How Screwed Up Is This Place? Barbados Government Workers Accidentally Demolish Last Slave Hut – After Being Informed Not To By Member Of Parliament

Before Anthony Headley

Before Anthony Headley

Barbados’ First Freedom Village Now Ruble – And No One Will Be Held Accountable

What idiocy! At the same time that the government and citizens are putting more emphasis on our roots and bringing clarity to some of the misconceptions of our history, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished that last bit of original history at Rock Hall Freedom Village.

EPD deputy director Anthony Headley was told personally by Member of Parliament Cynthia Forde that the mistake was about to be made. She saw a EPD demolition sign on the hut and called him up – for all the good it did.

Somebody Should Be Sacked

Anthony Headley would be a good place to start, seeing as he has proven himself to be an idiot and incapable of intelligent thought. Under Freedom of Information, it would also be good to examine the entire process – starting with the last government’s spending $1.3 million dollars for the Rock Hall Freedom Village project and accomplishing exactly nothing. Remember all that business about marking the slave route and promoting our heritage? Money is gone, where is the product?

But back to the issue at hand: Anthony Headley was told about the historical significance of the slave hut, and that a mistake was about to be made regarding demolition. He was told by a Member of Parliament that the government had acquired the land and that his records were wrong. He was told to stop the demolition. When that information was passed to him, Headley became a responsible person.

So, SACK HIM.

Then find out who else screwed up and issued the original order and SACK THEM TOO.

We’ll stop short of firing the workers who demolished a historical landmark – but they are unthinking stupid idiots at the very least.

And as far as Cynthia Forde goes, she was a big part of the Rock Hall preservation project and spending $1.3 million, so why wasn’t a sign and a fence put up to protect the hut? Why didn’t she follow up on such an important issue after her uneasy phone call with Mr. Anthony “poop-for-brains” Headley?

After Anthony Headley

After Anthony Headley

Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting For Someone To Be Held Accountable

This is Barbados folks. We don’t do accountability. We don’t even sack people when they steal or misuse their government position. Nope, we make them Senators.

And here is the best part: this is the second time that this has happened. In 2003 government workers knocked down the second-last slave hut “by accident”.

Will somebody please assign some accountability around this place? This slave hut travesty is a micro-example of what keeps Barbados from achieving greatness. Things “just happen” with no one being responsible or being held responsible. We tear down historical buildings, build a wall of condos on the west coast so we can’t even see the water and mismanage the last mangrove forest so badly that even philanthropists who want to give us millions are driven away.

… But no government official is ever held to account for their actions and mismanagement.

From The Nation…

Licks Over Slave Hut

BARBADOS’ FIRST FREE VILLAGE has lost a significant part of its history.

On Wednesday morning, workmen from the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) demolished the only slave hut which was still standing at the Rock Hall Freedom Village in Rock Hall, St Thomas.

A distraught Cynthia Forde, parliamentary representative for St Thomas, who was behind the development of the $1.37 million project last year, said she was shocked and heartbroken when she passed by the village on Wednesday morning and saw only a shell of the slave hut remaining.

She told the WEEKEND NATION that on Tuesday she noticed a demolition sign had been placed on the building and she immediately contacted the EPD and spoke to deputy director Anthony Headley.

“I explained to him that the structure was part of the Rock Hall Freedom Village and that it was going to be renovated and used as an Interpretation Centre. I told him that the hut was integral to the history of the project and I asked him for a stay of demolition so that I could speak to the authorities in the various ministries who were involved in the project.

“He told me that the sign was put there to communicate to the landowner, but I indicated to him that Government was the landowner and that the property had been acquired. He went on to tell me that it was legally entitled to be demolished but at the end of our conversation, I was satisfied that some time would be given to investigate the situation.”

… read the entire article at The Nation (link here)

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75 Comments

Filed under Africa, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Ethics, History, Slavery, Tourism, Travel, Traveling and Tourism

75 responses to “How Screwed Up Is This Place? Barbados Government Workers Accidentally Demolish Last Slave Hut – After Being Informed Not To By Member Of Parliament

  1. major major screw up here. seriously dont the people at the EPD think. Like couldnt somebody call someone higher up and say but this is a part of our history are you sure this should be demolished.

    shame shame shame.

