Historical Moravian Cemetery Destroyed – Thanks To Our Barbados Courts & Government

moravian-cemetery-barbados.jpg

300 Year Old Cemetery Destroyed – Our Dead Disrespected

On Saturday, August 11, 2007, a man without a conscience, without a sense of history, drove a bulldozer through the 242 year old tomb of Sara – the first black Moravian Church convert in Barbados.

The entire cemetery was systematically destroyed as the construction machines rolled over the tombs and graves containing the remains of both our slave and free ancestors.

It really doesn’t matter much what happens now because the cemetery is rubble. Almost 300 years of history erased with the expenditure of a little diesel fuel and the movement of a few levers and pedals.

Who Is Responsible For This?

The Moravian Church Grand View cemetery has been the subject of an ongoing legal action in the Barbados courts since 1999.

Like so many other cases before our courts, the parties have been waiting for justice for so long that one side obviously acted either out of frustration of justice delayed, or because the delay left a window for them to act without fear of admonishment by the court.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the slow-as-molasses Barbados courts.

How can there be justice when so many cases aren’t even close to settlement after over a decade before the courts?

How can there be justice when it is well known that files “go missing” in our system? How can there be justice when some of our judges – including the Chief Justice – were part of the very BLP government that is sometimes a party in cases?

Eight years still waiting for justice – and then somebody weighed the risks and said “The courts are nothing. I will settle this dispute right now with my bulldozer.”

Blame that bulldozer driver and his employer – but blame the Barbados Courts as well. All are guilty.

And then there is the matter of the law. Barbados is a country without laws and without the rule of law. Oh, we do have some laws, but our elites prefer not to enact proper laws for much of anything – lest the laws be used against them.

Thus we have no environmental laws, no integrity rules, no rules against driving while having over a certain limit of alcohol in the body and on and on and on. And where we do have laws, the elites violate them without fear. Even upper crust murderers get a break.

So we have no law against desecrating a graveyard or digging in a known gravesite – as many other civilized jurisdictions do.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the courts.

That’s not justice. That’s not an indication of a government that respects the law and the rule of law enough to properly fund a cornerstone of our society.

Eight years waiting for justice and still before the courts…

Disgusting.

Story Link

The Nation News: 300 Years Of History Destroyed

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76 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, History

76 responses to “Historical Moravian Cemetery Destroyed – Thanks To Our Barbados Courts & Government

  1. the final judgment

    maybe the owner will suffer the same fate a happened in the movie “Poltergeist” This is what he deserves for such disrespect of our heritage.

  2. Bimsha Boy

    The question I would ask here is, What part does the Nation Trust or any local organization for the preservation of Bajan History play in decisions affecting any thing which contributes to the history of Barbados. When historical artifacts are destroyed there are no tell tale signs of what was related to history.
    I had the opportunity to visit a Mayan ruin in Belize last year, what an experience that was. Anywhere the exploring traveler goes they love to take a look at the past. Why destroy these places of history in Barbados? I was also disturbed by the removal of trees relative to Bajan and African history in the name of development. What a price to pay.

  3. D'Arts

    Who cares, they’re dead. Life is for the living, not some 200+ year old grave.

  4. littleboy

    What a pity that we do not respect our bequests,our churches,our heritage.!!!
    Are we forgetting who we are,or do we not know who we are!!!
    The move towards” first world status” should include a move to educate us all to respect where we have come from.
    The Moravians were the first missionaries to teach that black people were people too,even before the Methodists and most definitely before the Anglican and Roman catholics who supported slavery.
    Perhaps if the perpetrators of this diabolical act had some knowledgs of their history this would not have happened.
    But…then again…desecration seems to be the order of the day….look at the so-called development taking place here in Barbados in the name of “progress”!!!

  5. Muslim

    I am not Christian, actually I am Muslim, one of those people that BFP and many of the posters here like to malign. It saddened me to read this story in the newspaper this morning- first it was beach front property and agricultural land, now its religious and historic sites. Anyone in doubt about the direction this government is taking the country after this latest disgrace needs their head examined- how much worse than desecrating burial places can you get? People can destroy coral reefs, ancient trees, beaches and sacred monuments and graves right here in Bimshire and nothing will happen.

  6. J. Payne

    Until Barbados carries out all of this importaint constitutional reform, the BLP cannot be allowed to turn the country into a Republic or they will answer to nobody….

  7. J. Payne

    correction. reforms….

  8. BK

    This is sacrilege of the highest order and there will be payback to be suffered by one and all.

  9. one should take a page from the Egyptians book they have systems in place to protect their heritage considering like ours their economy is closely linked to tourism…

  10. Rumplestilskin

    above poster”maybe the owner will suffer the same fate a happened in the movie “Poltergeist” This is what he deserves for such disrespect of our heritage”

    There are greater things than dollars and concrete.

    Some of us just take a lot longer to learn this…..and some do not learn at all.

    Their loss.

  11. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Cemetery Bulldozed

  12. John

    “So we have no law against desecrating a graveyard or digging in a known gravesite – as many other civilized jurisdictions do.”

    You are assuming we are a civilised jurisdiction!!

    Maybe we aren’t.

    My bet is we have a law, just that we don’t observe it, like so many other laws. That makes us lawless, not uncivilised.

    I have heard horror stories of construction uncovering bones and failing to report the find to authorities for fear of delays.

    The Holder family grave was bulldozed for “development” at Holders Hill. Think this was from the 1600’s.

    I talked with some ex-pats once who lived in the area who were madder than hell that such a thing could have been done.

    Understand the Holder coffin(s) are now at rest up at Castle Grant.

    We keep talking about the history of our forefathers and really don’t have a clue what we are talking about.

    Anytime I see a half idiot politician expounding on TV about our forefathers I switch off. Total waste of time.

    Black or white, as D’arts says “Who cares, they’re dead. Life is for the living, not some 200+ year old grave”.

    Soon we will be dead too!!

    Now lets see, Sharon Moravian, that’s up by Arthur’s Seat isn’t it?

