Tag Archives: Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Barbados mangrove wetland comes to Manitoba, Canada: March 25, 2012

Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre unveils a neotropical migratory bird exhibit.

Rare bird carvings donated by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados

Oak Hammock Marsh, Manitoba – Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre (OHMIC) will unveil its new Neotropical Migratory Bird exhibit on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. The exhibit re-creates the sights and sounds of a tropical mangrove wetland. It features a rare collection of 22 life-size bird carvings by the Skeete family of carvers that was donated by the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados.

This unique collection, the largest know group of its kind in the world, is ideally-suited to the new exhibit that shows familiar migratory birds from Canada sharing an exotic mangrove wetland with resident Caribbean birds. Visitors will be invited to follow Wally, the Yellow Warbler, on his annual migration from Oak Hammock Marsh to the south. Arriving at Wally’s destination, visitors will use a viewing blind, binoculars, and interpretive signs to search for Wally among the mangroves that he shares with a variety of herons, egrets, and other resident Caribbean birds.

“The Interpretive Centre was thrilled to receive the generous donation of these exquisite and unique carvings” said Michele Kading – the Head of Interpretation at OHMIC.

“We were overwhelmed when Peter Allard and the Allard Family agreed to sponsor the creation of an exhibit that would not only showcase the beauty of these carvings but would enhance the Centre’s programs for public visitors as well as school groups.”

The new exhibit will help visitors to Oak Hammock Marsh realize the critical importance of Caribbean wetlands in the conservation of Neotropical birds.

Barbados migratory birds

Carved by Geoff Skeete and his son John Skeete, each of the 22 carvings is a life-sized replica of a bird living in the Caribbean that can be seen on the island of Barbados. Geoff Skeete, the elder artist, has had a keen interest in migratory shorebirds of North America that visit the island of Barbados annually in large numbers. Geoff’s wife Joan, who encouraged Geoff to get into this art form, paints each of her husband’s carvings with the colours and details of the living birds they represent. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Barbados, Canada, Wildlife

Founder of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary named Queen’s Counsel in Canada

Peter Allard has been named Queen’s Counsel by the Province of British Columbia. The Canadian businessman, lawyer and philanthropist is the founder and owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados.

This is the second time Allard has been in the Canadian news recently. In September the Chief Justice of Canada opened Allard Hall – a new $55 million dollar law school building at the University of British Columbia that was helped along by a huge gift from Allard of 10 million dollars (Canadian). Allard also gave another 2 million to establish an international prize that supports freedom, integrity and human rights, and creates an online historical faculty archive.

As we related in our post The sad tale of a lost friend of Barbados Peter Allard was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.

Allard explained the situation in a May 6, 2010 press release:

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland.   The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.

At one time Allard was in love with Barbados and focused his philanthropic efforts here. Since coming into conflict with the corrupt Bajan elites though, Allard has funded projects in Africa, Canada and elsewhere in the Caribbean including St. Vincent and Dominica where he helped establish a National Park.

Allard’s problem in Barbados is with our corrupt politicians

Barbados politicians and their land developer friends want to profit from the sale and commercial development of environmentally-protected lands, including public lands once designated for two National Parks. Allard opposed this rape of our natural heritage and that was the end of his relationship with the powerful elites.

How much do the corrupt politicians and their land developer friends hate Allard?

Then PM Owen Arthur and Health Minister Liz Thompson denied the people of Barbados a multi-million dollar cancer and AIDS hospice rather than accept it from Peter Allard with no strings attached. Given a choice between accepting philanthropy from Allard or not, the corrupt politicians preferred our loved ones to die in pain in that filthy hole called the Queen Elizabeth Hospital instead of spending their last days well looked after in a beautiful place with their family members.

That, my friends, takes a lot of corruption and hate but Arthur and Thompson had more than enough.