  2. bajanveggie

    bfp I agree with you 200%…not only should heads roll but said persons should have to piece it back together from amognst the rubble bit by bit……this is a total disgrace

  3. Crusty

    Wait, don’t you know that a big part of Bajan worker culture is not to question what the boss says? And the boss thinks only s/he knows what is the right action to take.

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

    BFP says,

    You’re correct, Crusty – and it is this “somebody else responsible” attitude and culture that is killing us. Bosses will only be leaders when they also accept the consequences for wrong decisions.

  4. CENTIPEDE

    Well, it’s life in de tropics and specifically in Barbados…. where nobody will be held accountable and it’s simply business as usual.

  5. no name

    CENTIPEDE
    You are spot on!

  6. The Scout

    I was told from my early childhood days by my dad quote ” Son the only way you can know where you’re going in life, is to know where you came from.” This seems to be a classic example of us “babyboomers” who because of “free educatiuon” wants to forget what our ancestors endured for us to be in this positive position. I don’t think anyone in their right senses would want to demolish that hut. There are a few others in St Peter and I showed them to my children when they were young and told them about ancient Barbados. What has happened here shows that enough education of Barbados is not taught. We’re not as patriotic as some of us appear to be. This is a dark period in Barbados development/progress.

  7. .22

    I heard a caller on BrassTacks about this issue and she was continuously trying to raise the issue with the authorities. When I read this today, I’m stunned and it is a total shame.

    I hope both the Freedom of Information act comes soon. And governement needs to get the ITAL legislation going. We can’t afford these things run rampant such as this.

  8. political whoredom

    maybe they can leave the rubble now as a monument

  9. Hants

    I hope some of these Historical sites have been photographed.

    If these “mistakes” continue Barbados will soon have no Historical buildings.

    It is becoming a concrete jungle.

    Preserve the ruins of this slave hut.

  10. John

    I am not sure that this is a slave hut.

    I think it is more likely a dwelling of a small Barbadian landowner, perhaps with black or coloured or white roots.

    I believe the dwellings of our slave ancestors were pretty flimsy and have long since been absorbed into the earth.

    Having said this I have to admit that I am at a loss to explain how the Government could set out to destroy it having declared it as fit for restoration.

    I also don’t think that Rock Hall is the first free village!!

    It may be the first village to arise after slavery but it can’t be the first free village because slaves were being routinely freed from the 1600′s and had to have somewhere to live.

    Perhaps their dwellings could not be classified as a village as they were freed in small numbers by specific owners in specific locations, but freed they were, and they produced descendants who were also free.

    I have always wondered how they survived slavery. They were not “full” members of either the slave population or the “free” population.

    This population, the free negroes and free mulattoes, that made it through must have consisted of some pretty tough independent individuals.

    At emancipation in 1834, this small population had been routinely making wills, doing deeds and being baptised, married and buried in the Anglican Church just as any “free” man or woman ……. without being fully “free”.

    This small “black”/”coloured” population would have been “ahead” of the masses of slaves in the integration into the “English/Barbadian” religious and secular system of the day.

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

    BFP say

    Hi John,

    Whatever it was, they got $1.3 million to preserve it and the freedom village. Money gone. Hut gone.

    Same old, same old.

  11. John

    I agree BFP.

  12. Busted

    Heads of Governmental Departments are a law unto themselves. A lot of them are clueless and could care less, about government policies and initiatives.

  13. Lady Anon

    I am going to play devil’s advocate here. We are all to blame. Do we really know our history? No we don’t. Do we really care about our history? No we don’t.

    This structure had been identified to be part of the Rock Hall Monument. People in gov’t departments leave, are transferred etc. Could it have been so difficult to have a sign placed on or near the structure so that all AND sundry would know that it is a historic structure and will form part of the Monument? No, I don’t think so.

    We heard outcry when there was some destruction in the Sharon Moravian Church graveyard and within two days the furore has died down.

    It is all our fault.

  14. pt

    Oh sure Lady Anon…

    So fire all the damn government employees who were working on the Rock Hall project with the 1.3 million because they didn’t do any good.