  13. Red Lake Lassie

    Funny how it is often outsiders who save our historical landmarks when most Bajans don’t care. Not all the time, but so much of the time that it is remarkable.

  14. J. Payne

    The only real society that gives complete disregard to anything and has no problems with tearing everything down in order to replace is are the communists. Have you ever seen when the communists want a certain plot of land to build something??? No how no way do they care what is there they will level it all and build again.

  15. Anonymous

    Some of my family were moravians and I always promised to visit to find out more…it is important to know who your people are and where you come from. I am visiting the archives next time I come home and collecting what I can. Barbados meking me sick…just anything goes.

  16. J. Payne

    Who wants six more years of BLP?
    Lets hear you stand up and cheer…..

    Anybody??? Anyone at all?

    Why everyone so quiet? 🙂

  17. Bajan Youth

    This just goes to show that Barbados has slipped very far from the morally upright nation that it once was.(Or so it seems). Yes I blame the landowner and the bulldozer driver, but WE too are also to blame. Its ok for many of us to fill blogs to the maximum with our thoughts, feelings, opinions and such, but do we get together and protest on pressing issues that affect us daily. No, but then again none of us want to lose our job(s), get annoying calls at night, our homes broken into be verbally assualted on the media by peOple $uch As you know who and the like. Its easily understandable.

  18. Shrek

    Please visit Old Sharon and view this historical site today. Directions are at the end, after this:

    Interestingly, and relevant to tha above posts, near the Old Sharon site is a very old, gnarled, gigantic Baobab tree- which would have marked the site of the Church, just as the ‘new’ Sharon Church in the Jackson location has a giant African Baobab in front of it.

    Where did they come from?

    Coincidently, walking northwards through Christie Village past Mangove Pond would have brought one staright to Rock Hall, the first free village in Barbados.

    I am saying that today we have lost an intriguing opportunity to relate in modern-day terms the dynamic of what was happening during the abolition time.

    We write about emancipation, we visit Bussa to pray for emancipation, we talk about the way forward, yet we have lost an important part of the past. That is why it is such a pity for all of us.

    The baobab at Future Centre Trust is an offspring of the Sharon Jackson Baobab.

    Now…to directions:

    It is in the Gap that goes up to the late Dr. and surviving Mrs. Jack Leacock’s house in Shop Hill.

    Instructions: Take a left in the village of Shop Hill by the block-side, drive past the houses and the run shop, through the ‘S’ bend, pass the old storage icon (missing the side) beside the Mahon house, go 100 yards further, and see the stone monument by the roadside (on the left side) at the entrance to Old Sharon.

    The old graveyard is behind the houses at the top of the incline beside the old tree. It’s still alive, not dead, and its offspring are growiong well, just as my knowledge is passed to those who read this post today.

    Request redirection in the village of Shop Hill if necessary- it is a friendly village containing 3 churches- one of which is Moravian.

  19. Anonymous

    I hope the duppies come fuh dere tails

  20. Shrek

    Wanted to stress the line that links these locations when one is walking.

    Northwards throught Christie Village, Mangrove Pond to freehold Rock Hall; then south past Old Sharon, Dr Thompson’s (Starship Enterprise on the hilltop) and a short walk down the hill to….you guessed it…. Jackson and Sharon Church.

    These are all close by the layline.

    Coincidence?

  21. Anonymous

    I think we are confused about our culture…really really confused…sure cropover is fun but ties to who we are being destroyed all the time and we busy paying big dollars for shiny costumes for one days us and some rum.

  22. John

    This is a perfect example of why it is so easy to sell out Barbados.

    BS&T, Plantations, Cotton Factory, BNB, ICB are as perfect examples as is what is going on at Sharon.

    Everything has become a commodity, for sale to the highest bidder.

    For this we have to thank 40+ years of independence. The neighbour’s actions are evidence of independence of thought and action.

    God bless Bim on Independence Day!

  23. Astonished!

    Is any graveyard safe, now this precedent has been set?

  24. John

    Astonished

    This is no precedent.

    It may be the first time a report has been filed in the press.

    People tie cows in Westbury Cemetery and their ropes/chains routinely knock over headstones and damage graves.

    While the cows may keep the grass down in the Cemetery for free, I am sure it is not an official Government sanctioned maintenance method. A grave digger/soil technician is who told me about the cows last time I was there looking for a grave.

    The truth is most of us do not care the graves of our departed ones. Perhaps it is out of grief but more and more it seems to be because they are dead, no need to worry about them any more. Maybe all who would care about the grave are dead too.

    … and of course, Westbury Cemetery is not exactly a fun place to visit.

    I admit guilt as well.

    Believe it or not there is a project which documents the inscriptions on Tombstones in Barbados. There is a site on the net as well.

    It follows the work of individuals who did the “job” in the mid and late 1800’s and published books.

    There are graves with inscriptions all over Barbados, not only in churchyards and every now and again bones get disturbed in construction.

  25. yatinkinkiteasy

    On the site of the old Mermaid Tavern in Oistens now stands a 24 hr gambling establishment.Across the road in the parking lot there used to be a stone engraving (now destroyed and removed) that provided information on the signing of The Charter of Bridgetown, at the Tavern…We just don`t care about Historic sites. Lets just buldoze Parliment Bulding while we are at it, and dump Nelson in the Carenage….who cares? The character and beauty of (Historic)Barbados is being destroyed..take a drive down the West Coast and see what I mean.

  26. Anonymous

    John,
    You have the address of the site?
    Thx

  27. Hants

    Is there anything Sacred in Barbados?

    It is disgusting to destroy any burial site especially in a so called religous God fearing nation like Barbados.

    To destroy an important Historical site is bad.To destroy a Gravesite is worse.

  28. MaubyMoney

    Sir! Are you implying that we are an uncaring nation?
    That we are hollow? shallow?
    ..interested only in the gratuitous satisfaction to be gained this very hour?

