Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

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Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Donor Shakes The Bajan Dust From His Shoes – Forced Out By Government Abuse

Like all Barbados news media outlets, we received the below “letter to the editor” from Stuart Heaslet at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary on Tuesday, June 12, 2007. We held off publishing it as, frankly, we wanted to see what the Barbados print and broadcast media would do with it. We particularly wanted to see whether or not Barbados largest circulation newspaper would print the letter.

In the past, the government-fearing lapdog Nation News has been caught red-handed censoring letters and news concerning the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. (See Outrage As Deceitful Nation News Censors Letter From National Park Donor Peter Allard)

We wondered what they would do with this story now – that one of Barbados’ premier natural showpieces has been put up for sale and the millionaire philanthropist who poured millions into Barbados and asked for nothing is shaking the Bajan dust from his shoes and moving on.

There are many good folks behind the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, but without Canadian philanthropist Peter Allard pouring US$20 million into this last mangrove swamp, by now the place would be a concrete jungle of condos and hotels instead of a wonderful gift to the people of Barbados.

But now the nature sanctuary is for sale and Mr. Allard is pulling out of Barbados.

Peter Allard is not stopping his philanthropic projects – far from it. He just won’t be giving tens of millions of dollars to Barbados anymore.

And THAT, my friends, is a NEWS STORY.

Date: 12 June 2007

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

As many of you are aware, the advertisement for the sale of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is currently in the London Times and International Herald Tribune. Details are at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary website (link here for PDF file)

The general mood on our part is one of sadness, as Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary, has spent years attempting to do good environmental work in Barbados. My job has been to execute his mission of environmental preservation and education, not just for the lands owned by the Sanctuary, but for the surrounding environmentally sensitive buffer lands owned by Government, and a few private owners.

It has been our experience that national legacies of environmental conservation and preservation must stem from government-led initiatives and policies that reflect the national pride in those lands which are most significant. We have experience supporting other governments and organizations in this regard, notably the Morne Diablotin National Park project in Dominica, which was successfully declared by Parliament after 27 months of cooperative effort and fundraising.

Over the past 14 years there has been significant offshore investment in the Sanctuary by Mr. Allard, under the mandate that responsible offshore investment should be socially and environmentally appropriate and ultimately transfer technologies to Barbados, to be run by 100% Barbadian management and staff. We have complied with the spirit and intent of this mandate.

Philanthropically speaking, we respect the sovereign responsibility of Barbados for its environmental legacy, and generally disagree with those who seek to transfer the responsibility for preserving the Barbados environment to private, for-profit interests. Progressive national environmental preservation, as well as cultural, recreational and agricultural opportunities, must belong to, and be managed directly by, the people and Government of Barbados. In this case, we fear that profit motives for the land at Graeme Hall outweigh those for preservation and the health and welfare of citizens on the South Coast.

Unfortunately, here in Barbados we have not received any substantive response or engagement from the Government of Barbados for well over a decade in regard to multiple, formal offers of land, finances, technical and management support for Government-led environmental preservation and national park initiatives.

Therefore, we are seeking, and investing in, alternative uses for Allard Family philanthropy.

We commend the efforts of The Friends of Graeme Hall (website here) and trust that they will continue to actively seek a partnership with the Government of Barbados to form, and manage, the proposed Graeme Hall National Park. That said, we are of course open to any last minute discussions with those in Government if they include a well thought out plan and commitments from the highest levels.

Stuart Heaslet
Board Representative
Oversight and Philanthropy
Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (Barbados)
Barbados contact telephone: 246.428.2776

Note about the writer: For over ten years Mr. Heaslet has provided design, construction, programming, oversight and philanthropic services for Mr. Peter Allard at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary.

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39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, News Media, Politics & Corruption

39 responses to “Nation News Censors Important Story & Letter To Editor – Millionaire Philanthropist Abused By Barbados Government

  1. akabozik

    I want to throw up. Barbados gets screwed again because the crooks in govment want to profit from the land around the sanctuary. That is what happened, isn’t it?

