Tag Archives: History

Barbados History: Bajan handyman turned axe-murderer – Julian Carlton massacred seven at Frank Lloyd Wright home in 1914

Barbados Axe Murder Wright Architect

“Julian Carlton said he was from Barbados and he had good credentials, having worked previously for a prominent Chicago caterer. There was not much more known about him.”

Mass murderer said to be from Barbados… but was he?

September 15, 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of the mass-murder of seven at ‘Taliesin’, the Wisconsin estate home of famed Welsh/American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The murderer, Julian Carlton, and his wife Gertrude had always been reported as being from Barbados, but later accounts say the couple was ‘reportedly’ or ‘said to be’ from Barbados – indicating some doubt. It might be that the doubt originates only from the hundred years since the crime, but could it be that Julian and Gertrude Carlton only said they were from Barbados?

Can any of our readers confirm or deny that the Carltons were from Barbados? Julian Carlton was said to be 30 years old at the time of the murders, making him born around 1884.

Could it be that Julian and Gertrude Carlton only said they were from Barbados?

Frank Lloyd Wright Murder click photo for large

‘God’s judgement’ or a mentally ill man gone berserk?

In 1914 many folks said that the murders were God’s judgement upon Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress for their open adultery. Pretty mistress Mamah Borthwick Cheney was the younger wife of one of the architect’s clients when they started a torid affair in 1903. Frank Lloyd Wright left his wife of 20 years and six children for the delights of Mrs. Cheney and scandalised Wisconsin when he built an estate for her that the newspapers of the time dubbed the “Bungalow of Love”. Continue reading

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George Waldron – from Black Rock, Barbados to Guyana in the 1920′s or 1930′s

Black Rock Barbados History

I would love to hear from the Waldrons of Black Rock

I am an avid reader of the Barbados Free Press and am very happy that I can get to access your news online.

My reason for sending this email is to request some information about some long lost relatives that I would love to connect with in Barbados.

My great grandfather, now deceased, came to Guyana many years ago. His name was George Waldron and was from Black Rock. He came to Guyana sometime in the late 1920′s or early 1930′s and never returned to Barbados.

I would like to connect with the old and the young folks of the Waldron family. I am a Guyanese citizen and presently living in Guyana.

Thanks!

CG

Photo courtesy of Tramz.com’s The Tramways of Bridgetown Barbados

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“Cumba” – the story of one slave woman owned by Captain John Burch, Christ Church. From Africa to Barbados to England

slavery-barbados.jpg

“Mr. Maverick was desirous to have a breed of Negroes, and therefore seeing she would not yield by perswasions to company with a Negro young man he had in his house…”

… from John Josselyn as recounted in Two Voyages to New England, published 1674

One story of millions

by West Side Davie

“Cumba” was her name. She died a slave in Romford, England in April, 1668 – the property of John Burch and his wife Margaret of Hogsty Plantation. (I’m not sure whether Captain John Burch of Barbados is also referred to and is the same as Colonel John Burch of Barbados, but this family history and other websites seem to say it is the same man. I remain open for correction!)

Today, Cumba is remembered as Havering’s first black resident in an excellent article by Professor Ged Martin just published in the Romford Recorder:

It was 350 years ago this year that a fabulously rich couple, John and Margaret Burch, arrived in Romford.

They’d made their money in Barbados, exploiting slave labour to produce the bonanza crop: sugar.

In 1664, they retired to England, buying Romford’s biggest estate, Gidea Hall, then usually called Giddy Hall. The mansion, demolished in 1930, stood just east of Raphael Park.

Madam Burch, as she was fawningly called, brought her personal maidservant from Barbados, the ultimate status symbol.

Cumba was Havering’s first black resident. A slave, a piece of property, Cumba survived the English climate just four years.

But when she died, in April 1668, somebody had the humanity to record her name in the register of Romford’s St Edward’s church. “Cumber, a ffemale Blackamore servant from Guyddy Hall, buried.”

Today, “blackamore” is an offensive term. But in 1668, when “black” was used to ­describe complexion, it was an attempt to identify Cumba with some dignity. The double “ff” ­indicated a capital letter.

… read the entire article Cumba: Havering’s first black resident remembered on the 350th anniversary of her arrival.

