Monthly Archives: October 2006

Barbados Cricket Film Still Looking For Extras

Barbados Hit For Six

From Linda at My Barbados Blog

Andrea is still looking for volunteers for the Barbados cricket film “Barbados Hit for Six”. I received this e-mail today from the Barbados Hash Harriers. So, if you are on the island, and want to participate, give Andrea a call.

Down to the last week so checking if you, or any of your friends or family, are available for any of the following…

Wednesday 1st November ­ Airport, 8am to 10.30am

Thursday 2nd November ­ Jolly Roger, 12.30pm to 4.30pm

Friday 3rd November ­ Savannah Hotel, times to be announced

Sunday 5th November ­ Party time at Windward, 1.30pm until 5.30pm

Monday 6th November ­ Nation, Fontabelle, 8.30pm to 6am

Could anyone that is interested please call me at 422 4256

Regards
Andrea

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Filed under Barbados, Cricket, Island Life

Yawn… Barbados PM Owen Arthur To Seek 4th Term

From The Jamaica Gleaner (link here)…

Prime Minister Owen Arthur has ended some speculation about his political future, saying he is prepared to seek re-election to Parliament.

“After three terms as a Prime Minister, it is a highly attractive temptation to just ride off into the sunset, after having made a contribution,” he told members and supporters of his Barbados Labour Party Sunday. “However, I feel that I have a contribution to make.”

What? Maybe you were expecting “Mama Mia” Mottley to be the next PM?

Not going to happen – and the BLP hasn’t groomed anyone else yet to take over for Owen, so the PM will just have to give one more bowl for the home team.

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Diversity’s Oppressions – And A Reminder That CARICOM Is All About Diversity

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Thomas Sowell On “United In Our Diversity” And Other Lies

…Diversity.

That word has become a sacred mantra, endlessly repeated for years on end, without a speck of evidence being asked for or given to verify the wonderful benefits it is assumed to produce.

Thomas Sowell (photo above) in The Wall Street Journal article Diversity’s Oppressions

I am fearful about the cultural impacts of CARICOM. Everyone talks about the economic differences in the CARICOM communities, but in this rush to unite the entire Caribbean, we forget that there are important cultural and social differences between the participants.

CARICOM supporters talk of “uniting in our diversity” and other wonderful-sounding catchy slogans, but the reality of free movement between CARICOM countries is a dilution of individual cultures. There are those who argue that the differences in Caribbean cultures are minor – to which I point out that the phrase “Culture Of Violence” hardly applies to Barbados or Dominica, but cannot be so easily dismissed when saying the word “Jamaica”.

The writers on this blog have often stated in one way or another – that we should be Bajan before anything else. No matter colour of the skin or religion or income, we should be strongly identifying with our island, our flag, our social culture and our fellow citizens.

Identity is a choice. If we choose to primarily identify as “black” or “white” instead of Bajan, we risk fragmenting our society. If we choose to primarily identify as “citizens of CARICOM”, it is done at the expense of our Bajan culture and society.

And… I prefer the society that we have forged to that of Jamaica.

post by Marcus

More thoughts on diversity’s oppressions and dangers by Thomas Sowell at The Wall Street Journal (link here) and Shay at Booker Rising (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History

Rebuilding Damaged Coral Reefs Is Possible – With Good Leadership & Not Too Much Money

After 12 Years In Power, Government’s Priorities Are Clear

To my father and his peers, one of the worst insults against a man’s judgement was the phrase, “I’ll bet he never changes the oil.”

Another bit of wisdom was the saying, “That be like buying a new bed ‘an the roof still leaking.”

All meaning, of course, that a person of good judgement should maintain what they have and not use their income to buy new toys while their assets deteriorate.

When BFP reader Nick Whittle sent us the following piece on rebuilding our coral reefs, I immediately thought of my father’s and his friends’ distain for fools who neglect to maintain a valuable asset – especially one that brings them income.

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Rebuilding Barbados Coral Reefs

With so much of our economy based on tourism, it is about time something was done to protect and rejuvinate the coral reefs which surround our beautiful island for everyone to enjoy, and which also offer some natural protection against extreme weather patterns.

The bad state of our coral reefs was reported at Newscientist.com on 21st June 2006 by Richard Fisher in Magazine issue 2557 (link here).

“In the past 30 years, humans have caused more damage to Barbados coral reefs than the reefs had suffered over the previous 220,000

SOMETIMES it’s easy to spot the twist at the end of a tale. Not so with the story of coral reefs across the ages, for here it’s only on the last page that the villain turns up.

