Monthly Archives: April 2011

Barbados should partner with American Airlines AAdvantage miles

by Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner

Tourism MATTERS: We’re missing a huge opportunity

Imagine having a virtually captive audience, motivated by all the right reasons and that is larger than your main source tourism market, the United Kingdom.

That’s perhaps how we should be viewing the world’s first and probably the most successful loyalty programme, American Airlines AAdvantage. Last year their 66 million members redeemed more than 165 billion miles to claim nearly 7.2 million awards for flights, upgrades and other rewards.

Why do I consider it such an important tool to drive higher arrival numbers? Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism

Jolly Roger “Back in Time” Cruise Saturday night!

Jolly Roger ‘Back In Time’ grand dance cruise, Saturday April 30 – 5 to 10pm

DJ’s Larry Kinch and Stones, $70 inc. drinks & Food on sale

Reserve by calling 826-7245/SAIL or 436-2885

Black Pearl Party Cruises website

Jolly Roger Blog

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Sir Charles Williams “Welcome to our home and Barbados”


And meet Hoagy, our pet pig

Thanks to an old friend for directing us to this most interesting video profile of Sir Charles O. Williams.

Quote from COW Williams: “I am a poor loser. A good loser is always a loser.”

Narrator: “His voracious land buying has caused concern at the highest level.”

Response from COW Williams: “The Prime Minister made the message very clear… He said (my land buying) was having an impact on the social structure… and I obeyed him like a good obedient boy.”

COW on his ambitions in life: “There were three ambitions I had. A pretty wife, a nice sports fisherman and a fast sports car. I had all and all three cost me a fortune.”

69 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Celebrities

Best wishes to Kate and William from Barbadians everywhere

Two couples are getting married today: Kate and William in love, and our future King and Queen. All the best to both couples.

Royal Wedding Official Website

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Filed under Barbados, History

What would Sarah Ann Gill think about our silence over religious persecution in China?

“They shot tear gas at our group of 20 — some of us completely unarmed, all law-abiding religious citizens.  Wielding their batons, they beat, kicked and prodded the people.  Many police officers and plainclothes agents beat two sisters to the floor (one of the sisters is relatively advanced in age).  They passed out on the spot with foam coming from their mouths and convulsions in their hands and legs.   We demanded that they be sent to the hospital immediately.  The officials wouldn’t listen to us and continued to hit the people with their batons.”

Chinese Christians tell of police raid on an “unauthorized” house church, February 23, 2011, Zaoyang City, Hubei Province, China

Barbados National Hero risked everything to pray at her home.

Every Barbadian knows the name of Sarah Ann Gill, the only female declared as one of our country’s ten national heroes. On this National Heroes Day, we should ask ourselves if we really remember what Sarah Ann Gill did, and why she did it.

In October 1823, a mob of whites burned the Methodist Church in Barbados where Gill was a member. At that time the Methodist Church in England was in the forefront of the movement to ban slavery and that didn’t go over very well with the slave owners in Barbados.

The response of the Mother of Barbados was to open her own home for prayer services. Gill was relentlessly prosecuted by the authorities and threatened with death.

Some sources state that Gill was charged under the Conventicles Act of 1664 which forbade assembly of more than five persons for divine worship unless in a licensed meeting place and led by a licensed preacher. The act had already been repealed but that apparently didn’t stop the authorities.

Gill acquitted herself so well that the same authorities who persecuted her sent soldiers to guard her home when a mob attempted to burn it on October 19, 1824. Gill continued to hold worship services at her home and raised money for a new church.

On June 25th, 1825 The House of Commons in England declared that “ample protection and religious toleration be secured to all” – and Sarah Ann Gill and other religious dissenters secured their right to worship where they saw fit, without needing the blessing of the state.

What would Sarah Ann Gill think of Barbados cuddling up to China today? What would she think of our silence for our Christian brothers and sisters – beaten and jailed in China?

Something to consider as we look out over these fields and hills on National Heroes Day.