We know very little about Cumba, but we still know far more about her than we do about millions of other people who were enslaved with her and since. We know about the times in which she lived, and we also know a little about the socially-condoned cruelty of slave owners. I believe that much of history has been ‘cleansed’, but not all of it. What passed for ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ when Cumba lived gives us some idea of her personal circumstances, what she probably saw even if she was not herself subject to all of the abuses. We simply don’t know the details of her life, but we know the times.

So to learn more about Cumba, we will talk of the people around her: the powerful elites of society at the time… Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Race, Slavery

Barbados 1780 rum made by slaves fetches highest price ever

harwood rum barbados

Queen Elizabeth’s cousin sells 12 bottles from secret stash for US$127,555.65

In 1780 on the island of Barbados, unknown slaves without names distilled and barreled rum for their master: Edward Lascelles, the first Earl of Harewood. The rum was shipped to jolly old England in barrels where it was bottled and tucked away in a cellar at the family mansion… where it sat for 231 years before being discovered. Wuhloss! It wouldn’t have lasted a week ’bout my home!

Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, the Earl (later promoted to Viscount Lascelles) owned some 22 plantations and 2,947 slaves in the Caribbean – including Lascelles House near Holetown.

All these years later his descendant, David Lascelles, 8th Earl of Harewood, is the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II and great-grandson of King George V.

Mount Gay Rum owns the Barbados estate.

What did the 8th Earl of Harewood do with all that money from the sale of slave rum? Good for him… he gave the money back to the Caribbean people – to the Geraldine Connor Foundation.

Good for the Queen’s cousin!

But he only gave back the money from 12 bottles of rum.

We still waiting for the money from the sale of the family mansion: bought an paid for with the blood and tears of thousands of slaves.

Robert.

Further Information about this event:

Harewood House Auction and the Rum Ambassador

 

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How Sir Ronald Sanders swayed Caribbean support for Britain during the Falklands War

caricom-barbados-ronald-sanders.jpgSue Onslow of the University of London interviewed Sir Ronald Sanders as part of the Commonwealth Oral History Project. The entire interview available to read online at Commonwealth Oral Histories, or you can download the PDF at the bottom of this post.

Sir Ronald was a diplomat starting in the 1980′s and was part of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group reporting in 2011. The first Eminent Persons Group included Barbados future Governor General, Dame Nita Barrow, who famously dressed in African garb to sneak into Soweto in South Africa and also met with Nelson Mandella in jail.

The interview covers a wide range of topics where Sir Ronald gives the perspective of someone right in the middle of the chaos that is international politics. Topics include South Africa (people, politics and apartheid), the US invasion of Grenada, the Falklands War and stories and opinions about famous people including then Barbados Prime Minister Tom Adams and lessor public figures like Reagan and Castro. ;-)

It’s a good read for anyone interested in history or politics.

Here’s a passage about how the Caribbean had decided to side with Argentina in the Falklands, but then Sir Ronald decided to convince the leaders that our collective interests favoured the UK…   Continue reading

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Guide to tracing your Barbados roots

Convent School Barbados 1944 click photo for larger

Everywhere you go… you’ll find a Bajan

My great-great-grandfather Sandy Powell Sr. moved to North Carolina in the late 19th century. The story is that he came from Barbados after 1865, as a free man. No one knows why or under what conditions. We don’t know from where in Barbados he traveled, either. Was he part of a larger migration from the Caribbean to the Carolinas? If so, how do we trace that information? —Bettina Judd

It is true that everywhere you go today, you’ll find a Bajan. Here at Barbados Free Press we’ve been contacted by Bajans in China, Greenland, Panama, Russia, Antarctica and Peru to name a few. And way back when during the aftermath of Britain’s anti-slavery laws and movements, Bajans also traveled far and wide… but not always at their own desire. Over-crowding and poverty on Barbados was the catalyst for many young men and women to seek better lives over and away. They still do, and many for the same reasons – deny it as you will.

Many Bajans ended up in North and South Carolina both before and after slavery and the civil war, and many Americans from the Carolinas combine an annual vacation in Bim with the search for their roots and relatives.

We hear in the rum shop that a year ago former Prime Minister Owen Arthur received a young family from South Carolina who are related in some way to him a long time ago. It is a small world sometimes.

