Daily Archives: January 11, 2007

Stunning Development With Graeme Hall National Park

UPDATED: We’re updating this as we discover more information. We obtained a typed copy of the Friends Of Graeme Hall media release and it is now posted here. (scroll down the page – Robert)

Government Of Barbados & Citizens’ Group Persuade Nature Sanctuary Owner To Donate Lands To National Park!

Folks, I don’t know how we missed this, but there has obviously been something happening behind the scenes involving the proposed Graeme Hall National Park.

We are trying to find out more details, but apparently representatives from the Government of Barbados and a citizens’ group have persuaded the owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to DONATE THE MAJORITY OF THE HOLDINGS to the people of Barbados – as part of a National Park. The donation is contingent upon the establishment of the National Park at Graeme Hall.

We see something up on the website – so we’ll be back in a moment with more.


Rumour mill has it that Dr. Duguid was involved in this and that the PM is onside? Does anyone have anything on this?

Dr. Duguid? What’s up?

Here is the media release from the Friends Of Graeme Hall…

Group Announces Proposed Land Donation for Graeme Hall National Park

An official from the Friends of Graeme Hall (FOGH) confirmed that Mr. Peter Allard, owner of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, has formally agreed to offer a donation of twenty-five (25) acres of Sanctuary lands to the proposed Graeme Hall National Park.


The offer was submitted to the Government of Barbados by FOGH in mid-December. The proposed donation of Sanctuary lands is contingent on Government action to create the 240-acre Graeme Hall National Park and ensure permanent protection for the last remaining significant green space between Bridgetown and the airport.


The 25 acres of Sanctuary land would be a gift to the people of Barbados from the estate of Mr. Allard,” said Allan Marshall, director of FOGH. “We knew that he wanted to help us with the National Park effort, so we talked with him and he decided to make the offer. He also committed to help maintain these lands afterwards. It is a generous offer.”


According to Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Sanctuary, the proposed donation represents the majority of land held by the 35-acre Sanctuary. “We support the mission of FOGH, and are encouraged by their commitment to raising funds and gathering support for Graeme Hall National Park. We hope the proposed donation by Mr. Allard, as well as our long-standing commitment to environmental preservation and low-impact recreation can benefit both the Government of Barbados and FOGH.”

The Sanctuary lands outlined in the offer include the largest inland lake in Barbados, surrounding forest lands and various improvements.


Marshall added that FOGH was working hard to identify additional sources of potential funding and support for the National Park.


In addition to the proposed land donation by the Sanctuary, FOGH has formally committed to raising Bds. $6 million to assist Government with various engineering and recreational improvements for the proposed new Park. Combined with operational support from the Sanctuary, local endowments, and potential international sources such as the World Heritage Site programme, we feel that we are getting closer to making Graeme Hall National Park a reality,” said Marshall.


The proposed Graeme Hall National Park area consists of sensitive wetlands and agricultural buffer lands that encompass the highest concentration of biodiversity on the island. The National Park proposal (www.graemehallnationalpark.org), would include improvements to site drainage to help prevent contamination of Worthing Beach, and improve agricultural and environmental programmes and facilities.


The proposal also lists specific recreational and community improvements such as bicycle/walking trails, recreational fishing, an archery range, picnic areas, an exercise “heart” trail with exercise stations, and an open air fruit and vegetable market.

Our Comment On This Development

If, as is rumoured, representatives of the Government of Barbados have been involved in discussions about this offer – either officially or on the side – then this may signal an awakening by this government about the importance of being able to secure the few remaining natural areas on Barbados for future generations. Previously we had heard about the creation of a National Flower Garden.

Barbados is a wonderful place to live and visit, but aside from issues of culture and safety, it has precious little to differentiate it from many other sand/sea/sun travel destinations. A national park at Graeme Hall would be a major eco-tourist draw and a lasting legacy for our children and beyond.


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, History, News Media, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Someone Wants To Know Who Designed Our Website!

Barbados Free Press received this query from a well-known national organization that probably even has their own IT person on staff. Unfortunately, we can’t reply directly to any emails as “they” are getting desperate to discover who we are – so we have to answer all quries in public.

Here is the email as received…

Good afternoon

Strange question but we are looking for a new web design / hosting company and I look at local websites with a critical eye. I am quite impressed with your site, I would really appreciate it if you would advise the name of your web design company and offer a recommendation.

Warm regards,

Our answer…

Hi! Thanks for your kind words. This website is based upon a standard WordPress template called “Press Row” – and has been modified along the way by Marcus and Robert of BFP, using the standard tweaks available at WordPress.Com and WordPress.Org.

… but your IT guy should have been able to tell you that. Have a chat with him/her and we’re sure you will be up and running in no time at all with WordPress software.



**** BYE THE WAY ….

Once again, thanks for your kind words dear reader… but you might want to have your IT guy check your network carefully. Apparently, your system accidentally attached a little friend to your email without your knowledge.

Must have been an accident, we’re sure!

So have your IT people have a look at that – you don’t want to be sending those type of gifts to friends, right?


Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics & Corruption

Cricket World Cup Labour Troubles For Sandy Lane?

UPDATED: Sandy Lane Hires Foreign-Born Manager (See Below)

original article…

Legitimate Complaint or Cricket World Cup Ambush By Labour?

Hey… if you are going to try to squeeze management, now is the time – because if you wait until after the crowds are gone, Sandy Lane’s owners won’t give a tinker’s damn.

Or… if you have a legitimate complaint about non-Barbadians being appointed as managers when qualified people are available here, anytime is a good time to raise the subject with the hotel and government.

Which situation is it?

Let’s hear from our readers…

From The Nation News…

Sandy Lane, BWU At Odds

SANDY LANE HOTEL and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) appear to be on a collision course.

The confrontation surrounds the alleged staffing practices at Sandy Lane, which the union has described as “top-heavy” with expatriate management.

Now, with the Cricket World Cup a mere two months away, the BWU’s general secretary Sir Roy Trotman has warned management of the five-star St James property that it might be gearing itself to “self-destruct on or about” the staging of the region’s major sporting event.

In a letter sent to the hotel’s management, a copy of which the DAILY NATION was able to obtain, Sir Roy outlined the concerns. He said the union had received reports of increased incidence of alleged engagement and payment of managers and directors in positions efficiently held previously by Barbadians.

… continue reading this article at The Nation News (link here).

UPDATED: Sandy Lane Hires Foreign-Born Manager

Ok… now we see what’s happening. Sandy Lane has hired a foreigner to run it’s operations.


After so many years of doing business in Barbados, and after so many winks, nods and “accomodations” by government and Barbados – one would think that Sandy Lane could have instituted a mentoring and training programme to identify and train Barbados citizens for senior management.

Now, we understand where the BWU is coming from.

Here’s the story on Sandy Lane’s new manager from Caterer Search.Com


Iconic Barbados hotel appoints new general manager

(10 January 2007 13:27)

Carl Henderson has been named as the new general manager of iconic luxury hotel Sandy Lane in Barbados.

Formerly the general manager of Parrot Cay resort in Turks and Caicos, Henderson has more than 20 years in the industry, including senior management positions with Aman Resorts, Chewton Glen, Orient Express Trains and Cruises and Frégate Island in the Seychelles

British-born Henderson will be responsible for the full day-to-day running of Sandy Lane’s hotel operations.

Commenting on the appointment, Michael Pownall, chief executive, said, “We have now completed the task of strengthening our senior management team, I believe we have all the relevant luxury resort experience necessary to ensure we take Sandy Lane to new higher levels of success in the coming years.”


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Broad Street Journal Website Back Better Than Ever

A few months ago we lamented the apparent closing of the Broad Street Journal’s website. Patrick Hoyos’ articles had provided Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean with insight into business and economic news that just couldn’t be found anywhere else.

Now the website is back and better than ever – current, business-focused and still guided by the Hoyos edgy style and vision that has made the Broad Street Journal required reading for so many years.

Good to see you back, Patrick!

Here is a letter we received yesterday…

Hi, everyone at Barbados Free Press:

I must say it was touching to read your recent comments of late November about the BSJ, which I only say tonight (Jan. 10, 2007). I know, you want to know to which planet I have emigrated.

I just wanted to let you know that, after months of frustration in getting across the spam barrier, we are now in a psition to resume sending out our weekly BSJ Bulletin of top stories from our website.

While this was being worked out by our website’s co-owner, Acute Vision, I really had become so fed up that I very unprofessionally stopped updating the website. That was remedied recently with the addition of over 50 stories written by me or adapted from other news reports covering the period October to December, and we are now updating every other day or so.

Our website is also being redesigned (mostly the front page) and I think it looks really great. It should be up by the weekend.

It has taken me a long time, being an old print guy, to re-orient my thinking to the web, but I have done it, based on my own daily news consumption patterns. (Web first, print and radio second).

Now, instead of publishing in print first and the web as an afterthought, we are now doing the opposite, and also adding photo galleries and podcasts to make the site more interesting.

From next month, however, we are also re-introducing a monthly print edition of the Journal, which will also be distributed in hard copy and sent out as a PDF file to all email bulltein recipients. This print edition will focus on the local economy and business stories.

There is no charge to subscribe to either the BSJ’s bulletin or to access the archives, which go back about two years.

Thanks to all of those who contribute to the Barbados Free Press for the encouragement and providing inspiration over the last several months.
I think you are a lot more bold than I probably would ever be (but that is because I cut my teeth on both being sued and trying to avoid being sued under our country’s outdated libel and later almost as outdated defamation laws.)

For my part, I will to continue trying to make a contribution to the new era of web-based publishing. God only knows we need lots, lots more voices on public issues than the established media provides, and a lot more outspokenness, too.

By the way, we would like to provide a link to BFP from our site, and we are really grateful to you for linking BSJ as we do get a lot of visitors via BFP.

Wishing you continued success in the future.

Pat Hoyos
Editor and Publisher,
The Broad Street Journal

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Filed under Barbados, News Media