    Surely you jest, sir.
    This is Barbados(with a capital B)!

  29. reality check

    here we go again.

    There is lots of outrage but no person or ad hoc group that is willing to stand up and organize a patriotic group that is willing to take their country back to protect their basic human and environmental rights through integrity, accountability and transparency.

    The future belongs to those who will stand up and be counted not to a lot of complainers and whiners who are afraid of the continued vicitmization.

  30. John

    Anonymous

    http://www.tombstones.bb/

    Looks like you need to ask for information. Not sure how far they got with construction.

    There are also books on monumental inscriptions in the Archives and Museum Library.

  31. John

    reality check

    An unpleasant truth we all need to face and do something about.

    Maybe we should talk about methods we can use to make our outrage clear and spell out the steps so that they are not so daunting.

    Here are a couple of suggestions for consideration.

    Maybe everybody goes to Church at Sharon next Sunday so we see first hand what has been done.

    Maybe the Church invites the public of Barbados to attend a special service, dress informal.

    It organises parking at the Lester Vaughan School and we walk over to Sharon.

  32. Thewhiterabbit

    Barbados stands out singularly as the only developed, or nearly developed, nation in the world with no antiquities preservation laws. The lack of such laws will make us ineligible to have any sites nominated for World Heritage status. This status is known to increase heritage tourism dramatically. Currently there is a World Heritage Task Force at work (sometimes) in Barbados tasked by government with getting the Garrison and Bridgetown nominated for this status. All their work is for naught until we get antiquities legislation in place. All sites of historical, cultural, or monumental importance are at serious risk without antiquities legislation. Anybody can take any of our patrimony away with not even the blink of an eye because we have no antiquities legislation. Anybody can bulldoze any building or site with complete impunity, as the events at Sharon Moravian Church have clearly shown. This legislation has been laid in Parliament, but not debated. After nearly twenty years of negotiation, review, more review, more pondering, more debating, etc et etc, when the legislation was laid in Parliament there was a great outcry from UWI, the Barbados National Trust, BWU, and others because the legislation might adversely affect some of the private hobbies of some of their members. Where were these objectors when the legislation was being drafted and reviewed? How could such organizations, supposedly dedicated to and involved in heritage preservation and the creation of valid jobs in the heritage sector, suddenly object to that which would lead to greater preservation of our most basic heritage components? Oh yes, I forgot, this is Barbados, the upside down island nation.

  33. John

    Church, ….. Sunday?

  34. Shrek

    What time?

  35. Yardbroom

    I do not know the circumstances which caused the action taken by a person/persons at the Sharon Moravian Cemetery, but I imagine a desecration of that magnitude – considering its historical importance to Barbados – would not have been taken lightly. The question posed therefore is why was it done ? Knowing this would not condone the action, but we would be better informed, particularly those who would wish to give a considered opinion.

    On a more general theme as a result of this occurence, is this action at the Sharon Moravian Cemetery, symptomatic of Barbados now, where individual rights are always promoted and defended, whatever their societal impact?

    A change from order and social cohesion, to anarchy, is often not like a flash of lightning, but occurs over time as a creeping paralysis, where a climate exist for its wanton destruction to flourish.

    To proffer an opinion against such social disintegration, often leads to one being seen as passive, soft or not wishing to stand up for ones rights. To have order, peace, honesty and integrity are dependent upon all of us playing our part, to bring this about. The alternative is not knowing if one can return home safely, after a day’s work, or fearing to venture out after dark.

    Criminals, hooligans and thugs always flourish, and do best, when there is a break down in Law and Order, because they have little to lose, apart from their lives, which they often do not lay much store by, anyhow.

    I know the peaceful Barbados of some thirty or forty years ago, is lost forever, because new dynamics are now involved, but there is time to arrest what little good we have of the old, before the uncaring brashness of the new permeates, and corrodes the minds of our children.

    One can only hope, those in authority and of influence, will try to inculcate a different mindset to that which seems prevalent in a too large minority, so that those who seek honesty, order and integrity will not be perceived as out of step with the desired moral direction of our country.

  36. Hants

    There can be no logical reason for Knowingly destroying or desecrating a Gravesite.

    Barbados was a Christain country. Wha happen?

  37. development

    who needs relics from the past and antiquities legislation and stupid old buildings when we can have development. golf courses, hotels, flyovers, malls, plazas, condominiums, highways, SUVs, polo fields, racetracks and all of that nice stuff. grow up barbados and get with the programme.

    only the good lord can save barbados from the path it is heading. we can come on this blog and rant and rave. we can vote in a next government. only god can stop this train from wrecking itself.

  38. Devil's advocate

    Looks like we need a new God to worship, one which will embrace this wholesale political corruption , chocolate jacuzzis, 16yo gun enhanced blows, wukkin up as a role model to our children, there is a new God for these abominations and his name is Beelzebub.

  39. Polo

    Only one man is responsible for this desecration. I don’t know the name, but somebody has to know who pulled the trigger.

    One man, with a name. One man, who stands to profit.

    Who is it?

  40. Citizen First

    The destruction of these tombs is a very violent act. It is another little drop of hate, of anger, of evil and if left unchecked will coalesce with many other little drops of ugliness that occur only too frequently, into a torrent that may threaten the cherished peace and development of this island.

    There can be no justification for this action, not even a claim of ownership of the land on which the tombs stood. It is said that one of these tombs was that of the first slave who converted to Christianity thus, in my mind, this action was akin to someone destroying the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in the USA!

  41. Shrek

    Services at Sharon Moravian Church in Jackson start at 9.30 and usually finish about 10.45 or 11.

  42. Baje

    This is disrespect in the highest order,
    who ever did this sinful act would pay later down in life. No amount of money would allow me to do such a disgraceful act.
    Does this Government protect this historic sites,
    please someone in this Government address this issue

  43. Stupified

    It’s a pity that a society that so adamantly believes in justice can crucify a man or a people for what seems to be a horrific act of desecration without knowing why this supposed crime was committed.
    Since August 11th 2007 the Media and the Moravians has brain washed the Barbadian society to the point where it seems as though they are the true victims in what they claim is a heinous crime against five dead people.