Places to look and see…

The Root: How Did My Free Bajan Ancestor End Up in North Carolina?

Ursuline Convent School of Barbados: A short history.

Photo credit: Ursuline Convent School of Barbados Photo Book

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Former colonial officer William Bell’s obituary offers some clues on the demise of the West Indies Federation

William-Lewis-Bell Barbados

Initially the appointment of Bell, a former colonial administrator in Uganda, was greeted with suspicion. The press in Barbados heralded his appointment with the headline “Britain sends us another colonial cast-off”.

“The appointment of Bell was greeted with suspicion.”

And well it should have been. After three hundred years of sucking everything it could from its ‘colonies’ in the Caribbean and around the world – with strategies including the use of slavery, genocide and enforced drug addiction – in the late 1940s post-war Britain looked at the balance sheet and discovered that many of her former assets had become economic and political liabilities.

So Great Britain finally decided to heed the calls for independence – not out of any sense of duty or doing the right thing – but like a business that casts aside a long-term employee who was injured on the job, Britain started dumping the old colonies that were no longer strategically or financially useful. That included Barbados and a host of other Caribbean islands.

And what of all that revenue from sugar’s heyday? What about the benefits to The Empire when Bridgetown was a strategic military base and supply centre? What about the revenues from the slave trade?

Doan talk about that boy.

William Bell: Oppressor? Neutral functionary? Midwife of Bajan independence?

You decide.

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Bajan Ralph Straker passes in the UK – One of thousands recruited from the Caribbean by London Transport in the 1950s

Ralph Straker Barbados London Transit That’s Ralph on the left!  :-)

Left Barbados for London Transport in 1956

Many of those who came to Britain had expected to stay for a few years, but remained for most of their working lives. They often maintained strong links with home, as well as making new friends at work and in the community.

Ralph Straker, recruited as a bus conductor in 1956, agrees.

He said: ‘I have a house already waiting on me there.

‘But my wife isn’t quite ready yet.

‘She’s waiting on the grandchildren… I am waiting to put my foot on the sands and sip my rum punch.

‘I’m looking forward to the day when we can do that.’

… from a 2010 article in Transport for London (here)

Ralph Straker passed on Saturday October 12, 2013 at 77 years old – which is not that old in Bajan terms, but he’d been living in the UK since 1956 and that fast pace must take a few years off a person. But Ralph and his wifey Monica had been married for 54 years, had hundreds of friends and their children and extended family, so Ralph by all accounts led a good life. He was a verger at his church for 45 years and you can’t call a man like that anything but a bedrock of the community and a true leader by example.

Mr. Straker was one of thousands from the Caribbean recruited in the 1950s by London Transit to counter the exodus of Brits after the war to places far afield like South Africa, Australia, America, Canada and the orient. That adventure alone is worth a read.

Our prayers for the Straker family and friends.

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“Better to be poor and in control of my own life”

A few wonderful pieces from our old friend Ian Bourne at The Bajan Reporter.

That man has a nose for news and a belly for a story. A pity he’s not in charge of CBC’s news department…

“Your Condo does not impress me much!”

Money dictates the quality of life that you live, and without money you cannot survive: that in itself is a true statement. Unfortunately, a lot of times we make less money -even though we might do the same quality, and quantity of work as a man in the workplace.

This then leads you to perhaps marry for stability, to ensure that you will live comfortably. Money does not make you happy, so don’t ever throw in the towel and settle with a man just because he is financially stable. Great if you find, and love someone who is wealthy and you two have decided to make a life together. However, succumbing to fear and marrying for money while you stare at your dwindling bank account is not the answer.

Read the entire article at The Bajan Reporter: Your Condo does not impress me much!

Dido elizabeth belle

Belle – Illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral

Based on a true story, Belle follows the story of an Dido Elizebeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Royal Navy Admiral Sir John Lindsay and a Jamaican slave woman known only as Belle. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield and his wife, Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.

“Dido Elizabeth Belle was born around 1761. She was baptised in 1766 at St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury. Her father, John Lindsay, nephew of the Earl of Mansfield, was at the time a Royal Navy captain on HMS Trent, a warship based in the West Indies that took part in the capture of Havana from the Spanish in 1762. It has previously been suggested that her mother was an enslaved African on board one of the Spanish ships captured during this battle, but the dates are inconsistent and there is no reason why any of the Spanish ships (which were immobilised in the inner habour) would have had women on board when they were delivered up on the formal surrender of the fortress. Dido’s baptism record, however, shows that she was born while Lindsay was in the West Indies and that her mother’s name was Maria Belle.”