  2. Bajanboy

    Yes, you would think this would be one of the most important stories of the year. What is the Nation Newspaper afraid of?

  3. Jason

    BFP: Tell about the AIDS clinic. I know that you know about it.

    Tell about the AIDS clinic or I will in the comments.

  4. J. Payne

    The BLP my friends is clearly a Liability to the nation now. Not only are they taking their own name through the mudd they are bringing the whole down with them….

  5. J. Payne

    whole nation down with them.

  6. ATTENTION!

    UNDER THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY,
    BARBADOS HAS BECOME A NASTY CAN OF WORMS

  7. Be Very Afraid!

    What is the Nation Newspaper afraid of?

    The Nation is afraid of NOTHING,
    for it is owned, lock stock and barrel, literally and figuratively, by the Barbados Labour Party or its members/agents/cohorts.
    The Nation Publ. Co. has absolutely nothing to be afraid of, believe me!

    And neither has The Barbados Advocate, for the very same reasons.

    Do you understand, now?

  8. Ah boy...

    Peter Allard is not stopping his philanthropic projects – far from it.
    He just won’t be giving tens of millions of dollars to Barbados anymore!

    The smart money is voting with its feet!
    There’ll be a lot more of this happening
    as people of worth discover just what a nasty little can of worms Barbados has become in the last ten years!

    Mr.Allard has other Smart Money friends.
    Smart Money talks among themselves, making recommendations.
    – and warnings!

    See if you can figure out the long term consequences of Mr. Allard’s withdrawl.

  9. Wishing in Vain

    This is a very very sad development indeed, I would have wished for Mr Allard to stay close to Barbados and Greame Hall swamp at least he has never come here to rape our island and erect a concrete jungle of high rise buildings and condos like so many of the other scamps like Pemberton, Patterson, Fearless, Smith, Paynter, and the list goes on, those that are plundering the island for everything it has.

  10. Correction

    It’s not “the government-fearing lapdog Nation News” … it’s the Government-OWNED AND CONTROLLED Nation News.

    You just can’t get it through your head,can you?
    That this is not the Barbados of ten years ago!
    _____ Can you spell CHANGE?

    It’s different,now.
    Things have changed.
    This is our Barbados WELL PAST ITS Best by: date
    …seee?

  11. Wry Mongoose

    Mr Allard should spend his money in Saba, an environmentally-conscious island where his philanthropy would be better-received. The entire island of Saba is set to be accepted as a World Heritage Site – which should keep the cheesy Water Parks of the world at bay.

  12. Antigua!

    Kerins should try ANTIGUA.

    God knows that sorry arid island could use a Water Park! easy as hell to buy into Antigua
    -everyone knows THAT…except Kerins?

  13. Inkwell

    The DLP would get at least six thousand votes and probably many more if it would come out and commit to the proposed National Park in Graeme Hall.

    Why do you suppose they aren’t doing it? Have the waterpark developers placed bets on both horses in the race?

  14. Justasking

    mebajan2
    June 21st, 2007 at 4:49 am
    …… now is your chance to shine put your money were your mouth is and buy the bird sanctuary!!!!!!!!!!
    ————————————————————
    Mebajan2, back with us again are you? In several of your posts, as well as those of larry louhghlin, both of you (coincidence?) keep referring to “the bird sanctuary”.

    For the record, please note that the correct name is the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary – http://www.graemehall.com.

    In a letter to the editor of the daily newspapers and BFP, so far published only in The Advocate and on BFP, Sanctuary representative Stuart Heaslet wrote “That said, we are of course open to any last minute discussions with those in Government if they include a well thought out plan and commitments from the highest levels.”