    As the old saying goes there are always two sides of the story, so why hasn’t anyone heard the other side as yet, I ask?

    Why, simply because no one has cared to ask the villagers of the recently discovered development of Old Sharon. Has this settlement suddenly risen out of the ground as if it where some modern day Atlantis ? On countless occasions many have passed through this very district and were ignorant of their whereabouts or location, their only goal in mind was to overcome the fear of going under the good Dr’s knife, due to an impromptu surgery caused by an unseen monthly occurrence.

    Secondly why is it that this particular location of Old Sharon or “Sharon Moravian Cemetery” cannot be found listed on any maps or historical archives with proof of its address. Surely a place of such historical importance should be listed next to such great names as St. Nicholas Abbey, St. Andrew’s Church and Lord Willoughby s Tavern. Without doubt a national treasure such as “Sharon Moravian Cemetery” should be the trophy on the mantelpiece for the Moravian movement, but why until now after the “solemn crime” had been committed are we being fed these words of undiscovered and unknown locations.

    Was it an act of retaliation against the oppression of seemly innocent group of holy committee members, whose true anterior motives are yet to be revealed over the next couple of months, was it truly a plan to create a Heritage Park to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed John Angerman, Samuel Herr, John Montgomery , John Bennet and the last grave which bears no slate, (and I clarify not Sara but no Slate), or was it a dastardly operation to uproot and disperse a people that have landscaped and cultured “Old Sharon” to its present glory for over 80 + years. I wonder how many times throughout history has the church raided and plundered using the name of GOD as a warrant for its actions.

    I ask you humbly readers of this column to seek the truth behind appearances and not to judge one man’s extreme actions as an act of madness but perhaps as a cry for emancipation from his oppressors. Do your own research, instead of being mind warped by the constant contradictions and hog wash being printed and shown on television. Must we be constantly educated by the government’s white historians that probably have a couple a plantation houses deeded in their name.

    F.Y.I It’s not a baobab tree, it’s a cotton wool tree that resides in the area, thank you for your time!!!!

    *******************************

    BFP Comments

    And now we have to judge the case in the court of public opinion because the real courts failed in 8 years to settle this case. But 8 years is only the wink of an eye as far as the Barbados Judicial system is concerned!

  44. John

    Stupefied

    Wanton desecration of any grave is serious business.

    It is difficult to imagine the facts that mitigate such an action.

    ….. but, we are human.

    Jumping to conclusions with the visual evidence of the graves clearly shown is not unnatural.

    The clear statement that a bull dozer was used … nobody is refuting that.

    No brainwashing is required.

    Hopefully all of the facts will emerge.

    If there is another side to the tale which will mitigate the actions taken to destroy the graves it better come out quick.

  45. Citizen First

    Stupified,

    Give the facts. Why the innuendo? You are anonymous. However, the incontravertible fact is that an individual willfully took it upon himself to destroy some tombs (you even provided the names of four of those buried there) without approval of any discernible authority. Even if that person was the owner of the land (or believed himself to be the owner) such destruction without approval of the Town and Country Planning Department would be wrong.

    On the basis of my research (which you have asked us to do), I understand that the Moravian Church claims ownership of the land. The church has been renting the land for many years originally to a now deceased lady. Members of her family have occupied portions of the land with some building wall homes on the land. Thus there is a dispute which is before the court. BFP’s assertion that this matter has been languishing in the courts for about 8 years is true and this further exacerbates this sad situation. I am told that this action follows the recent burial of the last surviving child of the original tenant.

    Quite simply, neither individuals nor corporate bodies should be encouraged or aided in taking the law into their own hands. Notwithstanding that concern, BFP and others are more than right to ask for a more expeditious response by the Court in matters before it. The late Sir Harold ‘Bree’ St. John in a budget debate a few years before his death, lamented the slow working of the court system even indicating that some judges not only would not give a judgement but seem unable (incompetent ?) to do so.

  46. For clarification, the “Moravian Cemetery” referred to is not at the same location as the Sharon Moravian Church. It is actually about 1.5km to the north. Shrek gives directions to it above. While it would not be a problem to have readers at the Sharon Moravian Church on Sunday, you would be disappointed as Bunker’s Hill, “Old Sharon” is a distance away.

    Stupified is well informed and may very well be a member of a legal team.

    In seeking to change public opinion, Stupified has suggested that the Moravian Church did not really intend to “to create a Heritage Park to commemorate the lives of the dearly departed . . .” Well, that is the first error, it is not just about those old tombs and the memory of those who are buried there. Having missed that, it is easy to destroy or agree to the destruction of the cemetery. It is also about identity and a heritage of sacrificial service to God and to a nation.

    Stupified went on to describe the plans of the MC as “a dastardly operation to uproot and disperse a people that have landscaped and cultured “Old Sharon” to its present glory for over 80 + years.” Far from the truth. In the first place, it was out of Christian kindness that the tenants were permitted to be on the location for a pepper-corn rent. The church has no intention of retreating from its good will. Further, the plans for the heritage park clearly show that the present occupants are not to be dispersed but relocated on the same site for what is hoped to be a happy coexistence.

    As it relates to “a people that have landscaped and cultured “Old Sharon” to its present glory for over 80 + years.” A visit to the site would clarify whether such is true. It was the intent of the MC to carry out such “development” and to stir the nation to greater awareness of this site. If Bunker’s Hill as it is known is not to be found on any maps of which Stupified is aware, it is certainly on the moravian map. There is no doubt about its location. Tours have been consistently conducted to the site, and on May 19, 2007 the Executive Board of the Moravian Church world-wide visited the site. In 1995 a documentary on the Moravian Church on both sides of the Atlantic was made by a Czech film crew who included video of the cemetery. See the cemetery on http://www.moravians.net

  47. Shrek

    It is true, I made a mistake about the tree- it’s an old silk cotton tree with giant bolls. I have not been to the site for a few years, but have a clear picture of the small graveyard site, with the butterflies flying all around it in the sunshine, and a small plot of vegetables right there.