Thanks to Ian Bourne for pointing us to a new movie about this fascinating bit of Caribbean history.

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Those darn Bajans are everywhere – including in The Bronx

That’s a four pass Scotch marine boiler you’re looking at – made by EASCO in the Bronx, New York City, United States of America. EASCO stands for A.L. Eastmond and Sons Inc., a multi-million dollar company that is one of the largest boiler manufacturers on the Eastern seaboard. With almost one hundred employees EASCO is also the largest black-owned boiler manufacturer pretty well anywhere.

And who, really, is EASCO? Glad you asked. You see, almost a hundred years ago a blacksmith named Eastmond left his home in Barbados and headed for New York City…

Here is a wonderful piece of history and an uplifting read to start your day…

EASCO is a family and community affair

A.L. Eastmond and Sons Inc. (EASCO) has made its mark all over New York City. Chances are that the boiler in your apartment building was built by them. This successful multimillion-dollar business, started by a blacksmith from Barbados nearly a century ago, now spans three generations.

EASCO’s CEO is 85-year-old Leon Eastmond Jr. He told the AmNews how it all began in 1925.

“My dad came from Barbados and worked for other companies for several years. He bought a fleet of taxicabs. In those days, there was no permanent antifreeze and you had to let the water out of the motors at night so they wouldn’t freeze. The drivers left the water in the blocks and the motors froze overnight and cracked, making the cabs useless.

“So he said, ‘Let me go back to what I know.’ He was a blacksmith. He opened a place at 37 W. 144th St. in Harlem and began shoeing horses and putting springs in cars. He eventually bought a welding machine that you push like a wheelbarrow. After several years, he bought a welding truck…

… read the rest of the story at New York Amsterdam News

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One British tourist’s view of Barbados history

Should Barbados look to Germany and the Holocaust camps for guidance?

by John Slapp

I have visited Barbados many times over the past years and each visit is preceded by excitement at the prospect of reacquainting myself with friends made in previous years and the beauty of the island.

This excitement is, however, tempered by the knowledge that Barbados has denied and neglected its history, both architectural and human, in favour of the “Luxury Dollar”.

Architecture

Walking around Bridgetown one is struck by the number of neglected historical buildings left to rot and decay. Just one example of many is the Eye Hospital. There are many more. They are treated no better than the eyesores of empty hotels along the Boardwalk.

The Garrison area is one shining light, however Needhams Point, with its guns rusting in the sea, is now a part of the Hilton, for goodness sake! An example of the Dollar being more important than Heritage. It also seems that the Gun Collection in St Ann’s Fort is a national secret if direction signs are anything to go by.

Driving around the island one comes across many old sugar mills and boiling houses. Maybe I am at fault but I have yet to see one restored to give visitors an idea of what they were like. A few days of cane crushing at Morgan Lewis is commendable but hardly inspiring.

I could go on and on, but I think that you get the point.

Human

Barbados has a history. Much as we all wish it had been otherwise the fact remains that slavery, both white and black, is a major part of this history. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Slavery

Barbados history destined to remain unknown without real action

Building tourism upon the dark history of slavery… slavery that inspired rebellion and a soaring quest for freedoms and rights.

by Passin Thru

For the last few days the local Bajan news media has been full of stories about the Oistins Charter. Our illustrious government says the country will be establishing itself as a heritage travel destination and our Prime Minister (what’s ‘is name again?) emerged from the martini lunches at the Hilton to do some photo ops. (See Barbados Today here and here)

Heritage tourism is a good idea – maybe a great idea – as studies show that tourists need more than sun, sand, sex and rum to get excited about a destination. But while some of us move to recreate and enhance our Bajan brand with history and heritage travel, others were busy destroying the architecture of one of our oldest structures.

According to Karl Watson on his Facebook page, the oldest existing building in Bridgetown was built around 1650 – and last week the new owners decided to “renovate” it by filling in some of the roofline with concrete. This happened at the same time that the government was saying wonderful things about heritage tourism.