Congratulations to Peter Allard

Congratulations to Peter Allard upon being honoured by the Canadian government. We wish he had had a better experience in Barbados, but if it’s any comfort he’s not the only philanthropist or foreign investor to be set up and taken advantage of ‘pon de rock. The real losers are we Bajans and our children and grand-children who will never know the National Parks and green space that Allard and others fought for.

Here is the press release from the Government of British Columbia, received via Google Alerts…. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Environment, Offshore Investments

The sad tale of a lost friend of Barbados

UPDATED: September 23, 2011

Watch Live webcast of Allard Hall Opening Ceremony Today

(Friday, Sept 23/11: 10am British Columbia time, 1pm Barbados time)

>>> Watch the live web broadcast here <<<

Chief Justice of Canada, other dignitaries to open UBC’s Allard Hall

Peter Allard to speak live on webcast

We see that the British Columbia University law school has moved into their new building, Allard Hall. The official opening is Friday, September 23, 2011 10am British Columbia, 1pm Barbados time.

“The building was named Allard Hall in honour of UBC graduate Peter Allard, a Vancouver businessman, former lawyer, and principal at Peterco Holdings Ltd., who in July contributed $11.86 million to the faculty — one of the largest donations to a law school in Canadian history. Of the donation, $9.83 million will go towards the new building.”  … from Canadian Lawyer Mag

UBC website: About Allard Hall

“Our profession has more impact on our society than any other. When we do our job well, we see that the Rule of Law is upheld and we protect our clients, our neighbors and fellow citizens against the vagaries of unchecked abuses of power and corruption.”

… taken from Peter Allard’s remarks to be delivered live today via webcast. (PDF of Allard’s speech here.)

Our original story below tells the of Canadian Philanthropist Peter Allard and his history with Barbados.

If anyone out there has any updates on the situation with the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and the Graeme Hall Wetlands, we’d love to hear about it.

A sad, sad tale for ordinary Barbadians as our government ‘leaders’ sell off and develop the last major green space between the airport and the city. Why don’t we just pave over the whole damn island and be done with it?

Original story below…

Philanthropist Peter Allard donates CDN$12 million to Canadian university

Why not to Barbados?

We haven’t heard much lately about Canadian businessman and philanthropist Peter Allard. The owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary was last in the news in Barbados when he penned an open letter to Bajans explaining why he had to close one of the island’s premier tourist attractions and why he is suing the Barbados government for dumping raw sewerage into the Graeme Hall wetlands and other violations of various treaties and agreements.

As Allard said in a May 6, 2010 press release:

“The investment in the Sanctuary was supposed to be part of a sustainable environmental initiative, dependent on government leadership. As the largest private environmental stakeholder in Barbados, we continue to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to maintain the Sanctuary, but we all have to face the fact that it’s Government who is killing the wetland.   The study shows that our environmental commitment and investment cannot withstand this assault.”

… Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary owner Peter Allard in a May 6, 2010 press release.

We at BFP don’t understand why there has been such hostility by some in government towards Peter Allard – or maybe we do understand. Let us explain… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Environmental Protection Department’s 40th Anniversary Sham

Environmental Tour to avoid Graeme Hall sluice gate (above photo), West Coast beach disaster, Mount Stinkeroo

Don’t ask why Barbados lacks environmental protection legislation or off the bus you go!

Barbados is celebrating 40 years of no environmental protection legislation with a carefully staged bus tour this Saturday. A press release from the BGIS says,

EPD rides to visit wetlands, mangroves

A glimpse into the wetlands and mangroves of Barbados will be given when the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) hosts a bus tour as part of its 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

The free tour, which also falls during Environment Month, will be held on Saturday, June 18.  It will offer the public the opportunity to see some of the island’s greener locales and ecosystems first hand, while learning more about what and where they are and how they develop.

It all sounds so environmentally positive, doesn’t it? Just the use of the words “mangroves”, “wetlands” and “ecosystems” has me seeing green and feeling good about our island home. That is, if I ignore the abandoned refrigerators just west of Grape Hall, forget about the Shell jet fuel in the south coast water wells and don’t look at the the green/brown effluent at Bathsheba that flows into the sea.