    Even if there was some kind disagreement over the land and the resident was angry about a possible relocation this could have been accomodated and some kind of arrangement made? There is empty, fallow land all around, with the gully to the west and the old bushy cane-piece to the east. How could we have resorted to what has happened?

    It is good to see that there is a picture of it still, and comforted by the reassurance and word of the Honourable Rev. One would hope that this can be worked out, even though the tombstones and crypt-tops are destroyed.

    Let the parties seek peace and work together, as in the days of old.

  48. Hants

    In a Christian Community like Barbados. It is disgusting beyond belief to destroy a known Graveyard or Burial site.

    Is this an indication of the sad state of decay our society is falling into?

    I hope this was the act of 1 pathetic human being and not an indication of a societal problem.

    Somethings are supposed to be sacred in a civilised society.

  49. Quietstorm

    It is a great thing when society can voice its opinion on what goes on in the daily lives of others. I also find it interesting when people voice there opinion without really knowing the facts. Why is it that humans tend to walk around and speak of things without knowing exactly what is going on?
    Why is it that people would sit down and read information from one or two sources and believe that it is true?
    Is it because we as human beings tend to be lazy about finding out the truth and choose to feel good about going around feeding others with our limited information based on our microscopic research? There are more ways than one to actually connect the truth. It is obvious that some of you don’t know this.

    After asking these questions this is my view on this article:
    This article (like so many others) was published only to tell the side of the person telling the story with no interest in the others partaking in this event (meaning the people living on the land). I really don’t know why it is that we are here talking about history and heritage of these people – who, if any of you had to ask the church about would not be able to tell you the history of – who will be in the distant future be used (along with us) to fuel future humans cars, or stoves or what ever some brilliant mind decides to invent.

    I will leave this question with you. How many of our forefathers that have assisted in creating the live we live today (freedom and all that stuff) do we **** on – literally – when we flush our toilet on a daily bases? What argument do you intend on formulating for all those slaves that were buried in cane grounds ect who fought for our current living conditions and we have decided to build houses upon because they are dead and we need somewhere to live, go to work, party, drive ect?

    Want something to give your views about? Give views about people that actually have a recorded history that you can know what they have actually done for this island. This is to say that i dare every one of you to do research on the names mentioned and i could assure you that you will find no information about who they really were or what it is that the church is actually trying to save. If anyone actually finds any information relevant to the article please post a site(s). Something which can actually “holds water”. Not stuff like people worshiping at the grave yard (sounds like a cult), or people making claims that the grave yard belongs to the church. Solid evidence please. Thanks.

    TO STUPIFIED: if you have any information about the dates on the actual tomb stones please inform so the ignorant will actually attempt to do research before placing their views. Thank you.

  50. got2bekiddingme

    The idiot who bulldozed is as mindless as a spineless amoeba. Does he not know that cemetaries are basically repositories of history, veritable museums of our heritage and colourful past. What an #@#$$$%. Well, when you desecrate property, especially religious and scared ground, God will not be mocked. We will soon hear that his house got demolished by the UDC.lol

  51. John

    Did you know that St. Andrew’s Parish Church, (anglican) only stood in its current location after, I think, the 1831 hurricane.

    St. Andrew’s Parish Church is shown on old maps on the other side of the road, under the sand hill.

    In fact the anglican church owns an acre and a quarter in which the remains of parishoners are interred from the time there was a parish church.

    I have seen a surveyor’s plot of the area from the 1950’s. Its existence is known!!

    That acre and a quarter is a part ot the sand hill and contains a resource which is vital for building all the houses we hear various persons speak of ad nauseum.

    Next time you are by the roundabout at St. Andrew’s Parish church, take a look at the diminishing sand hill.

    The tamarind tree you will see at the bottom of the hill is slap bang in what is known as the graveyard down that side of the island.

    The books on inscriptions on old tombstones contain many taken from this old graveyard.

    The question is, will we awake one day to find the bulldozers running amok in the name of progress through this piece of history?

  52. Here we go Quietstorm:

    John Bennett – May 11, 1772
    Samuel Herr – Feb. 24, 1773
    John Angerman – Dec. 1775
    John Montgomery – July 27, 1791
    Sarah – unknown

    And by the way, after you have done the research, you still have to decide if you will believe the ones who have written the record.

    With your epistemology, we would have to keep our mouths closed a lot more.

    Your argument seems to be, since we do not know how many people we **** on when we flush our toilets on a daily basis, we should then mash down and **** on those memorials we know. Well, well, well . . .

  53. John

    Quietstorm

    Check out “Historic Churches of Barbados” by Barbara Hill, edited by Henry Fraser. Got my copy at the Cloister many years ago.

    There is a section about all the Moravian Churches in Barbados in this book. The info on the inscriptions you refer to is listed. No great deal of research needs to be done by Stupefied.

    If you have the time to read about them, this book will probably be easily available.

    The info is there for those who care to look. If you care to dig deeper, write the Moravian church and ask it to provide you with the info you want. I am pretty sure it will have chronicled its history well.

    Or you can go to the Barbados Museum and ask about the Bible that previously belonged to Rev. Adam Haman. A note in the Bible states “He was the first Reverend and the builder of the first Moravian church in Sharon, St. Thomas. A handwritten dedication in the Bible is dated 1785. (Fact from book Historic Churches of Barbados)

    … or if you really want to dig, visit the archives.

    Did I know these people from all the way back then? Of course not.

    Do I respect them for what (it is alleged) they did? Sure I do.

    Did you know that the Moravians also owned slaves (not many, less than 10) and their returns can be found in the 1817 registration?

    Found that out for myself a few years ago. Can’t remember their names.

    Sometimes there are things you find out when you dig which surprise and intrigue you.

    History is fascinating if you approach it with an open mind and no preconceived ideas.