Herein is the lesson about “saying” and “doing”: wonderful pronouncements from our Prime Minister and other elected representatives are not reality.

Words are not laws or enforced standards. Words are not deeds. Saying words, however inspired, is not taking action. Promising to do this or protect that does not make it so.

That is the problem with Barbados and that is the problem with the wider Caribbean: we citizens are told what the government plans or says it plans, but we never follow up to see what the government really does or accomplishes. In the old days we accepted the falsehoods in exchange for tinned beef, biscuits and a smash of rum or whisky. Now we trade our acceptance of obvious falsehoods for what?

What do we gain by nodding and repeating in a zombie-like fashion “Oh Yes! We will be a heritage travel destination!”

Who can hold the government accountable or judge performance when the most basic of financial expenditures remain secret because our politicians deliberately failed to pass a Freedom of Information law?

The Oistins Charter is the latest government fashion!

The Charter of Barbados was signed at the Mermaid Tavern, Oistins, on 11th January 1652 and ratified by the Assembly on 17th January 1652. It predates the US Declaration of Independence but contains an Article much treasured in the US…

As entered in the Charter of Barbados:-

3. That no taxes, customs, imports, loans or excise shall be laid, nor levy made on any the inhabitants of this island, without their consent in a General Assembly.

In the US Declaration of Independence this clause reads:-

There shall be no taxation without representation.

Barbados can be a world-class heritage tourism destination: but only if we stop destroying the physical evidence of our history. Perhaps fifty years ago Bajans – black, whitish and in between – made a decision to let the physical reminders of slavery rot and vanish. Walls, plantation houses, public buildings and books were offered as sacrifices to the concept that if we destroyed the relics we could forget or change history.

What a travesty! How wrong we were… and here we are today being force to “recreate” buildings and places like the Mermaid Tavern where the Charter of Barbados was signed.

Bajans must watch our representatives carefully to see that they really mean what they say. We should not accept any excuses. The truth is: I don’t believe Prime Minister Stuart. I don’t believe he and his government mean what he said, nor that the government will do what he said he would.

And that is probably the saddest thing of all.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History, Slavery

Jim Bailey: Battle of Britain fighter pilot and anti-apartheid warrior

(click photo for large)

The wondrous life of James R. A. Bailey, DFC – founder of DRUM Magazine, South Africa

Anybody who has spent any time at all in South Africa knows DRUM Magazine, a publication that has had its ups and downs in the past six decades but was always on the front line of the struggle for freedom. Since I spent some time in Jo’burg in the early 1990′s, DRUM has turned into more of a black urban lifestyle publication but there was a time when the tabloid told stories that no one else could without getting banned.

What I didn’t know before now, and only just discovered this past week, is that DRUM was started and financed for decades by a white ex-Royal Air Force fighter pilot named Jim Bailey. To my great delight an old friend presented me with a birthday gift of Bailey’s wartime biography The Sky Suspended – A fighter pilot’s story. That led me to looking up the author online and there I found the story of Jim Bailey and DRUM. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

As near as I can discern from the online stories, Bailey poured much of his inherited wealth into starting DRUM as a “black” publication in 1950. It was a true tabloid with girls, crime and violence to keep the readers titillated and the numbers up but it developed a reputation for coming right up to and crossing the line about freedom issues. I think BFP’s readers will understand our appreciation of that marketing philosophy. :-)

When the police beat Steve Biko to death in 1977, DRUM showed the activist in his coffin. When Desmond Tutu wanted to tell the people why he met with the South African apartheid government, he did so in the pages of DRUM. When the bodies piled up on the streets in the townships, DRUM showed them beside the photos of the white police who shot them down. These were dangerous stories to cover, but DRUM did so and made a difference.

Jim Bailey died in early 2000 but he left a legacy of books and poetry that I’ve yet to read. I’m only 40 pages into The Sky Suspended, but other than writing this post I doubt I’ll do any work for the next few days until I finish the book.

Later this week I’ll put up a few more posts on Bailey and his role in Sooth Africa at the time, but for now here’s what he says about what it takes to be a fighter pilot…

It became a study of mine, one I pursued meticulously at this time, to discover what type of man makes the best fighter-pilot. I found, for example, that only children, pilots without brothers or sisters, were particularly helpless. When a new pilot came to us, I would try to guess after a day or two whether he came from a large family or not and then go and ask him. If he did, he had a better chance to survive.

Good pilots are common, good fighter-pilots were rare. It is as with polo: many can ride, but few play polo well; and among those who play well, many ride in a crude and efficient way, without good hands or precision. I arrived at a few conclusions. The qualities that made for success in a fighter-pilot seemed to be just those sturdy qualities that made for success in other professions; observation, initiative, determination, courage, including the courage to run away.

Battle of Britain veteran Jim Bailey on what makes a great fighter pilot

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Filed under Africa, Aviation, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights, Military, Race

This is probably written by Colin Leslie Beadon – but if we remove a word, then what?

Bayes’s theorem of Inverse Probabilities.

by Colin Leslie Beadon

I’d not be surprised an editor would blank a script with such a heading as above. Yet in an attempt to continue encourage all our youth, in the pursuit of science, and mathematics, I can’t but press blindly ahead.

Thomas Bayes 1701-1761 was a clergyman from Tunbridge Wells in Kent. He was, as Bill Bryson writes in his newest book ‘At Home’ , a shy and hopeless preacher, but he was a singularly gifted mathematician.

The Rev Thomas Bayes somehow tripped upon an equation. And as has been often been the case with equations, he did not know what it could be used for.

Thankfully, Rev Bayes wrote it carefully down, but then he shelved it. That is right ! Rev Bayes shelved it away, and died two years later.

Two years after his death, a friend sent the equation to the Royal Society in London. It is a short equation. About 30 key strokes on a laptop could write it. The equation was published in the Royal Society’s ‘Philosophical Transactions’. But there were not any computers around in those days, to make head or tail of it.

‘Today that equation is used in modelling climate change, predicting the behaviour of stock markets, fixing radiocarbon dates, interpretation of cosmological events, and much else where the interpretation of probabilities is an issue.’

As I have said before in previous letters, this phenomena of a scientist/mathematician coming up with an equation that does not seem to fit anywhere, until a great many years have sailed by , never fails to bring up goose pimples. I don’t know how many times now, reading on science I have come across this extraordinary facet of long-delayed equation recognition.

I’m going to repeat my enthral of the other book by Bill Bryson. ‘ A Short History of Nearly Everything’.

If we are definitely serious about getting our young people interested in science, then the above book should be in every single classroom, and should have been read by every politician too, since it deals interestingly, and excitingly, in all the major knishes of science.

Reading such a book, would draw most of us out of the morose and blindness we swim around in concerning the world and the modern age in which we live.

Too many of us are being hoodwinked by sellers of modern technology dealing with climate change and alternative energy (for example), technologies most of us know extremely little about.

Wikipedia: Thomas Bayes

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Do you remember these British High Commissioners to Barbados?

We probably identified the wrong UK Diplomat “David Roberts” in our recent post Former UK Diplomat “Barbados badly needs plumbers but is turning out third rate lawyers by the dozen…”

Thanks to the efforts of BFP reader Elizabeth, we can now tell you that the “David Roberts” in our story might be Sir David A. Roberts, K.B.E., C.M.G., who served as the UK High Commissioner to Barbados from 1971 to 1973.

Elizabeth also sent us a complete list of British High Commissioners to Barbados since our independence, so we’ll reprint it here, along with the link to the entire list of British Ambassadors from 1880 to 2010.

Thanks Elizabeth, you’re a charm!

BRITISH AMBASSADORS 1880-2010 (PDF)

BRITISH AMBASSADORS AND HIGH COMMISSIONERS: 1880-2010
Introduction

These lists have been compiled from the information contained in the annual Foreign Office List(later renamed the Diplomatic Service List).

This invaluable source ceased publication however in 2006. In addition, latterly the annual editions only provided complete lists of the names of Ambassadors for the previous twenty years or so.

BARBADOS(from 1966):

John S. Bennett, C.B.E., C.V.O.: 1966-1970
Sir David A. Roberts, K.B.E., C.M.G.: 1971-1973
Charles S. Roberts, C.M.G.: 1973-1978
James S. Arthur, C.M.G.: 1978-1982
Viscount Dunrossil, C.M.G.: 1982-1983
Sir Giles L. Bullard, K.C.V.O., C.M.G.: 1983-1986
Kevin F.X. Burns, C.M.G.: 1986-1990
Emrys T. Davies, C.M.G.: 1990-1994
Richard Thomas, C.M.G.: 1994-1998
Gordon M. Baker: 1998-2001
C. John B. White: 2001-2005
Duncan J.R. Taylor, C.B.E.: 2005-2009
Paul Brummell: 2010-

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Black race and science

Revising history doesn’t change the present.

Black governments must fund science as a priority

by Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.

Recently, there was a series of articles in the local newspapers (by Messrs Michael Dingwall and Rahim Shabazz), concerning the role of the black race in the advancement of science. I have some comments to make as a scientist. Let me first state that scientist are seekers of the truth. Scientists deal with facts and not sentiments.

Dingwall is correct when he states that as a race, black people continue to lag in the field of science and technology and to quote him: “The black man has been virtually absent where innovations in science and technology are concerned.”

The foregoing is a statement of fact and no amount of wishful thinking by Shabazz or Mr. Orlando Marville is going to alter the situation. The black race is always harping on the past. It is time to look forward ( I am not saying that one should forget the past) and make efforts to change the situation.  At one time, Europeans were considered to be little more than savages by the Chinese and Muslims when these peoples were leaders of the known world. The Europeans pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. The achievement by the Europeans was led by their scientists. Continue reading

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Karl Watson: Does Rihanna’s poor white ancestry have any meaning for her?

Growing up poor and white in 1950′s Barbados

“I often wonder whether Rihanna… ever thinks of or knows anything of her poor white ancestry, their specific role in Barbadian history, their heritage…and if it has any meaning at all for her.”

by Karl Watson

As in everything, the situation at the Yacht Club and Aquatic Club was more complex than it seems on the surface of a compartmentalized black and white scenario. In the early 1950′s and 60′s, the Yacht Club was definitely white with an emphasis on expatriates and upper and upper middle class Barbadian whites.

“Those with the wrong pedigree or background were blackballed.”

The Aquatic Club was mostly white or whitish (i.e. individuals with about a ten to twenty percent Afro admixture that everybody knew about, as genealogies are/were pretty well know for that class) middle class Barbadian with a sprinkling of more obvious i.e.darker mixed race individuals, but also of a middle class back ground.

Working class whites were simply too poor to be admitted…it probably never occurred to them to think of applying for membership.

“So as others have pointed out, in the simplistic equation of poor black and rich white…the fate of the poor whites is often omitted.”

From my personal experience and though we were Bayland poor, my family was not of the poorest, being blond and blue eyed did not save us from being run off the Yacht Club beach in those days. Yes, we “white” children were forbidden to walk on the Yacht Club beach. We would swim to the Aquatic Club with other friends and hold on to the steps like every one else. I almost lost an ear when one day, I made the mistake of stepping on the bridge and was unceremoniously “jacked up” and marched to the entrance to the club and thrown out. You shouldn’t do something like that to a child, but it was done to me. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Human Rights

Thomas Midgley: Worst environmental criminal in history?

In his portrait, he looks like a respectable man of his time. Intelligent eyes, distinguished appearance and a look of confidence. Nice suit. A successful man. Friendly. A kind and caring father, a good neighbour. A man to be trusted.

It just shows how little you can tell from a formal portrait, for Thomas Midgley invented something that killed people. He knew his invention was killing people and destroying the environment but for years he lied and kept on promoting his invention. Even when his invention ruined his own health, he continued to lie and cover-up to keep making money.

Meet Thomas Midgley, Jr. – Vice President of General Motors and inventor of lead in gasoline.

And, after his work poisoning people and the environment with lead, he went on to “give” the world the miracle of CFCs like Freon that destroy the ozone layer.

Fortunately, Mr. Midgley was strangled to death by one of his other inventions before he could do further harm.

Who are the Thomas Midgleys of Barbados?

There is a lesson here for modern Barbados as we watch the Midgley’s of our day wall off the coasts, fail to pass environmental legislation while approving commercial development of the last remaining wetlands, and continuing to believe that more cars on more roads is a plan to make our island home the best it can be for future generations.

Who are the Bajan Midgleys? Let’s name them here…

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, History, Technology