco.

    The tragedy is that Barbadians have the power within their hands to change everything, and that long lost souls sacrificed so much, to bring us to this sorry morass.

  23. liz

    The more things change the more they stay the same.
    Different government – same corruption.
    Like Adrian….old and cynical!

  24. paul sealy

    liz..when i was a little boy and old man once told me this and it sums up the reality of both parties….BLP..more money..more corruption..DLP..less money… less corruption…i say the latter is required right now,if the white business houses don’t support the DLP as much i don’t see a problem…it would put the brakes on their arrogance towards bajans like you and i who pay taxes out of our ears,at least a change might might slow down this downward spiral pace we are going at right now.

  25. Andrew

    I agree Marcus, but if we don’t put the pressure on Thompson, maybe his party will not get off their seats and start the ball rolling

  26. NiceQUOTE,dude!

    “What an unsavoury scenario this (if factual) comprises:
    a) blackmail by a PM
    b) unethical behaviour for personal gain by Altman
    c) unprofessional censorship by the press
    c) lying publicly by the Minister of Health
    d) spinelessness by the CEO of the Nat Trust.
    Her job was not worth the depredation of our environment.”

    = Can of WORMS!

  27. Victor

    Snob or Realist,
    You drew my attention to the photo accompanying the article but that house is still beautiful though it could do with an overhaul. The houses lend so much character to barbados and wouldn’t it be cheaper to give an annual maintenance grant for roofing, termites and painting than to rehouse? It’s sad to see the characterless wall houses popping up everywhere, often jerry built and just as ramshackle after a few years.

  28. Velzo

    Check the facts on the land at Apes Hill: George Payne should be totally ashamed for lying and cheating the people of that area of their pride. Government acquired the land opposite the controversial Apes Hill development and got a change of use from the Town Planner for low income housing. They did not build a house.

    Then, under Payne’s watch as Minister, they gave it back to COW for his project! I well recall the DLP saying this was dishonest becausethe land was acquired and the change of use obtained so that COW could benefit. Maybe Adrian can research it and find the old articles.

    All of this play-acting by the dishonest George Payne and the discredited Owen Arthur should not confuse us.

  29. Martin

    The comments of Richard Goddard are indeed enlightening but what boggles the mind is the fact that so few barbadians did support him openly when it mattererd most. Clearly we are cowards but oftentimes find fault in others.
    The place where the dump has been sited is more ideal for nature walks, camping, horse-back riding, nature photography,biking and enviromental studies by all students of this field.
    I know one of the watchmen for that site and the poor guy had to seek refuge in his car every night because of the mosquitoes breeding in the surface water there. They collided with the glass and body of that vehicle to the extent that in such confines he could not sleep. They appeared from all angles like japanese warplanes of the 1940′s, on a suicide mission and I daresay that such indentations were made of the paintwork that he eventually got rid of the car and job.
    Because of the excavation there, the ground water and rain water would have contributed to this – the area hasn’t changed. In Barbados, The National Trust can’t be trusted given the letter by Mr. Goddard and all others concerned are to be similarly treated.
    Does it not interest you to know that George Payne DOES not support the Dump in St. Andrew.
    Are you aware that he believes that if you live in achattel house and a multi- millionaire builds a mansion next door that your land tax should not be affected this new structure. Each person will pay tax based on what he owns. I share these views.
    It is strange that he was fired and cannot treat to these from the back bench. Were you aware that he, through legislation acquired land from C.O.W. Williams for improvement to some poor folks’ cause… road etc.
    Politics of inclusion is strange… and I am NOT blowing a whistle for Mr. Payne, just musing.

  30. Straight talk

    @ Martin
    Are you trying to monopolise the “Recent Comments” list ?
    Finger stuck or a reason to clear off certain comments?
    BLP is there any method to for you to ignore duplicated posts.
    If not it leaves your site open to sabotage by bombardment!

  31. Straight talk

    BFP not BLP, ..freudian slip.

  32. Straight talk- You beat me to it. Surely there is some way multiple duplication of a post can be avoided in the Recen Comments column? I realise things are automated by WordPress, but can’t a human agency step in, as they do for Moderation, and correct such an error?

  33. ol'manriver

    It is with great sadness that I bid this site farewell. To the original members, “a fantastic idea,” unfortunately, like some sections of the press and the call in programs, this site has become the playground of the malcontents of our world who say a lot but do very little. Having read some of the comments on this and other subjects where I have managed to ascertain ,through simple investigation, ‘the truth,’ it has become clear that the focus here is NOT on educating the ‘public.’

    *************************

    Comment by Marcus

    Hello Ol’manriver,

    We are sorry to see you go. It is difficult for one website to satisfy all desires, but we are working hard to bring transparency and accountability to government.

    Not everyone wants that, nor does everyone agree with our method – although the Lord knows that nothing else has worked on this island so far, especially believing that each new government will institute integrity legislation. Both the BLP and DLP have promised it in the past, but once elected they forget about integrity and climb right into the piggy trough.

    If you change your mind, we will welcome you back – and so will the upwards of five thousand other folks who visit here every day.

    Cheers!

    Marcus

  34. Jane

    ol’manriver, Fare thee well!

  35. BFP

    Comment by Marcus

    Hello Ol’manriver,

    We are sorry to see you go. It is difficult for one website to satisfy all desires, but we are working hard to bring transparency and accountability to government.

    Not everyone wants that, nor does everyone agree with our method – although the Lord knows that nothing else has worked on this island so far, especially believing that each new government will institute integrity legislation. Both the BLP and DLP have promised it in the past, but once elected they forget about integrity and climb right into the piggy trough.

    If you change your mind, we will welcome you back – and so will the upwards of five thousand other folks who visit here every day.

    Cheers!

    Marcus

  36. Jupiter

    Jane

    Nice to see you are still with us.

    Missed your comments.

    Ol manriver – well you just flow right along.

    I love BFP just as they are,they’re the best thing we’ve got and the only thing that approximates to a free press – where we have blp operatives and sympathisers coming on trying to destroy the site,pretending to be multiple persons,moaning and groaning about BFP being partisan to the DLp and they’re had enough,yet they just can’t keep off the site.

    That’s a true free press for you.

  37. Jane

    Thanks Jupiter.

    I love what BFP offers us – information, freedom to speak out fearlessly and to come and go as we please.

    We’ve seen people say goodbye before who could not stay away. I am positive that ol’manriver
    will return.

    Thank you BFP for giving us hope.

  38. the man in the mirror

    DONT SQUAT, and if you wish to squat, please squat on less valuable land. 50 yrs ago beachfront was know to be valuable. These projects on the beach create more employment. Hmmm lets see we relocate some residents to a newer home, we take out 3 chattel homes, we put up an 8 story hotel building that could possibly hold 50 rooms…. sounds like that would require a whole lot of staff, and a whole lot of tourist to fill them. Last time I checked Bajans loved tourists. I do believe that we love them because they fuel our economy, correct me if i am wrong. The 50 room hotel would do a whole lot of good, more than 3 chattel homes would in any case. My point is simple, the greatest good for greatest number of people. Please quit looking at 1 side of the coin, Please stop being biased. People need those jobs. Ignorance is bliss. Lastly do not not start your arguments with any grammatical corrections, get to the point.

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