    That is one of many reasons why for me the bulldozing of those tombs is not acceptable behaviour, regardless of the situation ……. oh yeah, and I have never seen the tombs, …. and I do not need to either.

    I will see them however, please God, or at least what is left of them.

    … and finally, does it bother me that I may ***** on them when I flush my toilet? I don’t give it a second thought.

    At most churches in Barbados when the lifeless body is committed to the earth the committal memorialises the fact that it came from the earth and is now returning to the earth.

    We and the earth are one.

  54. Yardbroom

    Quietstorm

    Your opinions are worthy of note for two reasons.
    You wrote:
    …” I really don’t know why it is that we are talking about history and heritage of these people”…

    You later added:

    …”Want something to give your views about? Give views about people that actually have a recorded history that you can know what they have done for this island”…

    I would not even venture an opinion on the above – contradictions – but leave others to digest “your own words,” and come to their own conclusions.

  55. Citizen First

    Quietstorm’s shrill, vitriolic diatribe provides no explanation, justification or defense for the wilful destruction of the tombs. All that is offered is an attempt to discount the value or importance of such memorials served on a platter of arrant ignorance, dressed with vulgar expression.

    I hope that others are considering this sad episode and some of the possible associated issues which I surmise to be:

    The administration and rule of law in this country, (justice delayed is justice denied).

    The protection and management of antiquities, works of art, areas of special value re. their biotic, geological or historical characteristics.

    The state of our physical environment both the natural and the human built aspects.

    The exposition and research of our history and heritage.

    The level of civil discourse and behaviour of citizens of this Island in respect of each other, our homes and public places, our places of worship and respite.

    Consequently I hope some comment (without prejudice to any of the parties involved in the specific dispute) will be proffered by such bodies as:

    – other religious organisations
    – The University of the West Indies
    – The Bar Association
    – The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association
    – The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and
    Industry
    – The Barbados Agricultural Society
    – The Barbados Institute of Architects
    – The Barbados Association of Professional
    Engineeers
    – the political parties
    – the Trade Unions

    and most importantly

    – THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS.

  56. Dukes Resident

    It is a most regrettable thing when citizens go beyond the boundaries of law and order.

    Quietstorm does not seem to know that the march to and from Old Sharon by the Moravians (and the general public) has been reported in the news in past years. It is not a cooked up event, it exists.

    Sorry to cross-index another point, but re the racetrack just a few hundred metres away to the east upwind, could it be that there is a separate law for these individuals?

    Reverend, please forgive me for intruding into the Church’s business, but perhaps you may take an interest for our sakes.

    Vaucluse extends from Old Sharon right over to Hopewell, and it is all fallow land. A racetrack was built next to Dukes Village without Town Planning permission, and residents are objecting to it. Yet recent activities at the illegal track were publicised on CBC TV on Tuesday night.

    We see a discrepancy in treatment between the powerful plantation landowners and the regular folk.

  57. EarlyBird

    To Quietstaorm
    It is noted that fools speek while the intellegent smile.
    As you admit, you do not know what you are talking about; so let me help you.
    There is a book book on Moravian History which is written by G. Oliver Maynard, covering the the Moravian missions to the West Indies. In it you will find the information you are looking for. Failing that you can make a check with the local historians inlcuding Trevor Marshall, Hoyos and a few others.
    Next time do your research before you open your mouth and let foolishness fall out.

  58. Quietstorm

    Stupes!!!! It is obvious that none of you can bring any factual evidence to show that the tombs acually belong to said church. Can anyone tell me the history of these dead people? It seems not. You know what? For the next couple of years I will march my self to these same grave sites, carry out a few pray ceremonies in teh name of my churc and then claim them as ours. How does that sound? I will show up at some random site, hold a few services on land the does not exactly belong to anyone yet then claim it as my own in the name of God and history (a history that none of you obviously can find).

    To Yardbroom: the things that you quoted that I said are not contradicting. All its saying is none of you have no solid evidence that those dead people actually belong or aer founders or what ever of the church other than people going by word of mouth about what is suppose to be the truth.

    We could all stay here and argue about this but many more “important” historic things are going to be uprooted and persons like yourselves will once again come to the table with pointless “facts”.

    Once again can anyone of you tell me the history of these 5 dead people. If not, there was no history to preserve in the first place which makes this forum pointless.

    Thank you!!

  59. Quietstorm

    Thanks for the dates which tell me how long the people lived but it still tells me nothing about why this sight is so historic. Anymore valuable inforamtion? Anyone? I think not. This is pointless. Agrue amoung yourselves. You all obviously make vast contributions to our society in a very meaningfull way. This issue will be settled in the courts and… it will all be a new history for all of us to preserve. Yeah!!!! Hurray for all of us now we will have something new to save.

  60. BFP

    Quietstorm…

    Does it really matter who “owns” the tombs?

    They are tombs, graves.

    Our ancestors.

    You just don’t get it, do you?

  61. John

    Quietstorm

    “Once again can anyone of you tell me the history of these 5 dead people. If not, there was no history to preserve in the first place which makes this forum pointless. ”

    Google Samuel Herr, moravian Barbados and you will find an article written in the The New England Quarterly in 1939.

    Here is a bit from the article.

    The first Moravians to reach the New World had come to Pennsylvania 1734. By 1749 their numbers had reached the total of 30,000 and of this more than 1000 were missionaries.

    From their ecclesiastical center at Bethlehem these missionaries wandered forth in all directions.

    Georg Solle and Samuel Herr left Bethlehem in 1760 to survey the New England field.

    Samuel Herr was born at Wurtenberg, August 23 1716 and was reared a Lutheran, but joined the Moravian Church.

    After serving in various charges in the colonies, he went to the West Indies as a Moravian missionary in Barbados, where he remained until the time of his death.

    …. and yes, if you can find some land that isn’t currently owned, and claim it, then it is yours.

    Best of luck in your search!!