    Fire them.

    What you are saying is we should expect nothing not even basic competence from our government employees.

    Like BFP say YOU ATTITUDE is part of the problem. We get wat we expect and we expect nothing.

  15. Anna

    I´m so sorry. I live in Iceland, we have the same thing going on here as you seem to have in the Barbados government, the people we elect are incompetent idiots at best, callous fools at the middle and I won´t go into the worst…

    This is just horrible, I hate it when history isn´t respected as it should be.

    I hope u people in Barbados are smarter and more passionate than the people where I live, and that you fire these fools.

    Good luck!

  16. God Help Barbados

    Oh so typical, one petty jumped up bureaucrat can’t stand to be told what to do by another petty jumped up bureaucrat. Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

  17. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    There is no stupidity in being ignorant. Common sense should have prevailed in this, regardless of who owns the land because some thing of significant importance was on that land (regardless of who own the land). Mr. Headley should have spoken to his Minister or Permanent Secretary and halted any demolition until further clarification and instruction was given. Really stupid, and I think we got alot more of them (Square pegs in round holes) working in Government. But who is to say the instruction was not given from on high!

  18. The Scout

    Let’s hope that Roland Edwards’ house doesn’t go next. They were ready to demolish this before even after a plea not to.Is some-one trying to rid us of our pass?

  19. Pat

    We have one of those same huts on our land. The roof is gone, the windows are gone, but the walls and the floor are still there. My grandfather descended not from a slave but an indentured worker. I am not sure if he was English, Scottish or Irish, but poor white he was. He had a couple acres and over the years sold bits and pieces to make ends meet. Only one acre is now left for four of us grandchildren. However, his last name was Burgess, where ever that comes from.

  20. The Scout

    Pat
    Please don’t demolish it. If posible restore it and use as a relic of our pass. We need to remind ourselves from whence we came so that we can charter our path for the future.

  21. MANJAK

    I write this correspondence in a state of undimmed rage, humiliation and shame. One weeps with utter frustration and anger at the news that the likelihood of The Grahme Hall Nature Santuary the last of our mangrove wetlands may be no more. The likely future scenario is that this 35 acre site may be bulldozed and concreted by greedy and avaricious developers out for the quick buck as the Thompson administration adopts a supine posture.

    In St. Thomas the last remainding slave hut is flattened into rubble by a state agency the Enviromental Protection Agency………..how ironic. This shameful act of crass vandalism was sanctioned by senior black civil servants and executed by the governmental agency which they managed. This was despite the intervention of a local Member of Parliament and attests to a complete lack of black consciousness and respect for their Bajan heritage by those involved and a woeful ignorance of their of history.

    This horrendous act may not only be bureaucratic bungling and incompetence on a grand scale but suggest very much that the minds of the senior civil servants who sanctioned this action (and the workers who carried out this foul deed) are shackled still to the 21st. century plantation.

    I believe that we are not only experiencing the deeply ingrained crass behaviour of the Bajan civil service culture but we may very well be witness to an expression of black self hate. We are consumed still by this hatred of self and the Rock Hall slave huts represent aspects of ourselves, our Africaness and our slave history that we wish to have expunged. For so many of us our psychic black selves are not yet healed.
    For what explains this brutal destruction of a critical and important physical manifestation of our black Bajan history.
    The previous venal and corrupt BLP administration can expend millions on a cricket pitch at Kensington/Fontabelle but the major cultural /learning institution our national library can be closed for well nigh two years.
    The Rock Hall Village was supposed to have had over one million dollars spent on it to develop the site into a historical centre of pilgrimage and learning. It appears that the monies have gone, with little to show for for the expenditure other than an area of overgrown bush and weeds.
    Our priorities on so many occasions celebrate the banal and the not very inportant. Laughably the ex Prime Minister Owen Arthur was responsible for the portfolio of Culture. Most intelligent Bajans found this to be comedic, culture could fall on him from a great hight and he would not recognise such.
    We had of recent the embarrassing spectacle of the new Minister of Culture in the DLP regime boldly stating that Europeans and the early black Bajans who arrived by ship came as equals.
    It is into this vacumn, this false space, that an ignorance of history is fostered and a disrespect for self and country which allows our national heritage to be neglected, sold, bulldosed at whim and bartered for glass beads.