    My reading of this is that there is still hope for the Sanctuary to be taken off the market if those at “the highest levels” do the right thing. The Citizens of Barbados deserve no less.At the end of the day we are the losers and mebajan2 (if you really are Bajan) you, your children and grandchildren will be the losers as well.

  15. J. Payne

    Don’t forget “French” Dominica either…. The “Nature Isle” of the Caribbean. However there is one blight- they put on themselves. Chavez wants to build some big gas tanks there, which some Dominicans say could spoil their overall skyline.

  16. Bush Tea

    I wonder what VECO and Kerins have to offer that Mr Allard does not? How is it that VECO can even learn new skills here at our expense (Dodds), while a nature loving, long standing friend of the country is ignored? One gets the impression that Peter is a respectful, honest, philanthropist….. wait, that may be it… did he hire “proper consultants”???

    ..aww come on Peter, this is Babados 2007…

  17. Maat

    Why do you really think that successive government pays lip service to agriculture while we pay for a huge staff and vehicle purchasing and maintenance at the Ministry of Agriculture?.
    Some people within the Ministry of Agriculture see farming as a waste of time because they can import food cheaper and the land can fetch a higher sale value as real estate. This government took lands that were earmarked and set up for management as farmlands and have spent tens of millions to turn it into a land fill site at Greenland.
    A real estate agent took a relative of mine to appraise a 1/2 acre of land on a steep hill in St. Andrew, with no coastal or valley view and said they would put this land on the market with an asking price of $365,000!!.
    My relative was shocked and asked who evaluates land for the government. This realtor said that they do! Is this standard practise, to allow a private realtor to value land at the governments request? It seems to smack of a conflict of interest.

    Peace

  18. mebajan2

    just asking, To me all you and the friends of graeme hall did for the (nature sanctuary) is offer lip service. With all your funding for the national park you should have no problem saving the graeme hall nature sanctuary
    SO BE HONEST it was a smoke screen to save your veiw on the ridge. And the attacks on mr. kerins are disgraceful he has done nothing wrong. He has tried to go through all the proper channels.
    It has been three years with no out line
    approval so who is kidding who.Every one on the bfp is despicable !!!!!

  19. mebajan2

    Peter simmons (it is time to take your meds) All you are concerned about is that you don’t want to look down on a water park . you don’t care about the nature sanctuary or about how many jobs the water park would bring, or how many bajan familys would enjoy the water park. Peter you are a selfish person and to call your self a true bajan is a disgrace!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. reality check

    Peter Simmons

    we know the truth about your concern for the environment

    ignore the lies by those that don’t care and in particular the BLP political spin masters

  21. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Philanthropist Moves On

  22. Peltdown Man

    mebajan2 is beginning to sound as desperate as Laughlin was before he disappeared. The key to reasoned argument is NEVER to get personal.

  23. Luc Chase

    Barbados is a very pleasant place to live, not so much because of what its government is doing, but for a large part because of natural gifts already present before any of us landed on the island. If we proud Bajans ask ourselves “What has the goverment actually done to improve things long term?” , “What should they actually be proud of?” it would be difficult to come up with any great achievements. Errol Barrow et al could, but just about all the really good things about Barbados are there despite the goverment and not because of them. If Barbados was not so lucky with regard to its natuaral beauty and climate, where would we be? What would a proud goverment and people show as an example of good planning, management and action. We’re lucky to have had the natural assets we have and even more lucky not to have too much; because if this impending loss is any idication, the degree of corruption we would have had to already endure would be even more unbearable. And if you don’t think it is not corruption behind this, then it must be incompetence. Not sure which is worse.
    I saw mention of a ‘Water Park’ as a replacement. What a ridiculous, cheap, tacky idea! On a small tropical island virtually surrounded by beatiful, un-crowded, white-sand beaches. Where did that silly idea come from anyway?
    While others are desperately trying to save their fishing industries by preserving mangrove swamps, Barbados still recognises no value in it. Perhaps Barbados is still too young a nation to really value itself?