    If you wish to find out more about the history of Samuel Herr you can write the Moravian Church and ask for a copy of the diary his companion Georg Solle wrote when they were sent to survey the New England field.

    You need however to be able to read German.

    If you want to find out about the history of these 5 dead people, write the Moravian Church.

    I am sure you will get more than you imagine exists on these “dead” people from this source.

  62. Yardbroom

    Quietstorm
    You wrote…”founders or whatever of the Church other than people going by word of mouth about what is suppose to be the truth”..

    I am sorry we are into basics here, however History was by word of mouth long before man had accomplished the physical dexterity to scribe in the soil or in a cave.

    You have failed to demonstrate a basic understanding of the issues here.

    History: a record or account of past events and developments; it does not have to be written.

    In this case, there appears to be a written record. What you have done is to desecrate, which means to violate the record, character of an object or place.

    You have undermined your own position unwittingly.

    You stated…”this issue will be settled in the courts”
    if you were so sure of your ground, why desecrate the graves, as you would win anyhow, you have made the assumption that if the grave stones are damaged, all will be well for you. It will not be, the “Site” is still there, you have shot yourself in the foot, and done a great disservice to whatever tenuous cause you had.

  63. Quietstorm

    Thank you very much John for being the one to tell me where I could actually find some solid evidence (hopefully) that those people (or person) actually distroyed some kind of history. Reading the German is not ging to be a problem. Thanks for the heads up.

    Question: Are the other people in this forum Moravians by any chance? If so I could see why it is so easy for you to be intersted in looking at the sife of the cube (this issue) which faces you.

  64. Yardbroom

    I am not a Moravian, but I am also interested in and have seen the Tag Mahal, The Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge – incidentally a pile of stones no written record of when they were erected, believed around 3100BC yet an English Heritage Site.

    I am not a native of the countries where those sites can be found, but their significance transcends the individual.

    You might argue the Moravian site is not of the same magnitude, but one has to be comfortable with what one has, and thus give it the importance it deserves.

  65. Shrek

    I am not a Moravian but I paleyd on the site as a child. I love Barbados and want us to remember stories of triumph in adversity. Slavery was an injustice of the highest order.

    Moravian Christians helped to emancipate us. Compassionate reflective clergymen were able to transcend the so-called ‘educated’ opinions of the day.

    They saw it was wrong. They helped the poor, oppressed ones against dominant oppressors, knowing we are equals. We need to remember that.

    Please be proud to work to preserve this memory.

  66. John

    Sorry, I am not a Moravian either.

    Doesn’t mean I do not have an interest and won’t speak out about what appears to me to be plain wrong.

    If some misguided Bajan interfered with a grave at the Synagogue or anything at any of the Mosques or at any of the other places of worship, I would have something to say as well.

  67. John

    ….. and it would not matter to me whether the land was owned by the place of worship or not.

    Whoever owned Stonhenge is no longer around to make a fuss but a fuss would be made if anyone interfered with it in any way.

  68. Citizen First

    Neither am I a Moravian nor am I particularly religious however I concur with the sentiments expressed by Shrek, John and Yardbroom.

    Maybe if those who are responsible for the destruction of the tombs, acknowledge the wrong that was done, assist in their restoration and enter into new dialogue with the church instead of relying on the court, a greater victory may be won not only for themselves but for all of us who seek a small light to hold off the darkness that threatens to envelop us.

  69. EarlyBird

    Let me enlighten Quietstorm, who seem reluctant to do some simple research and stop making silly statements:
    The name of the book before-mentioned is A History of the Moravian Church Eastern West Indies Province by G. Oliver Maynard. On page 60 and beyond the records show that a Benjamin Brookshaw was one of the men for Europe who were in Barbados to minister to and educate the poor slaves who were at that time prohibited from attending the existing churches nor could they receive any form of education beyond how to work hard for the masters. Mr. Brookshaw refused to take a position at St. Michael’s (Cathedrel) in order to continue what he was sent here to do. He was joined by JOHN BENNETT and together they bought the land in St. Thomas, repaired the burnt house to be used as a mission house and dedicated it on 24th December 1766. The area was then named Bunker’s Hill.
    The following year Sara / Sarah, a slave became the 1st convert to be baptized. In 1770 SAMUEL HERR joined the team at Bunker’s Hill where he endured the same dangers and difficulties which the other missionaries were battling with. These include several diseases and the resistance of the planters / white persons, some of whom issued threats to the missionaries because they realized that the education of the slaves challenged their control over the people they treated as lesser human beings. The significance of this is that the work in Barbados started right there at Bunker’s Hill, making it important to not just Moravians but all black Barbadians.
    Now QuietStorm, you have some insight. Go and find the rest of the information for yourself.

  70. John

    EarlyBird

    Thanks.

    From the info you put here, Samuel Herr, born in 1716 in Germany, arrived at the age of 54 to do missionary work. He was obviously not a young man and he came from the Moravians in America.

    He died 3 years later.

    I found also in the case of the people sent by the SPG to convert the slaves to christianity on its estates in St. John that the lifespan of the newly arrived was also very short.

    One of the first ones lasted 3 months before a fever carried him off. That was in the early 1700’s. Codrington’s bequest to the SPG was 1710.

    The conversion of slaves to christianity does predate the arrival of the Moravians.

    It is easy to assume that Barbadians were always Christians but this is not so.

    In making the assumption we judge our forefathers through eyes which cannot see.

    Much of our anger towards past injustices can be explained by the difference in religion which existed and this anger is perfectly natural.

    We need to realise that at that time there were christian and heathen, like today there is muslim and infidel. We rant and rave continually about Islam and its differences and Islam likewise.

    It was an act of love shown by christian and heathen which is responsible for the Barbados we have today.

    I continue to be amazed by what human beings with completely different beliefs and backgrounds can accomplish together.

    People say without thinking that Barbados is a christian society, but it was not always so.

    Why we could ever doubt it and allow emotions of anger and division to be stirred within us by persons with agendas is beyond me.

    The evidence is so, so clear.