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, China, History, Human Rights, Religion, Slavery

Government has no business running business

The opposite of “entrepreneur” is “government employee”

The Barbados Investment & Development Corporation has no problem blowing its own horn about the industrial estates under its care. The BIDC website brags, and not unreasonably so…

“The Property and Estate Management Department oversees the ongoing maintenance of the industrial estates owned and managed by the Corporation. The estates are strategically located across the island, and since the first one was established in Grazettes in 1961, have served as a low-cost base of operations for thousands of locally-owned and foreign-owned manufacturing companies. The BIDC’s industrial estates are a significant feature of the Barbadian physical landscape, encompassing over 90 acres of land. Their contribution to the economic and social transformation of the island over the years has been significant.”

There is truth in that statement, but left unsaid and unknown is the massive cost to the taxpayer due to unpaid rents, loans and the natural inefficiency of government employees pretending they know what business is all about. There’s also the not so little matter of the run down condition of some of the properties that might as well be abandoned. They sure look that way, and no real business person would let those assets deteriorate.

But remember… the opposite of “entrepreneur” is “government employee” – and you don’t need to be a brilliant scholar to work that one out.

Our old friend Afra Raymond just published an article about Trinidad & Tobago government employees pretending to be entrepreneurs while holding on to the public purse in case a bailout is needed. See? Barbados and T&T have a whole lot in common!

Property Matters – The Business of Government

by Afra Raymond

Once again, I am using this edition of Property Matters to consider the ever-controversial State Enterprises, against the wider question of the role of the State.  This is no small area for examination and I start by using what seems to be the favourite quote of Trade and Industry Minister, Stephen Cadiz, “Government has no business running business“.

Given the politics practiced here, it should be no surprise that all our political parties give emphasis to the important role of the private sector in the economy and society and so on.

The line of reasoning goes like this – “The State is only here to facilitate and clear the way for Private Enterprise.  The State does not intend to stand in the way of or compete with Private Enterprise” Those are not actual quotes, but they are just a paraphrasing of the sentiments expressed by various politicians over the years, whatever the party in power.

But the actual scale of the State’s involvement in the economy is in stark contrast to the political speeches.  It is my view that the State is in direct competition with the Private Sector in significant areas of the economy.  The large numbers of State Enterprises are inescapable examples of that.

We have to remember that it wasn’t always so…

Continue reading this article at Afra Raymond’s blog: Property Matters: The business of Government

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Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Rhea Campbell: Journey Of The Corn Curl Wrapper

Rhea Campbell of The Ursuline Convent School won an Honorable Mention in Ages 9-13 in the recent Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest. Here is her excellent essay…

Journey Of The Corn Curl Wrapper

The bell rang signalling the end of break. While Jenny and Kurt were walking back to class, she noticed that Kurt threw his corn curl wrapper on the ground without a second thought. Jenny scolded him about the harm the wrapper could cause; but Kurt just shrugged it off and continued walking to the classroom.

Now Kurt lived next door to his school. All that afternoon the wind was high: one gust blew the wrapper over the fence and into his mother’s garden bed of exotic Heliconia seedlings. A few days later, while Kurt’s mother was tending to her young plants, she noticed that a small bunch of seedling had withered. When she took a closer look, she saw the base of the stems smothered by a corn curl wrapper. On removing the wrapper, she realized the trapped heat had caused a scorching effect on the tiny stems. In her haste to save the little plants she forgot to discard the corn curl wrapper properly. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Education, Environment

Lessons from GEMS Hotels & Resorts Limited: Government is always bad at business, corrupt Government is worse.

Hotels & Resorts Limited product is so bad, the Barbados Government is having difficulty exiting the business

by Nevermind Kurt (with Clive & Marcus)

Barbadians have no idea how much money they poured into the doomed-to-fail-from-the-start attempt to nationalize the hotel industry known as “GEMS”, Hotels & Resorts Limited. When you include the “free” air subsidies and “free” marketing support from the Barbados Tourism Authority it is surely a billion dollars poured down that hole and probably much, much more.