“Our results leave little option but to lay the blame on people,” says Jeremy Jackson of the University of California, San Diego, who with John Pandolfi of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has been studying the fossilised remains of coral reefs off Barbados. Humans have caused more damage in the past 30 years than the reefs have experienced at any time in the last 220,000 years, they say (Ecology Letters, vol 9, p 818).”

Perhaps the Government of Barbados should read “Coral transplants rebuild reefs wrecked in tsunami” in the Sunday Times 15th October 2006. (link here)

Coral Transplants Rebuild Reefs Wrecked In Tsunami

BRITISH divers are helping to develop a fresh way of transplanting coral grown in floating nurseries to restore reefs off the coast of Thailand damaged by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, writes Michael Sheridan.

The technique requires tiny fragments of coral to be grown in netted cages suspended in the sea, protected from grazing fish and strong currents. This improves the coral’s chances of survival.

The first crop has been transplanted onto badly damaged reefs at Koh Phai, a small island near the resort of Krabi on the west coast. The divers will now apply the method to other reefs off the islands of Phuket and Phi Phi, where thousands of holidaymakers died.

They have also created an artificial reef and may use specially designed concrete cylinders with many crevices to create beds for coral larvae to grow.

The teams adopted this method because they discovered that traditional “coral rehabilitation”, which involved sinking concrete blocks or marine wrecks offshore to allow coral to grow on them, did more harm than good in seas with strong currents, such as the Andaman Sea, and in waters with a high degree of sediment or pollution.

“Some rehabilitation work in the past unwittingly destroyed the reefs, partly due to inadequate knowledge of coral biology,” explained Nalinee Thongtham, the Thai marine biologist who heads the project. “Natural recovery of degraded coral reefs is only possible if coral seeds or coral larvae are still available in the area and environmental factors are right for the coral to regrow.”

… Benefiting from sympathy and attention after the disaster the Thais turned to Israel’s National Institute of Oceanography, which pioneered the new method in the Red Sea.

Six countries, including the UK, are now collaborating on the project. They have employed the local expertise of Andrew Hewett, a Briton who runs a diving school on Phi Phi, and who narrowly escaped the tsunami with his family. Two years on, he is enjoying the task of rebuilding the reefs that attracted many of his customers.

“One project is a floating coral nursery that is home to about 1,100 coral fragments,” he said. “This allows them to grow without additional pressure from predators, since the nursery floats about 16ft off the sea bottom and 16ft from the surface.” Later this month 300 divers will attend one of the largest coral planting dives ever held, to help transplant the coral fragments.

Foreign funding has paid for the creation of an experimental artificial reef, consisting of 100 concrete blocks, each 5ft square. “By using the concrete blocks we help reduce the damage caused by divers to natural reefs,” he explained. “At present our experienced divers are helping to stack the concrete blocks into pyramids underwater.” These blocks will become the home for the coral fragments, now growing in the floating coral nursery.

Although the concrete “reef” is less attractive than a natural one, the divers are confident that it will become an interesting dive site. “Already fish have taken up residence and are watching us as we lift the one-ton blocks into place,” he said…

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Debate Over “The Father Of First World Barbados” Title For Owen Arthur

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BLP Political Strategists Declare Owen Arthur “The Father Of First World Barbados” – and Cheapen What Could Have Been

In our recent BFP post Blogging Around On A Barbados Sunday Morning, we noted that the BLP political strategists have declared Prime Minister Owen Arthur to be “The Father Of First World Barbados. BFP’s Marcus commented…

“To me, it sounds a bit personality-cultish and more than a bit buffoonish. Such self-proclaimed grandiose titles are common-place in African dictatorships and other tin-pot locations where the people are relatively unsophisticated. But hey, whatever the BLP inner-circle thinks will work!

Now, commenter Royalrumble replies at the BLP Blog

Regardless of which international report you pick up these days that examines the social, economic and political development in the world they have all ranked Barbados at number thirty among the developed counties or first among developing countries.

Clearly Barbados’ socio-economic and political development under this Barbados Labour Party administration, for which highly respected international institutions like UNDP and others have recognised, have placed us in a position where in the not to distant future we will attain first world status.

In the same way that Barbados’ progress to independence was charted by an architect whom we now rightly call our Father of Independence so to do we recognise that our progress to First World Status must have an architect who shall be the Father of First World Barbados and that person is the Rt. Hon. Owen S. Arthur, Prime Minister.

I must readily admit that I am not in the least interested in what the BFP thinks about this title. Who cares about your comments that have obviously sprung up from the bowels of intellectual dishonesty, political two-facedness and moral decadence. You have no authority to express an opinion especially unsolicited on matters of an ethical nature.