    We need though not be passive bystanders, collective action saved the Grahme Hall Sanctuary before. The greedy and the vandals need not triumph. The Bajan family at home and abroad must organise petitions, write letters, march, protest in what ever way possible, organise in their respective communities, contact their respective MP’s and demand that the Grahme Hall Santuary be made a National Park for the present and our future generations.
    We must demand also that from the rubble at Rock Hall Village the slave huts must be rebuilt.

  22. chattel

    Government agencies appear to be taking an destructive attitude to Barbadian history and its environment whether they are knocking down historic buildings like the Rock Hall slave hut, disabling the Grahame Hall sluice gate, failing to maintain vital suck wells, permitting widespread condo development that destroy nearshore habitat and beach access, and on and on…

    I can’t help thinking that all of these incidents are linked to misappropriation of funds. Some persons are on the make here. I’ll bet that individuals linked to the decision making process are profiting our of each of these incidents.

    I challenge the Government to prove me wrong. Find the cuprits and fire them at least.

    When the Dems took over I thought governance was going to get better, but it seems that Mr T has a habit of espousing grand and good ideas but then acting in the opposite manner. I’m loosing faith, and I need a demonstration of good governance to restore faith. No more nice words please Mr. Prome Minister. Action. Do something about this.

  23. I am feeling the pain as I read it myself. This is absolutely incomprehensible. Someone should be made accountable. One part of government not talking to the other, this is very sad.

    Now I have to look in my archive to see if I have taken this image. Since my soul purpose is to document what is felt of Old Barbados.

  24. Mathilde

    Im just sitting here catching flies with my mouth… to say that I am aghast is an understatement…

  25. BAPBFP

    A slave hut with galvanise roof.

    Hey..EPD deputy director Anthony Headley de got a place called BFP that could use your brand of assistance….

  26. BAJAN

    good post MANJAK

  27. BAPBFP

    It can be rebuilt using the original blocks and Pat could have hers demolished (disassembled) and reassembled for a more appropriate site for public viewing (Queen’s Park?). It happened to the London Bridge. Yah would have to leave the galvanise roof in St. Thomas and replace it with Permaclad… much better in hurricanes!

  28. BAPBFP

    “the deeply ingrained crass behaviour of the Bajan civil service culture” MANJAK

    As you will witness when you go to get your drivers licence renewed. By the way the BLP rebuilt the significance of Golden Square an’ turn’ roun’ and all but tear it back down again.

  29. Lady Anon

    PT
    Exactly…you expected nothing. All I am saying is, we know how the bureaucracy of government works. We know that we have incompetent people. We know that.

    Why then, if we know that, we do nothing to ensure that issues like this never happen again? What was so wrong about getting a sign from any sign place for less than $50 and place on the building so that ANYONE could see while the refurbishment took place?

    I will not resort to judging people and therefore I will not judge you for your comments.

    I however believe that as a Barbadian people, we have all dropped the ball as it relates to our historical relics.

  30. Waterboy

    The following are departments of the Ministry of Family, Youth Affairs, Sports and Environment

    The Environmental Protection Department (EPD)
    The Natural Heritage Department (NHD)

    http://www.heritage.gov.bb

    heritage@barbados.gov.bb

    Some of the objectives of the NHD as stated on its website include:

    Upgrade, diversify and protect Barbados’ tourism product through development of sites that can serve as attractions and recreational areas while providing opportunities for scientific research and employment of residents.

    Protect the quality and integrity of ecosystems including air, water, land and animal components.

    Focus on the linkages and relationships among the ecosystems, with special attention to human activities, and consider these components beyond their immediate environs to the broader National Park system, and to the Island system as a whole.

    Promote the protection, conservation and wise use of Barbadian flora.

    Is the NHD fulfilling its objectives and mandate with regard to Rock Hall Freedom Village or The Graeme Hall Natural Heritage Conservation Area?

    Does the NHD communicate with the EPD?

  31. Lady Anon

    There is very little if no communication within ministries or departments.