  24. Really Exhausted

    So, let me get this straight. MeBAJAN2 are we to promote a waterpark in a waterpark? hmmmmm, not getting it.
    At a time when the world is trying to conserve energy and water management and proper usage of our resources, there are people here trying to promote a waterpark on an island surronded by water with natural waves that we dont have to burn fossil fuels to generate, beautiful beaches that we dont have to mix concrete or something synthetic to create, or maybe remove some from our already deteriorating coast line.
    Has our minister for the environment gone on permanent vacation?
    Are we going to risk losing the only mangrove and resting place for birds on the island because a bunch of greedy, beady eyed realtors, investors and politicians have a better plan, hope not, where is the public on this, my god this is shamefull.
    There is nothing Bajan about mebajan2, i am sorry, he/she has lost their way with all the rest of the backward thinking politicians that have sold out our island to return the people of Barbados to slavery (economic slavery) where we work and see nothing, Gov takes all or most, and then we work some more, then they take our money and throw it away in projects that either flop (gems) or continue to drain the bank.

    Anyway, Mebajan2, your agenda is quite bright ( as in easily to see, not smart) why dont you try to think outside the box and promote something good for the environment, something real, made from real stuff (earth), promote bajans to return to the ocean and beaches, take up swimming, surfing, kayaking, diving, windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, thats a huge waterpark and none of them burn any fuel.

    God bless our lost souls.

  25. Inkwell- I hear you loud and clear that it is incomprehensible why the DLP does not take advantage of the 6,000 supporters of Graeme Hall National Park and make it a campaign issue.

    I believe it was reported that one of its candidates came out in support of the National Park, and against Caribbean Splash at a rally in Oistins, but they should do much more.

    Many of us who are lukewarm about DLP would be ardent supporters if they came out boldly against BLP’s fishy involvement with Kerins.

    Government’s shabby treatment on Mr Allard is beneath contempt. By not even showing him the courtesy of a reply about his willingness to donate the Nature Sanctuary to the nation they are flaunting their lack of broughtupcy and class. Real low behaviour which makes me shame.

  26. Luc Chase

    Mangrove swamps are nurseries for birds and fish.
    I believe is a cause worthy of a NATIONAL PETITION, to pressure those in authority to do the right thing to protect our heritage?
    A NATIONAL PETITION to ensure a santuary for caribbean wild-life?
    The authorities seem to believe that they can do whatever and no one will organise and take action in response. Things don’t have to be that simple for them.

  27. Back in November 2006 there was a post that there are already a dozen waterparks throughout the Caribbean.

    The largest is in Aruba (84,000 sq. ft), with others in Montego Bay, Half Moon Cay (Bahamas), Cancun, Margarita, a small one in St Lucia, two in Venezuela, and three in Puerto Rico.

    World Waterparks Assoc. which gave (?) Kerins the franchise for Barbados, announced plans for a waterpark under their franchise in Grand Cayman.

    So let’s not fool ourselves Caribbean Splash would be anything special for Barbados. But the main point is, that even if our tourism could support a waterpark, it has to be somewhere other than Graeme Hall where it poses such a threat to the ecology of the Nature Sanctuary and the whole catchment area.

  28. Justasking

    mebajan2
    June 22nd, 2007 at 4:13 am
    just asking, To me all you and the friends of graeme hall did for the (nature sanctuary) is offer lip service. With all your funding for the national park you should have no problem saving the graeme hall nature sanctuary
    SO BE HONEST it was a smoke screen to save your veiw on the ridge. And the attacks on mr. kerins are disgraceful he has done nothing wrong. He has tried to go through all the proper channels.
    It has been three years with no out line
    approval so who is kidding who.Every one on the bfp is despicable !!!!!
    ————————————————————–
    Mebajan2, don’t worry, the citizens of Barbados and Governments regulatory agencies are going to save the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary from the damage that could be done by placing Mr. Kerins and Laughlin’s water park on crown lands at Graeme Hall.