Not to forget that all the while the other hotels on the island were having to compete with a heavily subsidized nationally-owned chain. And Owen Arthur wondered why no investors wanted to build new facilities! To compete against government subsidized hotels? Cha! What… you think foreign investors are crazy?

Corruption, Foreign Bank Accounts, ZERO Accountability

Then there was the matter of the supply chain for GEMS Hotels. For many years everything for all the hotels ran through central suppliers. Yup, sourced out of Miami and New York probably through a few little “handling” companies that took 5% of everything and forwarded the profits to the owners’ foreign bank accounts.

The goods never went through Miami though: only the invoices and payments. Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business & Banking, Corruption, Offshore Investments

Connection between drinking and leadership now proven! :-)


I couldn’t help myself, folks… just had to post this smile for you!

The Guardian article is interesting too…

Lurking on the Caribbean island getaways of St. Kitts, Nevis and Barbados are a group of illegal aliens with a taste for alcohol. In their quest for alcohol, they’ve learned to steal booze from local bars and sleeping tourists. The end result is predictable.

from Alcohol can make a monkey out of us

6 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health

No money to fund Barbados Investment Development Corporation, so shut it down!

A suggestion to save taxpayers’ money

by BFP reader “C” in St. James

As a small business owner over the last nine months I have found it increasingly difficult to contact a Business Development Officer (BDO) at the Barbados Investment Development Corporation (BIDC). It would appear that as the financial situation of the country has declined, monies form the BIDC has been diverted to other Government bodies, accordingly BDOs aware that there is no monies to undertake programs have taken to not answering their telephones or emails in the hope of avoiding having to break the news to their client companies.

My money saving idea is that until the BIDC is fully re-financed at least 90% of the BIDC personnel, including directors and the CEO, should be sent home without pay until such time as there is something for them to do.

I see no reason why we the tax payers should pay for these civil servants to sit and twiddle their thumbs when it is self evident that there are no funds available for them to undertake any meaningful programs to assist local companies. As soon as the funds become available they would of course be re-hired.

This lesson in reality would perhaps also help to give the CEO, BDOs and ancillary staff empathy with the harsh financial realities that companies operate under every single day in trying to maintain a business and employment in Barbados.

Yours Faithfully,

“C”
St James

9 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Business & Banking, Economy, Offshore Investments

Medical tourism under scrutiny in the Barbados Sparman Ishmael case

Canadian medical tourism study team arrives in Barbados

A team of researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) is spending the next week looking at medical tourism in Barbados. Professor Jeremy Snyder and his colleagues will talk with medical professionals, patients and representatives from our government and tourism industry. The researchers will tour some of the private medical facilities in Barbados, but we don’t know if they will be touring any of our public health facilities, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

We hope the SFU team does tour our public health facilities,  because we believe that part of their report should be about the impact that private health care facilities and medical tourism have upon public health resources – in a country with no conflict of interest laws.

You see folks, many people on this island are concerned that public resources paid for by the taxpayers, are being diverted from public health care to private health care facilities. There are also rumours that some elected and appointed government officials have interests in private medical facilities – but without Freedom of Information laws it is impossible for Barbadians to know.

We don’t even know the amount of government support being given to the private “medical tourism” facilities, or in what forms it is given and received.

And, of course, without conflict of interest rules and integrity legislation it is no crime by public officials to divert public funds to private facilities in which they, or their close family members, are part owners. We might very well have public support flowing into the pockets of the same government officials who dispense the tax dollars to the private clinics!

So to our friends from Vancouver Canada’s Simon Fraser University, we say  “This is normal on de rock. Welcome to Barbados, folks!”


Dr. Ishmael punished for speaking about medical standards, conflicts of interest Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

REDjet winning Facebook war over Caribbean Airlines, LIAT

No doubt who is #1 for this REDjet employee!

Facebook ‘Likes’ Stats: REDjet vs Caribbean Airlines

REDjet = 16,991

Caribbean Airlines = 7,078

LIAT? (Couldn’t find a Facebook page for LIAT)

16 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados Tourism

Bajan Reporter removes Jesus cartoon… Why?