  32. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Most of the departments and ministries are just interested in images, particularly the boys and girls at the top. There is alot of intersectoral bickering, with departments belittling other departments over prestige and positions. As long a you can drive a 4×4 and hold a big position, you really do not have to do the job. Favourtism, amongst certain departments and ministries are obvious, with others sucking salt and getting major cut backs and as a result, cannot remedy alot of their major infrastructural problems. Service is absolutely rediculous but does any one really care. It takes Barbados years to get the simplest of things done but mere seconds to do the wrong thing. No one gets fired, no one is held accountable, no one is charged, unless you outside the circle and is a nobody. TELL ME WHAT PART OF SLAVE HUT, HISTORIC BUILDING OF SIGNIFICANT INTEREST, A VISUAL OF OUR SLAVE HISTORY, THAT WAS NOT UNDERSTOOD BY MR. HEADLEY. LIKE I SAID SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES. Some body had to give the order from on high….

  33. J

    What can we expect when we permit students to “drop” history after third form?

    Most Barbadians are ignorant of their history.

    They are ignorant because the Ministry of Education permits them to remain ignorant. And the parents know no better.

    Every child should have to study history (and English and Mathematics) from reception to 5th form.

    I know for a fact that 180 first form students entered Harrison College in September 1993. I know for a fact that only 10 of those students studied history to 6th form.

    The other 170 of our history ignorant “best and brightest” are now making decisions for us.

    The other schools, same thing or worse.

    Worse is yet to come.

  34. J

    “Ministry of Family, Youth Affairs, Sports and Environment”

    Maybe, just maybe, this Mnistry is too big and too diverse and Dr. Byer is not managing well. Months ago I heard complaints from people in Environment that Dr. Byer seems to have too much to do and that Environment is unable to capture her attention.

    And now we have this. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

    If the PM really though that the Environment was important would he have shoved in into the Ministry of Everything (and Nothing)

  35. Pat

    Scout and BAFBFP

    I was thinking of restoring it and using it as a front room of a retirement home.

    However the breadfruit tree has grown wild and is now covering it and may cause more damage.

    It was a beautiful house with walls almost 2 feet thick. My grandmother used to keep her monkeys on the window sills, they were so deep. It had a little porch at one side, the narrow end which was the main entrance. It had two other doors one on each long side. She had a big four poster bed in it with curtains and lathes. There was another bedroom which was wood and a kitchen. I guess these were added after they were married and had the two kids. It had gardens all around and as a child I liked to visit and play there. It reminded me of cottages in fairy tales.

    For those of you who do not know, a “monkey” is a wather jug with a spout, cover and handle. They were made from clay and bought from the potters at the mount. Chalky Mount to the uninitiated. They kept the water so cool, it was like drinking ice water.

    My greataunt still has my great grandmother’s two monkeys. She says they are Bajan treasures and she cant sell them or give me one to bring to Canada. So she locked them away in the cellar. They older than me and I am a senior.

    When the people started to buy the new upholstered furniture, she refused to change hers. She still has my great grandmothers handmade Bajan couch. Made from solid mahogany and without a nail. One of the Fields brothers offered her $ for it and she refused. That couch is older than her and she is pushing 90.

    J

    It is sad. When I was in school we could not drop any subjects until form 5 when you did qualifying exams to ascertain what you would write at O level. I was dying to drop Latin, but had to study it for five long years. I must admit, that it served its purpose in college and in later life. I studied history to Form six, but took no courses in college. However, I love and continue to read history. I am currently reading the Dead Sea Scrolls, or at least some of them.