In one sense, we can’t blame the Environmental Protection Department workers for wanting to celebrate the very existence and survival of their abused and underfunded department. It’s not their fault that for over 40 years successive governments deliberately failed to pass Environmental Protection Legislation or give the EDP proper tools to do the job.

Both the DLP and the BLP preferred to take cash political donations from the corporate polluters instead of putting Barbados first.

Polluters don’t like environmental laws, so our politicians took their money and delivered what they were supposed to: no environmental legislation, protection of corporate polluters, and profits to the auto dealers and road construction companies.

So now we have a legacy of 40 years of no environmental laws, wholesale rape and development of the last remaining wetlands, and a transportation policy that involves ever more roads and ever more vehicles. The construction, auto industries and politicians make the money, while our island is paved over bit by bit. Sounds about right if you have an offshore account in Switzerland or Miami.

“We” borrowed tens of millions for a West Coast sewer project – then spent the money on something else (probably more roads for more cars) and left the sewerage flowing into the water table, the RAMSAR wetlands and the sea.

The politicians and their developer friends are deliberately killing the last remaining mangrove forest at Graeme Hall – and God forbid that Barbados should ever have modern garbage disposal / power creation facilities as do some modern small island nations. Oh no! We’d rather just pile the stuff higher and higher and let the poisons leach into the water and sea – that is when it doesn’t touch off itself and burn for a few months or a year. It’s not called Mount Stinkeroo for nothing, ya know!

So enjoy the bus trip folks, but when you get to the wetlands, ask the tour guide why successive governments have refused to repair the RAMSAR Wetlands sluice gate for 15 years. When you drive by the West Coast, ask why the government approved the groynes that destroyed the beaches. Ask how much money the DLP and BLP received from Shell Oil and the Simpsons of auto-dealer fame. Ask why Barbados has no Environmental Protection Act.

Don’t let the “celebration” go to waste. Demand answers and make some noise.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Environment, Nature, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

National Geographic quotes Barbados PM at Nobel Laureate Symposium – Perpetuates the Con Job

PM Stuart talks “Global Sustainability” while destroying the last mangrove forest on the island


National Geographic VP John Francis fooled into thinking words equal action

Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just returned from the third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability where he rubbed shoulders with Nobel prize winners and famous and not so famous environmentalists and world leaders.

Not only did PM Stuart attend the conference in Stockholm, Sweden – he played an active role with the UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability and conducted an open discussion with the crowd. Former US President Bill Clinton listened to our Prime Minister quote Martin Luther King: “There is no deficit in human resources, the deficit is in human will.”

National Geographic quoted Freundel Stuart like he really meant what he said and would back it up with action.

We at Barbados Free Press say…

“Our plea to National Geographic: Come to Barbados and see the destruction for yourself. Examine the reality, then write. Don’t empower those who say fine words but are really selling out our natural environment for money.”

While Freundel Stuart mouthed his fine words, back home his Democratic Labour Party government is conducting a strategic campaign to destroy the last remaining mangrove forest on the island so it can be commercially developed. Money has always trumped the natural environment in Barbados and Stuart’s DLP is continuing the practice. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

Shan Bovell: “If we protect our environment, we protect our tourism.”

Shan Bovell of The Lodge School won Second Place and $500 in Ages 14-18 in the recent Canada-Barbados Environmental Essay Contest. Here is her excellent essay…

Why is the Environment Important to Barbados?

In an underdeveloped country, don’t drink the water; in a developed country, don’t breathe the air (Changing Times Magazine). The environment is the most fundamental unit of life for Barbados. It’s funny how the government only thinks about the environment when something drastic happens or when Mother Nature lays her hands on us. We have taken this key and unlocked a whole new world but haven’t been showing it the gratitude it deserves.

For too long we’ve been changing out environment to suit out needs or should we say “moving the earth to please” as the motto of C.O. Williams Construction Company says. Continue reading

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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