    One last point. I know of perhaps 1, maybe 2 Barbadians who have gone into unsafe, inhospitable places to be missionaries.

    Should we not know as a matter of fact if there are many others who have been so moved and acted as the early missionaries did?

    We think too much of ouselves and forget others who need to get by, just as we do.

    These examples of sacrifice need to be brought before our eyes to make us appreciate how lucky we are.

  71. Young Bajan

    As usual, the faceless cowards of Barbados Free Press trying to manipulate news of any event in Barbados so they can blame it on the government.

    You can PRETEND to be concerned about the situation with Sharon Moravian Cemetery, but as usual your fabrications and lies betray your real and only agenda.

    You people are idiots whose small minds and stupidity only serve to sabotage your political goals.

    Nobody in Barbados takes you fools seriously, and no-one will until you first get the balls to put your names behind what you say, and we all know that will NEVER happen. When Bajans want REAL news, it’s the Nation or the Advocate to which we turn, REAL media organisations with REAL people putting out REAL news, not fly-by-night cowards hiding on the internet.

    An looka… elections soon comin.

    FOUR LOVE in WUNNA BACKSIDE!!!

    Hahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

  72. Wishing in Vain

    Young Bajan
    What an alias, for if you were indeed young, obvious youth has been wasted on you, if you fail to see, discuss, learn, study or even opened your mind it would be clear to see the state of this island, rife with corruption and illegal acts supported and encouraged in no small way by your PM as he is the mastermind of a very large percentage of this corruption.
    I am not certain that either the people or the Treasury can hold up to the onslaught of another 5 years of pillaging and rape of this island that is why the population minus the idiots like you that are on the BLP payroll are of the distinct opinion that the time is right for a change of gov’t.
    My real concern is to what extent you and your party will fall to steal and corrupt the upcoming election process, after all if you all can steal over $ 200 million in one project why should we feel otherwise about you stealing an election after all they both involve public funds.

  73. EarlyBird

    It is a great pity when people could become so tied up in politics that they must use every opportunity to leak venom. Every forum has now become a politic platform. We see so much bitterness simply because one person belong to one party or another. In the end we all still have to live here together. In the work place and in the bus we do not see political parties but we see people just like ourselves. I therefore pray that God will give us the wisdom and courage to learn how to accept our differences yet live peaceably while working together to improve this lovely country of ours.

    *****************************

    BFP Comments,

    Yes we have our differences, EarlyBird. We differ with BOTH the DLP and the BLP who do not want to see integrity legislation for Barbados.

    Now, what about that $750,000 cheque that the Prime Minister deposited to his personal bank account?

    Shouldn’t he have to account for that publicly? Yes, or no?

  74. Lani Edghill

    the problem is that we dont have any laws to govern historic sites and the National Trust can only take care of so many. they are sole organization that protects our national heritage and they are a non-profit who struggle to keep up their existing propoerties.
    Preservation is a tool that can be used in sustainable development and preservation planning and in order for it to be successful we need environmental stewardship FROM the people. Yes you, and you! The government can do it without us!

  75. Grieved

    It saddens and puzzles me that the local “authorities” in Barbados boasts of the island and the inhabitants being so developed, and tries to impress the world that it is so advanced when compared with the neighbouring islands. I am yet to see it. Surely, most of the roads may be of a better quality than those of the neighbouring islands, and have lighting at night; and many other entities such as the education, may be somewhat better; but alas! its people, despite the available education, are very backward,, lacking profusely in discipline, character and sense of values.

    As stated earlier: “On Saturday, August 11, 2007, a man without a conscience, without any sense of value, without a sense of history, without any Jesus or christian beliefs in him, drove a bulldozer through the 242 year old tomb of Sara – the first black Moravian Church convert in Barbados. Sad to say, but all those who were involved in such a directive as to order the destruction of this historic Moravian site (the historic Moravian cemetery at Grandview, St. Thomas), are in the same boat as the bulldozer driver. A set of empty headed and ignorant morons!

    But by similar token, this is the common trend among Barbadians; a set of people without any sense of values, be the values Christian, or otherwise. Countless other buildings, articles, etc., etc. have been thus senselessly destroyed, and wit many, many more to suffer a similar fate. For example, the historic St. Joseph Parish Church, the Empire cinema/theatre building and the Marshall building, the (former) National Public Library building, the former “Eye Ward” building (on Bay Street) of the (former) Barbados General Hospital, in Bridgetown, and the list can go on and on , and on, almost ad infinitum!!

    The question is, when will they ever learn, if they are at least capable of ever learning? May God help poor Barbados and its dum-witted people.

  76. Be warned!

    Very true as stated earlier that most of the roads may be of a better quality than those of most of the neighbouring islands, and that they may have street lighting at night. Also, many other entities such as the education, may be somewhat better; but alas! the Barbadian people, despite the available of free education, behave very backward,, lacking profusely in discipline, character, Christian values and a sense of general values.

    An earlier entry painfully stated thus:- “On Saturday, August 11, 2007, a man without a conscience, without any sense of value, without a sense of history, without any Jesus or christian beliefs in him, drove a bulldozer through the 242 year old tomb of Sara – the first black Moravian Church convert in Barbados.”

    Sad to say, but I would add that all those who were involved in such a directive as to order the destruction of this historic Moravian site (the historic Moravian cemetery at St. Thomas), are in the same boat as the bulldozer driver. A set of empty headed and ignorant morons!
    The cemetery was in memory of a set of devout people, who were devout and loyal servants of Almighty God, and many of whom gave their very lives for the cause of freedom from slavery.

    Today, it is so very different. In Barbados today, people behave as if they were no God, having no respect for anyone, including themselves. During the hurricane season, whenever the island is spared from the onslaught of a hurricane, some of the compounded fools boast and say that “God is a bajan”; hence, the hurricane passed and spared the island. Let’s not get too complacent, because one day when God has had enough of the Barbadians folly, disregard and disrespect, He will strike back in some way, I know not how.