  36. Karl Watson

    J is correct in the observation about the Ministry of the Environment which should be a single ministry well staffed with professionals including botanists and biologists instead of being the neglected step child of ministerial government. What happened in St Thomas was crass but not unsurprising since it happens frequently and as Lady Anon points out, the left hand often does not know or care what the right hand does.
    Whether slave hut or hut of a poor white/militia tenant, these remaining structures are visible relics of our past. But few seemingly want to connect with our past and as a subject in our secondary schools, there seems to be a deliberate policy of marginalizing history.
    Judging from the photograph, the structure could be restored. The galvanised roof was a modern addition, as the original roof was either a trash roof or shingled. Their origins if they are genuine slave huts, mostly date from the Amelioration period of the early nineteenth century when the planters were improving housing conditons for their slaves. The vast majority of these however were destroyed with Emancipation. In my book, Barbados First ,I published a photograph taken by by my uncle in 1930, of a row of genuine slave houses which were demolished soon after. The Rock Hall property, as was the recently demolished structure at the bottom of Cave Hill, were almost certainly owned by newly freed blacks. This was also true of the house demolished two years ago by Trents playing field. But if we could demolish the property where the Emanicipation Act was read (Codd’s House) then we can demolish anything. The bulldozer/bobcat zeal reigns supreme,whether it is deforestation (euphemistically known as debushing) or the destruction of our monumental heritage, our patrimony which we are theoretically safeguarding for sucessive generations. We have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
    Karl Watson

  37. Tourism Monkey

    I’d like to ask one question (and be honest):

    Have any of you gone to Rock Hall since work was done there to appreciate Barbados’ past?

    I for one, have not. It’s not that I don’t appreciate our past, actually I’m fascinated by it.

    However, we have this thing where we don’t get out and do anything in or around our country and then complain when something happens.

    Be pro-active, go visit a monument, a museum or a slave village and truly understand where we came from so that you could rightly complain later on!

    (BTW I still want to see everyone’s answers to the question.)

  38. Andrea Lovell (Uk)

    Having read about the tearing down of the rock hall slave hut,i am almost ashamed of what the goverment has done. Although i have not lived in Barbados since i was 6 it’s still my home and history.

  39. J

    Just recently the bastard Ministry of the Environment was planning to demolish Roland Edwards’ home in Speightstown.

    Roland Edwards was a blind Barbadian who wrote the music to our National anthem.

    Roland was widowed when he was very young and raised his 2 daughters Nanette and Euwillia on his own. So here was a blind, widowed, single, father and he wrote the anthem music for us. And how do we honour his memory?

    How much is the anthem music worth to us? If Roland and/or his estate was paid a royalty every time the anthem was played how much would he have earned? how much would his estate still be earning? But Roland was paid little or nothing for his music. His grandson as a male school teacher is doing work that is enormously socially valuable, but not well paid. And yet we as a people cannot find the money to restore Roland’s house, for us, for our children, for our grandchildren, and if we must for heritage tourism.

    In Barbados there are a some people who will do and who will defend anything from a political partisan viewpoint. We have to be very careful that such people do not go one morning and bulldoze Roland’s house, just because it is in Owen Arthur’s constituency you know.

    However Roland’s house is worth repairing. If we had set aside and if now we set aside ONE DOLLAR every time OUR National anthem is played we would have more that enough money to repair and maintain the house. Isn’t our anthem worth something to us? Isn’t it worth ONE DOLLAR? Can this government go back and put a value on how much we owe Roland and put that money in action to restore Roland’s house?

    However Owen Athur when he was Prime Minister should have had this house restored because when you have been given authority by the people to act, you MUST ACT in the people’s best interest. In this instance Owen Arthur failed the people of St. Peter, the people of Barbados, and most of all he failed Roland’s memory. This is disgraceful because Arthur like all people from the greater Speightstown area knew Roland personally. We hope that this Prime Minister will do better. We have erected a statue to R.E. Errol Barrow, and that’s good.

    Now this government must act to honour the memory of one of the creator’s of our Independence. In Roland’s memory his house MUST become his monument.

    And what is happening with the library building in Speightstown? That building was abandoned early in Arthur’s administration. At the opening of the new building across the street in the BNB building he made his infamous speech that “land in Barbados should go to its highest economic use”. My question has always been what about social use? what about recreational use? what about historical use? and if these various uses conflict then how do we resolve them? Do we seriously believe that economics should win ALL the time?

    Even so nobody seems to want to put that land where the old Speightstown library is sited to any “high economic use”. Now the building has decayed significantly. No doubt we will buldoze it soon.

    Sometimes we do damn foolishness in the name of economic progress.

  40. Robert

    Fantastic comments, but in condeming the act shall we have some laws that would aid in its not happening again? Please comment.