Barbados’ current state of affairs is a vast improvement to what it use to be in the early 1990’s when the entire country was under the dictatorship of a “like or Lump it” DLP regime. Yet the Dems, BFP included would have us believed that that period was the best thing to have happen for us. Lets us accept a few fundamentals here and now. (1) Our views on what is right or wrong are polls apart. (2) The DLP can never ever be the judge of anything that the BLP does. You have no moral minimum.

Barbados Free Press Responds

Royalrumble and the BLP political strategists who coined the term “The Father Of First World Barbados” are now trying to popularize their clever election-time moniker for the party leader.

They presume that the crushing national debt and continuing annual deficit of Barbados will not combine with world events and government mismanagement to send our country back into the stone age of the 60’s and 70’s. They embrace the Arthur/BLP legacy of new highways and cricket celebrations and ignore the failings and longterm neglect in collapsing sewerage, water and health infrastructures.

The title might seem a tad premature to those citizens still hauling water in buckets while stepping over greenish rivulets of human waste making its way to the sea from overflowing cesspits.

Bestowing Such A Title For Election Purposes Cheapens It, And Destroys The Honour

If Owen Arthur is ever to be properly declared “The Father Of First World Barbados”, such an honour should be…

a/ Bestowed by the People of Barbados with widespread popular support, not just created and declared by some backroom political hacks in the runup to the next election.

b/ Only given after Barbados IS a first world country.

c/ Only given after Mr. Arthur has retired from public service. Otherwise, what would be a National Honour is cheapened into a mere partisan political slogan.

Those BLP “Strategists” Just Don’t Get It

History and Barbados will judge Owen Arthur in the full measure of time – his strengths, his weaknesses, his failings and successes. Owen may well deserve such an honour at some time, or not – but we must wait for history to unfold.

The BLP idiots who have cheaply thrown this onto the table in the runup to an election have done a disservice to Owen Arthur and to Barbados.

Not to mention that should a reversal occur in the Barbados economy – perhaps due to something totally beyond the Prime Minister’s control – the title would become a mockery, useful only to the political opposition.

About This Debate And BFP’s Comments

It is certainly healthy to see this type of open debate going on in Barbados because, as we all know, before the internet and call-in radio shows, public political debate on a mass scale was carefully controlled in Barbados by both DLP and BLP governments.

In recent and not-so-recent history, once elected, governments from both parties have each exhibited a sense of entitlement to power and privilege that can only be called corrupt. So far, neither the DLP nor the BLP have seen fit to introduce integrity legislation and conflict of interest rules.

We at Barbados Free Press will continue to shine the spotlight on the political elites – and we don’t care which party they belong to. Until someone declares integrity legislation, they are all headed for the Piggy Trough as far as we are concerned.

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur Speaks The Truth…

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PM Owen Arthur Delivers Culture Warning

“In our schools, on our roads, in our community relationships and activity, in the expression of lifestyles, in our personal behaviour, there is an increasing lack of discipline, a decline in moral and spiritual content and values, a tendency to indulge in ostentatious, extravagant and sometimes lewd and tawdry behaviour,”

… from The Nation News Bajan Way Of Life “Under Moral Threat”

We agree 100% with the Prime Minister on this point. Other than a total ban on American television, movies and music, we don’t have many ideas for a cure though.

Clive always says that we should look to the Cubans (in Cuba, not Miami!) because family and social relationships are stuck in 1959. With little outside media and “entertainment” influence – and no way of accumulating assets – family, people and relationships are the most important things in life to the average Cuban.

This will change about 10 minutes after MTV and DirecTV arrive in Habana on a large scale.

Photo taken from The Nation News online. Fair trade for the link.

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

Seraphim Joe Fortes – How A Black Sailor From Barbados Became A Legend In Vancouver Canada

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UPDATED: July 29, 2010

Thanks to one of our regular friends, we’ve just learned of a wonderful video on YouTube all about Seraphim Joe Fortes. (link below) It is really worth a few minutes of your time to learn about this famous Bajan who was loved so much in Vancouver that almost 90 years after his death his name lives on. In 1996 he was named “Citizen of the Century”.

How could a flat-broke black sailor from Barbados arrive in Vancouver in 1885 and still be loved over a hundred years later? It is quite a story…

Seraphim Joe Fortes Became A Favourite Son Of Vancouver Canada

Huge Public Funeral In 1922 – Monument Erected, Library Named In His Honour

In 1922, the largest public funeral in Vancouver’s history was held for a black man from Barbados. “Tens of thousands” lined his funeral procession. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History