About a month ago, the Bajan Reporter blog published an article critical of Barbados Free Press. We’d love to refer you to the article but the link is dead and the Bajan Reporter article with the “Jesus giving the finger” cartoon (copy above) has been removed from the internet.

We at Barbados Free Press would like to know why the Bajan Reporter removed the article “Barbadian Tabloid Blog under heavy fire by Religious Leader who Objects to Denigration of Beliefs.”

We assure our readership that BFP had nothing to do with the removal of the article. In fact, BFP embraced the Bajan Reporter article and expanded upon the BR’s published cartoon of Jesus giving BFP the finger.

Enquiring minds want to know: Why did the Bajan Reporter remove the Jesus cartoon without so much as a word to let folks know? Is the editor frightened that Christians will turn violent over a cartoon of Jesus? Does he fear for his safety? Have there been threats from Catholic or Pentecostal congregations? Perhaps a rogue Seventh Day Adventist faction delivered an ultimatum?

At this point, we’ll leave it to the editor of The Bajan Reporter to let folks know the simple truth that Bajans deserve to know. We at BFP believe that the Bajan Reporter is a vital and worthy contributor to the discussion of all things Bajan. We hope that BR respects their readership enough to address this issue.

Marcus,

Editor in Chief (when sober)

Barbados Free Press

23 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Religion

Barbados Tourism Authority should hire Tahir Quraishi NOW!

Tahir has a track record of success, and he’s headed for Barbados

That happy guy in the hat, sunglasses and holiday shirt just happens to be one of the best managers in the 238 store Ryman Stationery chain. Tahir Quraishi is jetting to Barbados in mid-May to meet with Chairman and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis and the other top store managers.

It will be a week and a bit of fun and sun, but Tahir and his companions will also be advising boss Paphitis on how to make Ryman Stationery better and drive traffic and profits north on the little charts. Tahir is an expert in making those arrows go up and that’s why he’s invited to Barbados.

You see, Tahir and his friends have each proven with their individual stores that they are the best, they know their business inside and out and they are capable of providing the advice, leadership, knowledge and example to take the entire organisation where it needs to go in these challenging times.

That’s why Ryman Stationery is treating Tahir and their other top performers to Barbados all paid for. Management knows that if they want the company to improve and grow, they have to listen to the best: those who have proven their worth hands on in the trenches.

Contrast that with the Barbados Tourism Authority. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

Earth Day, Easter and bad consequences of good intentions

Pinned to the top for Earth Day 2012. Scroll down for newer stories…

For Easter, Earth Day and Lenin’s Birthday 2011, Cliverton asks:

“What wrong ideas are we still embracing because we love unquestioned dogma and ritual?”

Has mindless environmental religion killed the value of Earth Day?

Welcome to Earth Day, also known for 2011 as Good Friday. The two religious observances fall together this year on April 22nd.

Lest the religious status of Earth Day be contested by current generations, right from the start the day had religious overtones, and it was intended that way. Author Margaret Mead declared “Earth Day is the first holy day which transcends all national borders…” Thirty years after Mead voiced her opinion, the United Nations designated April 22 International “Mother Earth” Day. Think of the Greek Goddess “Gaia” (Earth Mother), read some WWF or GreenPeace propaganda and you’ll get the point.

But like other holy days, the special soon became the norm. Commitment and action gave way to routine and Earth Day became a once a year public outing like Christmas or Easter… or Lenin’s Birthday. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Religion

Michigan Judge: Fear of Muslim violence in Dearborn trumps U.S. Constitution

UPDATED: April 23, 2011

Michigan Judge and jury declare that Dearborn Muslims are so violent, that the Constitutional right to freedom of speech must be set aside for everyone’s safety.

American Pastor jailed for planning protest on public land.

America: Meet Sharia, the new top law of the land.

Original story published April 22, 2011…

Should Qur’an burning pastor be denied freedom of speech?

