Daily Archives: August 19, 2011

National Development Scholarship winners should commit to Barbados

Our public investment should be contingent on a promise to come home!

by BFP Reader “JJ”

Minister of Education Ronald Jones officiated at an awards ceremony last Tuesday where he congratulated the National Development Scholarship winners.

Many of these scholarships are major investments for Barbados with recipients being funded for three or four years of higher education abroad in London and the USA. One young fellow will be studying engineering in Taiwan for four years. The paper said the total for this year alone is $1.7 million and that is no small change. (Ed: Nation story here)

“As it now stands, the newly graduated engineer and his friends can take their taxpayer funded degrees, settle down in London or Los Angeles to make a life for themselves and never give another thought to Barbados.”

Although the Minister urged the scholars to return to the island and contribute to its continued development, this is entirely optional. I think it’s time to make this return to Barbados a formal contract obligation with major scholarships.

The Minister made the statement that Barbados is funding education in areas where we lack personnel: business intelligence, statistics, theatre management, disaster management, paediatric cardiology, education policy and planning, language pathology, gerontology, copyright law, archives conservation, urology and environmental engineering.

That is the purpose of our public funding of this higher education abroad, so I think it is only fair and wise that we demand four years in return from the beneficiary of any major scholarship. Once they have served their four years living and working in Barbados, they would be free to go abroad, but the hope is that the young professionals will settle down in Barbados and in so doing help in the development of their country.

This is only fair if tax-payer monies are funding major studies. Without a formal commitment, these scholarships are just another free giveaway that we cannot afford. With a formal commitment, the scholarships become a true investment in the future of Barbados.

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues

Join us Saturday for a family affair in St. John

Good Friends, Fine Food, Marvelous Music… and FREE ADMISSION

On August 20th 2011 at 4pm, the St John Constituency Council Cultural Committee in Association with The St John Parish Independence Committee presents…

Reflections and Attractions – A ole time family affair.

Bring out the family, come and journey into the past. Plenty of food and drinks. Meet the 2011 St John Parish Ambassadors. Face Painting for the children (and adult children too!). Wonderful music and a good time will be had by all.

AND >>>>> Admission is free. (Can’t get better than that!)

See you at: The Coach Hill Playing field, Coach Hill, St. John. – 4pm Saturday, August 20th

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Filed under Barbados

Reader: Chief Justice Gibson’s self-announcement “highly inappropriate”

Dear Barbados Free Press,

Barbados and the rest of the world first heard from Mr. Marston Gibson himself that he had been chosen as our new Chief Justice. I first read about the confirmation on Barbados Free Press half a day before the “official” announcement. The story that a New York reporter called Mr. Gibson to confirm a rumour is no excuse. (If indeed the call was not the other way around! Who knows?)

“There is a proper way of doing things and Mr. Gibson should not have been the first one in the press to publicly confirm his appointment.”

This announcement by Mr. Gibson was highly inappropriate and echos some of the concerns earlier put forward by former Attorney General Dale Marshall.

Mr. Marshall was quoted on May 1, 2011 in the Nation and CBC saying,

“Gibson has spoken quite liberally to the Press and, of course, he is entitled to do that as an individual citizen, but there is something called judicial temperament that means a lot in our neck of the woods,”

“In the US judges and court officers speak freely to the Press; it is part of their culture. It is not part of ours. But Mr Gibson appears to be operating in the North American mode, and one wonders if the Government is not feeling a little discomfort at that.”

…former Attorney General Dale Marshall talks about Marston Gibson

I am not writing this letter to ‘pile on’ to our newly appointed Chief Justice, Mr. Marston Gibson. I am writing because I too have concerns that his style of talking in the news media might not be a good fit with what we expect from our Judges in Barbados. I hope that Chief Justice Gibson changes his standards in this area to reflect a less American approach.

I was no fan of David Simmons when he was Chief Justice, but I cannot remember when I was ever concerned about him giving a press interview for all the time he was Chief Justice. He maintained the dignity of the position when he talked with the press and no one can take that from Sir David.

There is also a concern, again vocalized by Dale Marshall, that Mr. Gibson is not only out of touch with Bajan culture after almost three decades away from home, he also has some learning to do about Bajan law and our justice system. This is from the same May 1, 2009 statements by Mr. Marshall…

Marshall also said that while Gibson declared his intention to get rid of the assizes system, the former chief justice had already done that years ago.

“In his pronouncement, he [Gibson] has demonstrated a clear ignorance on the system that he says he wants to come and administer,” he charged.“

It may well be that Government is backing away from the appointment, given Mr Gibson’s propensity to speak to the Press and also given the fact that he has demonstrated a significant ignorance of matters of our court system which really cannot be endearing him to the political or the judicial leaders at this point in time.”

Mr. Gibson is our new Chief Justice and I will give him the respect due of the office, but if this latest little publicity stunt of self-announcement by Mr. Gibson is to be the new standard for the conduct of our Chief Justice, he will start to distance himself from the very justice system he seeks to administer.

Yours truly,

Name withheld upon request.

3 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics