Sunbury Plantation House, Barbados – Saturday Morning Thoughts

sunbury-barbados.jpg bussa.jpg sunbury-wedding-barbados.jpg

“The leader of the slave rebellion at Sunbury was King William, a friend of Bussa the rebellion leader who was later tried and put to death for his crime.”

…from the Sunbury Plantation House website (link here)

It was with great amusement (and perhaps a little bit of small-p pride) that we at the Barbados Free Press received a PRESS RELEASE from an American media organization – informing us that the Sunbury Plantation House in Barbados was available for weddings and other social functions.

That a professional media publicity organization would send this little blog the same press release that they sent to the New York Times is truly a big event around here. (And we won’t listen to any comments about it being a mistake either!) 🙂

So I visited the website of the Sunbury Plantation House, more out of curiousity than anything else.

I’ve never been to the place, although I’ve been to others. It is impossible to avoid the plantations on Barbados because they were, and are, everywhere. One could truly say that there was a time when this small island was one big plantation.

And I am incredibly affected by plantation houses.

I walk the manicured paths and touch the walls and out buildings – knowing who built them. Imagining the loneliness of being ripped from family, home and society – transported to Barbados under the most horrible conditions. Death. Filth. Rape. Cages. Chains.

Can we really imagine the horror? The reality?

The Slavers Debated “Tight pack or loose pack”

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you might want to read this.


So when I walk a plantation, for me, it feels somewhat as I imagine I would feel at Dachau or Sobibor. Not the same feeling, you understand – but perhaps a more difficult mixture of emotions because if my ancestors had not gone through their hell, our family might be still living in today’s hell of Nigeria, Rwanda or Congo.

Difficult thoughts and emotions.

Bussa’s Rebellion – and maybe the man himself – Touched Sunbury Plantation House

And then I read on the Sunbury Plantation website that the slave leader Bussa touched this place with his ideas and his will. How would Bussa feel about seeing this plantation today?

Would he be pleased to see happy dark-skinned brides dressed in white at this place? Laughing families celebrating the start of another generation – and the flag of an independent Barbados flying in front of the plantation owner’s home.

I imagine that Bussa would understand, maybe even be pleased to see the society that we have made on our island.

But would Bussa understand this…

I can never forget where I came from… but I am not African. I am not British.

I am Bajan.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life, Traveling and Tourism

31 responses to “Sunbury Plantation House, Barbados – Saturday Morning Thoughts

  1. Anonymous

    They probably thought you were a reputable, bonafide, professional media entity. How silly of them. BTW, how many days til the government shuts this site down again? My champagne is chilling…

  2. West Side Davie

    Anonymous must be chilling his or her champagne for a long time. At the Minister’s office, no doubt.

  3. Anonymous

    Never mind where my champagne is chilled. I only recently put it in the fridge since getting the good news. Seems BFP missed out on the scoop that certain people are now hot on their tails, a la WordPress investigations. Oh well, live it up while it lasts… I give it about a week. Ciao 🙂




  5. Disposable Arts

    People…I highly doubt this blog is going anywhere due to the fact it’s on an international server, and if by some weird reason it did, we’ll just move it to another blog server 0_o

  6. Lady Anon

    Illuminator…as a collector of quotes, I just added yours to my collection…”May all the yard fowls be roasted by the flames of truth and freedon for all.”

    Well said.

  7. honeybee

    BFP Barbados needs you. Do not let these threats put you off. Obviously you are rattling cages which is good.

    Keep up the good work.

  8. John


    It is nice to know BFP and its contributors are getting up some peoples’ noses!!

    It is time.

    Wonder if the Advocate or Nation would carry the story if it were really to be shut down!!

    BFP started in January this year and the archives are there for all to see.

    Nine months have passed.

    It is time for a baby to be born and a new life to start.

    So if there is to be a birth, and the next week is a rough one leading up to the birth, at least we know that however painful that birth may be, “It’s a lovely day tomorrow”.

    The human spirit revels in adversity and will always triumph.

    What ever happens, don’t drink your champagne too quickly!!

    It might choke you.

  9. Hants

    If any attempt is made to shut this site down,rest assured that the “friends of BFP” will use their technological skills to keep Barbados in the Blogsphere.
    Whether it is called BFP or BN (not so free)P Barbados Politicians will continue to feel the pressure of the “New world Blog Order”.
    Ask Senator Lieberman in the US senate about Blogs and he lives in the “Land of the Free”.

  10. Hants

    If this site was shut down, topics like this would not be discussed.

    Barbados Advocate.

    “IMF report suggests increase in VAT
    Web Posted – Fri Sep 15 2006
    THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) is again calling on the Barbados government to increase the value added tax (VAT).
    Furthermore, it wants the full impact of higher oil prices borne by consumers, and believes that some projects could either be postponed by government or offset by reductions in other areas.

    The IMF has suggested these measures following its Article IV Consultation which was done last month.”

    Check it out BFP.

  11. West Side Davie

    THEY are not really talking about shutting down this blog. They are talking about identifying the writers so that the government and its agents can intimidate them.