    According to the website http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org over 6000 citizens (theybajan2) signed a petition in support of a National Park at Graeme Hall. Are they trying to save their “view on the ridge”? Do the 6000 live on the ridge? Tell us, why did they sign?

    So it has been 3 years and Mr. Kerins still cannot get outline permission? How does he expect to get outline permission without doing a proper EIA? Throughout the developer’s addendum to the EIA his response to regulatory agency queries and criticisms is that once outline permission has been given he will provide the information.

    EIA 101 is that you provide the information in your EIA! That is why the developer was asked to carry out an EIA.

    Mr. Kerins is also moaning that he “tried to go through all the proper channels”. Did he think that just because he made an application and went through the channels that he would get approval? He went through the channels and his application and proposal were rejected. Now he is going through a hearing/appeal process and that is his right.

    However the citizens of Barbados and regulatory agencies have every right, and indeed obligation to scrutinize the proposal, comment on, criticize etc. No amount of rude and cantankerous behaviour on this site by you or Mr. Laughlin will silence us. We need to let our decision makers know in no uncertain terms exactly how we feel.

  29. mebajan2

    Allan
    Ill deal with you next, but first let me start with Peter.

    Peter Simmons, in your open letter tirade about ” The Ugly American ” dated Oct. 20, 2006 your usage of the word ” Carbuncles “( meaning Ugly Boils ) to your eyesight was in the plural form not the singular form. Your pious vainglorious pontification ( see BFP reader Peter Simmons dated June 21st ) conveniently omits the plural usage and now carbuncle is in singular form.

    This difference changes the substance, context and intent of your statement
    very much. In the singular form you can easily state that you were talking
    about one development, such as the water park in order to cover your pooch.

    But you used the plural form in your original statement. Therefore, your
    comments about Mr. L is in actuality a reflection of yourself. Are you a
    revisionist Peter ?

    I shall refresh your fragile memory since I truly hope you do not suffer
    from dementia or alzheimer’s.

    Specifically, the last paragraph of the Ugly American article you authored. You state we will ” Continue to enjoy our view from the ridge uninterrupted by grotesque carbuncles on the landscape .

    Your impressive Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary will even say the word
    landscape is all inclusive, meaning all what the eye can see and the water
    park is only 16% of the landscape. May I ask what the other 84 % of
    carbuncles you had in mind that would hurt your eyes ?

    You do not have to tell me since it is already of public record. You as the
    leading spokesperson and guide for The Friends of Graeme Hall committee and the National Park movement have collectively authored ( see documents ) The Overview of Graeme Hall National Park. Specifically, section l, A Legacy for Barbados, first paragraph. You state that you do not want ” Growth such as a water park and housing subdivisions “. Ergo, your mindset of housing being carbuncles. Shame on you .

    These public articles and documents certainly makes Lawrence’s statements
    ring truthful regarding housing being equated as carbuncles by you who is in
    self denial. Many people believe you owe him a profuse apology instead of
    your rabid foaming at the mouth frenzy of unjust accusations. He has only stated that which is of public record. Will you be a man or again act as a spoiled child who goes bezerk when his hand is caught in the cookie jar ? What say you ?

  30. Hants

    Luc Chase you are correct. Mangroves are nurseries for several species of fish and Birds.

    Tarpon,Mullet and Snook used to be abundant in the swamps and rivers on the west coast of Barbados.

    Now most of the Swamps are gone and the few rivers were replaced by Concrete channels.

    Progress is great but the few remaining Natural Environments must be preserved.

  31. mebajan2 really talks a lot of stupid rubbish and is clearly in the camp of those who stand to gain from the proposed plundering of our environment by Caribbean Watersplash .

    It is a credit to BFP’s forbearance that they let him (or -less likely her) rant on with his shrill irrationality. Give him enough rope to hang himself.