Florida pastor Terry Jones is in Michigan at this moment looking to hold a peaceful protest across from the largest mosque in the USA, the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

The local police want him to put up $100,000 bond in case the Muslims riot and commit other violence and damage. Jones refused and says it’s a Constitutional right to peacefully protest, and he’s scheduled the protest on Good Friday at 5pm. He says he’s protesting against terrorists, not all Muslims, and that no matter what his opinions are it’s not his problem if a sector of the community is prone to violence over his free speech.

The judge gave Jones the choice of putting up the money or a jury trial right now. Jones took the trial and that’s set to go on Friday morning. Maybe. Jones says the trial itself is not Constitutional and it’s a ploy to keep him from his right to free speech. He’ll be at the mosque at 5pm trial or no trial, he says.

The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is on Jones’ side because, they say, no matter how disgusting or out in space somebody’s words and actions are, if they don’t break the law then the ACLU will usually support them. That’s what the ACLU does.

In a world full of surprises, Jones has the support of the Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services. Director Hassan Jaber issued a statement backing Jones’ right to protest — and residents’ right to criticize him.

Says Jaber, “We cannot teach the U.S. Constitution in our citizenship classes while opposing First Amendment rights. So we support Mr. Jones’ right to speak, but we do so with our own postscript: That his message of bigotry and hate does not resonate here.”

That message from an American Muslim leader is about the most hopeful thing I’ve heard in years from the Islamic community.

Do you say “God Hates FAGS” ? The Supreme Court upholds your right to speak.

The Dearborn situation makes for an interesting contrast with that of Fred Phelps, the hateful leader of the “Westboro Cult” that protests outside of military funerals with signs saying “God Hates FAGS!” The Supreme Court of the United States reaffirmed Phelps’ right to carry on with his protests.

Neo-Nazi? Hate Jews? The Supreme Court upholds your right of assembly.

The Supreme Court also protected the rights of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Party of America to march through Skokie, Illinois in the late 1970’s. At the time of the Nazi march, 1/6th of the town’s population were Holocaust survivors.

No matter how wicked, “Freedom of speech must be defended even when the beneficiaries of that defense are far from admirable individuals.

But the big difference is that the Jews of Skokie and elsewhere were not known to riot and murder at the drop of a hat as is the current Muslim population throughout the world.

What’s happening in Dearborn, Michigan this weekend is very important. One law will come out on top: the US Constitution, or Muslim Sharia. Which one will triumph this Easter?

Detroit News: Jury to decide if pastor can protest at Dearborn mosque

20 Comments

Filed under History, Human Rights, Religion

HELP! Electric Bike needs a charge point at Oistins

We’ve been following the adventures of Canadian David Cameron for almost two years as he tested electric bikes in Barbados. David is back on the island staying in Holetown and he’s going to try to use his electric bike to get to Oistins and back this Friday night.

He needs a charge point at Oistins to top up his bike so he can make it home again. Can anyone help out? He’ll only use 25 cents of electricity and he’d probably be happy to purchase a cutter or a beer if some wonderful person like Marcia will let him plug in to 110VAC.

If anyone can help out, David’s contact info is at the end of the article, or you could put the invitation in the comments section. Here’s his note to us… Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment, Technology

Colman Commission ignores Afra Raymond’s request for standing

CL Financial & CLICO Scandal

At the last sittings on 6th and 7th April, five new parties were announced and Afra Raymond was not among them. It doesn’t look like the Colman Commission wants someone so knowledgeable to have official standing.

Can’t have someone like Afra Raymond asking questions because who knows where that would take the Commission. Why, the big boys would lose control and we can’t have that!

Here’s Afra’s latest article…

CL Financial bailout – A crucial choice

by Afra Raymond

There were several important developments in the Colman Commission at its sittings during the week of April 6th, with the widely reported appeals of Sir Anthony Colman QC for the Central Bank to change its position with respect to the presentation of accounts to the Enquiry.

From my own attendance at the opening session of the Colman Commission on Friday 11th March and the various reports, it seems that there are various moves afoot to restrict or stop the enquiry.  I expected this sort of scenario in declaring the main players to be part of a ‘Code of Silence’ – it is no surprise to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Crime & Law, Freedom Of Information