    Says everything about the Barbados government.

    What laws have the writers of this blog broken? What laws have the commenters broken?

    Shut this blog down and the newspapers of the world will have their morning story.

    Plus the blog will probably be up and running the next day somewhere else. Only makes the story better.

    What you gonna do, Owen Arthur, shut down Google like the Chinese Government?

  12. John

    I agree.

    When I sat and thought about it, I realise it would be absolutely dumb for the Barbados Government to shut down this blog.

    That would be the scoop!!

    Not that it hasn’t done some absolutely dumb things in its time. Owen phoning people to cuss them because they happen to disagree with him is one pretty dumb action that comes to mind.

    Yeah Hants, I think the IMF is making serious noises. The politicians can pout and strut, but it is obvious that is all they are doing.

    Thought the comment about raising finance through public/private sector projects was kind of ominous.

    Maybe the IMF has it figured out too!!

  13. Pat

    I dont think they can shut the blog down. But they can try to hack it and get our names and or e-mails. I hope BFP keeps tight security on these. I hope they change servers regulalrly to mess them up. Then do they have anyone in the BLP who have the technical capabilities to find out who runs BFP and who its subscribers are?

    If they try to force this site off the web, that will be one helluva big scandal. I can see Snoop and Beep, BK, Adrian and others on the Barbados Forum having a good day. Out of the frying pan and into the fire?

  14. Anonymous

    Get real. You have a blog that publishes ‘news’ from scandal monger sources and expect not to face consequences? Ruin reputations and the name of Barbados, and for what? The appearance of a “free press”? Give me a break!

  15. missinghome

    You are correct anonymous,

    Much safer to say nothing about Minister of Public Works Gline Clarke’s conflict of interest scandal. Much safer to print stories of cricket victories and school plays just like the nation and Advocate.

    Didn’t BFP invite Minister Clarke to explain his side though? Mr. Clarke could easily explain things couldn’t he?

    He has never put a cent into his lady friend’s home has he?


    Hello Minister Clarke? Hello….?

  16. obviously the BFP has ruffled more than a few yardfowl feathers…

  17. Disposable Arts

    Interesting…be at ease “pat” i highly doubt they can hack the server…but it does bring about the question, if shall a thing occur, is BFP prepared? do you guys have full back ups of the sites content? another site/server ready to go? might also be a good idea to buy the title of the site as a domain name.
    ( ^_^ )

  18. BFP

    Full backups in place.

    Shut down this one, and we’ll be back in less than a day – complete with interviews on BBC.

    (Oh please, please, please shut us down, Owen!)

    But the threats to shut us down are very recent, aren’t they?

    The Secretary General of the BLP, Dr. Duguid, Minister Eastmond, MP Joe Edghill and others were happy to engage us, post comments on the BFP and use us to announce happenings and even policy. The BLP blog linked to the Barbados Free Press.

    Only when the BFP and our readers started to ask pointed questions about specific perceived conflicts of interests did the theats to shut us down start.

    Once again we clearly state here – If anyone disagrees with anything we have written, we will make our space available to them so they can reach the same readership to give their side of the story, or to point out our errors.

    The offer still stands. Minister Clarke and anyone else are more than welcome to speak directly to our readers.

    The ball is in your court, Mr. Clarke.

  19. Anonymous

    It’s nice to see the BFP bloggers being so confident and, dare I say, arrogant in their dedication to this scandal rag. This is almost reminiscent of the captain and crew of the Titanic… it would be admirable, if it wasn’t so stupid. I don’t even know why William entertained you in the first place, but I’m certainly glad he doesn’t anymore.

    Shut down this blog? Heavens no! The Barbados Government isn’t in the business of shutting down avenues to free speech. No – not a progressive democracy like ours! What the government is about is curtailing slander and incitive lies like the drivel posted here, and mark my words – when the merry band of country fools behind this site are asked to ‘prove’ the authenticity in each and every libellous story on this site and can’t do it, NO court in the world would disagree with the decision to throw these jonnies in jail.

    And, on a side note, you attack and malign Gline Clarke, and expect him to run to you to explain his side? I think sometimes you actually believe that you *are* the press! Uppity cantankerous children like you should be seen, and not heard. The BFP is not the place for Clarke to defend himself – in fact, it is YOU who should look about trying to defend everything you’ve posted here on this site.

    Interesting how you’ve gone from “we use proxies to appear as though we post from all over the world… pray that they don’t find us”, to this boisterous bravado of “if they shut us down we’ll be back in a day – so shut us down!” You learned from Thompy how to appear in control of a sinking ship eh? Well good… sail towards that iceberg. Prison brown certainly would be a nice colour on you.

  20. Disposable Arts

    I like this guy haha, sorta reminds me of when some stupid cop said the radio dj’s were sending coded messages to gangs HAHAH. The reality of this weird situation is that BFP is being read and also seems to be doing what any good “underground-press” does, and that’s ruffling some mo fu**ing feathers!