    Readers of this blogsite are perceptive enough to see through his biased remarks, but, Oh Lord it is tedious to have to do so!

  32. Justasking

    naive
    June 23rd, 2007 at 1:54 am
    mebajan2 really talks a lot of stupid rubbish and is clearly in the camp of those who stand to gain from the proposed plundering of our environment by Caribbean Watersplash .

    It is a credit to BFP’s forbearance that they let him (or -less likely her) rant on with his shrill irrationality. Give him enough rope to hang himself.
    —————————————————————
    Naive, I agree, give him all the rope he wants and give some rope to lawrence laughlin as well. BFP, please remove the ban on Mr. Laughlin.

    The more we hear from them the more we understand who they are and what they are about.

  33. Jason

    I vote to let laughlin or loughlin or whatever his name is back onto BFP. He thoroughly discredited himself with his antics and his deceit but he does no harm. Like a driver who is really drunk you can see him coming from a long way.

  34. Pingback: Nation News Prints Letter From Friends Of Graeme Hall - But Deletes Some Sections « Barbados Free Press

  35. Pingback: Time To Make Graeme Hall National Park A Reality « Barbados Free Press

  36. brerlou

    Let me vote “Really Exhausted’s” as the best response to the issue I’ve seen so far.

    Not perfect, because I don’t think it is fair to characterise MeBajan2 as “there’s nothing Bajan about MeBajan2.” Misguided, yes, superficial, yes, but typical Bajan-think.

    Typical Bajan-think wants to bring everything they’ve enjoyed abroad to Barbados, like McDonald’s and Vegas style casinos, and beach side skyscrapers. It’s the childish reaction to a visit to Disneyland where the child wants to bring Mickey Mouse home with him.

    It takes a mature mind like Really Exhausted to understand that Barbados is not like a typical teenager bedroom overstuffed with whatever they think is the rage at the moment, even if it is giant pink stuffed animals, or huge posters of their favorite sporting star. Neither is it a giant museum dedicated to days gone by.

    Whenever we encounter somewhere, or something, that has left a lasting impression on us it is because there is some central theme that is presented in a thousand cleverly nuanced ways. Whenever I return to Barbados from abroad I am forced to recall what that theme is: not just sea, sand and sun, but a subdued relaxed hum of peaceful contentment.

    It is a place where a member of British royalty, or a Roberta Flack, can get a friend to drop them off in a shopping center, and they can walk around as though they belong here, not standing out, not fearful; or sit on the beach and, apart from the occasional beach vendor, begin a casual conversation with a stranger, who even if they recognize them are not going to think of calling the tabloids and let loose the paparazzi hounds on them.

    Howard Stern hates Barbados, he says, because, “They didn’t know who I was!” and a strange man came up and started to talk to his teenage daughter like if she was just anybody. Well, that’s what some people, like Greta Garbo, liked about the island back in the 50’s and what even today some people like about it now. Ironically, though, if we sell Barbados out to these monied people, it’ll lose that unique charm and become just another, Monaco, or Cannes or another upscale beach property.

    So we need our people to understand what our special charm is and to highlight and develop that theme with care and a conscious attention to detail, under the leadership of politicians who share that understanding and who cannot be bought or overwhelmed by smooth talking high level shysters.

  37. Chickens coming home

    Akabozik said “I want to throw up. Barbados gets screwed again because the crooks in govment want to profit from the land around the sanctuary. That is what happened, isn’t it?”

    YES THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED!

  38. iabingy

    who needs a swamp? for mosquitoes and what talapia and frogs and ducks to land in.
    who cares??? to hell with Allard he was looking to make money off we swamp, that is what that was.
    let he do something in his own country ,like take the native Indian privileges away so they have to work like all the rest of us.

  39. RLL

    “Who needs a swamp?” Spoken like a true Bajan politician with one hand in my pocket and the other fondling his best friend’s wife! Goin’ wid Owen… is that you?