    Whos Gline Clarke anyway? no joke, i have no idea who this man is…

    Let’s all just ignore “Anonymous” like how the DLP ignored the monies owed to QC&CS for a rather fat phone bill they ran up. ( *_* )

  21. ross

    Anonymous is obviously very upset and this is a free blog where he/she can vent. I love it!

    The IMF calling for an increase in the VAT rate and our capable government refusing is such hypocrisy. The government put on a CESS Tax which is more harderhitting than any raise in the VAT and you cannot claim it back, everybody feels the full effect of it. The government should stop trying to fool people.

    Whatever happens we are going to have to pay, maybe not through raised VAT rate but in some other way.

  22. missinghome

    There is another tax that is being considered and it is unfortunately called “devaluing the currency”.

    Happened to me before. No reason why we are safe from it now.


  23. John

    Anonymous is great, the perfect speaker to make people look harder at topical events and read BFP because they sure aren’t getting it in the Advocate or Nation.

    May he/she continue to contribute and remain entrenched in his/her position.

    I raise my imaginary, lightly chilled glass of champagne (don’t like the stuff) and propose a toast to Anonymous. Absolutely wonderful.

    Keep it up Anonymous …… and keep chilling your champagne. Perhaps some day you will get to drink yours too, but it will be a sad day indeed, … and hopefully, it will be very cold, (the champagne that is).

    Guess it is the politician bashing you can’t take. Surely that happens all over the world, look at Dick Cheney, how about Bush and Blair.

    I am sure libellous, slanderous, ridiculous accusations are levelled at them daily in all types of press in all types of countries. Some may even be true. I don’t think I have heard of any of them suing anybody yet, but maybe I am ignorant, I have been called that several times.

    You need to travel, experience real life and widen your horizons, but for now, stay the way that you are. You actually assist the cause and may yet help to roast a few yard fowls.

    Did you see Johnny Cheltenaham in today’s Nation. He says the NHC was not minding its business, which incidentally is the people’s business. That’s why NHC, (the people) have to look for $34million plus costs and that’s why he thinks the claim of surprise by Owen and Reggie is surprising.

    And you would have BFP shut down at such an important point in our country’s life?

    Grow up …… but not too fast. You have a role to play. I think I will enjoy answering your contributions when I have the time …….. until I end up in jail.

  24. Trueblue

    BFP have no fear. You merely provide the forum. Its not for you to screen the authenticity of every comment. But the language of Anonymous sounds very familiar. Let’s all read or watch “1984” again.

    They are all gearing up to try to get to this site.

    But on their own BLP blog site they are doing dixie with the name and reputations of both David Thompson and Mia Mottley in a personal way. Willie isn’t shutting that down. They are in fact encouraging low-life contributions.

    BFP: Keep up the good work. I only hope the Dems will use their public meetings to reinforce the points you are making. I am going to Quakers Road tonite.

  25. John

    Why is the BLP blog site giving Mia a hard time?

    Isn’t she the successor, groomed and in waiting?

  26. ross

    Anonymous is just one voice which does not check facts first. I still see the link to BFP on the BLP blogsite so why is anonymous so upset. Strange.

  27. missinghome

    John say

    “Why is the BLP blog site giving Mia a hard time?

    Isn’t she the successor, groomed and in waiting?”

    Doan John mean “groom in waiting” ?


  28. Pat

    Anonymous seems to be shaking in his/her booties. Is this person Mr. Clarke or his “personal friend” or their hack? Why is this person running scared and issuing threats? Are there more scandals to be unearthed?

    Why does Anonymous not use his/her first name like most of us? Afraid we could link the name to a big-up trough feeder?

    Personally, I feel very soory for the poor local Bajan, who are taxed to death, with every increasing costs, a depleted treasury, and a worthless $ staring them in the face.

    Mia is out begging for investments. It wont be long now before the foreign envoys start begging us expats to invest in Barbados. To send more money home to relatives, etc. Every $ we send is a help to Owen and his government.

    Yet when you want credit for your two years of government service, and you send proof of service, they cant find records. Or, horror or horrors, they have no proof you worked in Bim. Give me a break. I have no love for that government. They have cheated me out of $3600 Canadian dollars a year in pension, indexed to the cost of living. So far, the grand total including indexation is $12,000 for the 3 years I have been retired. This does not include compounded interest/opportunity costs.

    That is why I have stopped sending money. I send food, clothes, the kitchen sink and fridge if necessary, buy nary a $ of my hard earned money.

    I will support BFP. If, perchance, some BLP lowlife should bring an action against BFP, I will financially assist with their defence. They are doing us a great service. All for free.

  29. Pat

    Anonymous, you call BFPers scandal mongers, the BFP a rag. So, Anonymous, are you not a scandal monger yourself, hanging out here, reading this “rag” and even lowering your standards to post?

    Seems to me we are all in the same company…..

  30. Got A New Car

    We are still waiting to hear that Minister Gline Clarke has no money in the home!

  31. CanOfWorms

    Izn’t Bdos just ‘a can of worms’ ?

    Will it explode? or implode?

    With a bang? or a Whimper?

    How much longer..The Facade”?
    How much longer
    until “re-valuation” of the currency?
    You have your savings HERE?