  41. Bittergall

    This is a national disgrace. Only in Barbados would such arrogance and insensitivity be allowed. Too many of us are ashamed of our past history believe we have arrived because of a litle education. Someone must be held accountable for this sacrilege.

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  43. Barbados the Beautiful

    Thank god they were not told to repair the parliament buildings!

    Wait, maybe we be wrong, go ahead and demolish it cause nothing useful done there.

  44. Pat

    Robert,

    If the government or National Trust want, they can restore the one we have up in St. Joseph. Or, at least assist in some way with its restoration. It is a very solid structure, as is the outhouse which is of same construction and still stands.

    If they like we can give them the outhouse for free if they want to relocate it to St. Thomas.

  45. Anonymous

    Only the roof was removed. As far as my information says it was termite ridden. Same ppl complaining would still be on EPDs case, if that roof caved in on someone and they were injured.

    The cries would be “its was derelict and should have been removed” , “EPD is not doing their job!!”

    This stink is much ado about nothing, the structure is basically intact only the unsafe portions removed. The roof can be restored with some effort and funds.

  46. Hants

    @ Anonymous

    The best solution would be to not allow visitors within 6ft of the structure. They can observe without walking through.

    Prehaps a visitor’s centre could be built nearby that looks like a group of slave huts.

    Challenge for Barbadian Architects.

  47. Anonymous

    Hants from what I understood and observed it was going to collapse at some point. Additionally, a vagrant was living in the structure and was attracting rodents. Also, they were concerns by residents for their health, safety and property.

    The press conference was just on the CBC evening news I dunno if it will be up on their website.

    I think all of you especially the blog writers need to take a lesson in getting ALL the facts before they start calling for heads and calling people childish names.

    I used to read this blog regularly but your behavior has been obscene, further to that you are responsible for the image that people outside of Barbados are forming of civil servants. No more will I waste my bandwidth with this place.

    Grow up all of you, you should be ashamed by jumping to conclusions. You should really apologize to Mr. Anthony Headley and EPD.

  48. Sargeant

    So who are we to believe? The Nation and BFP or the Director of the EPD? If it is the latter, BFP has egg all over its face as they followed the Nation’s lead and expanded on the story without any regard to the facts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local MP Cynthia Forde didn’t help to promote the story ….. Anything to make the gov’t look bad.

  49. Anonymous

    Well she sure was being a Hellraiser on Brass Tacks.

  50. missing home

    Where is the 1.3 million given to repair the structure and do other things at the village?

    There should be no egg on the face of the bloggers because there is never any transparencey until someone get caught doing something.

    Still many questions to answer and there is no oversight and no independent accountability over any branch of government.

    Publish the work order! Publish the plans! Publish the reports on the structure and what plans there are and what plans there WERE when it got knocked to pieces.

    We want answers that we can see on paper. Documentation but we never get documentation on anything in this society.

    Where is that 1.3 million? WHERE IS THE MONEY?

  51. missing home

    It look like two stone walls were tore down too. Did they have termites in them? ha ha.

    Like everything else about this place Barbados ordinary peoples will never get answers.

  52. The Scout

    While I understand Mr Headley, I think the matter was handled badly. Did Mr Headley on his own decided to demolish the building? Did he seek advice/ permission to demolish the building? where is the money that was/is alocated to renovate the building? Is this the only building in this country in such a state of disrepair? If they are other buildings, are they going to be demolished with such urgentcy? What is the status with the Roland Edwards house that this same Dept had earmarked for demolision? Like Jimmy Cliff sang ” there are more questions than answers. ” At lease these few questions if answered will give us a clearer insight of the programme of the EPD.

  53. Anonymous

    “It look like two stone walls were tore down too. Did they have termites in them? ha ha.”

    If u saw the news you would realize there were only two walls standing. the space where the “missing” walls were was occupied by bush. No walls were demolished.

    The Scout, It was handled badly on the part of MP Forde and BFP. The EPD was doing as they are supposed to do.

    Conflict arises especially with historical buildings because ppl develop sentimental attachments. These relationships is not always beneficial from the point of view of safety and health.

  54. editor

    As a civil servant I can tell you there are some over sized egos in the service. The public generally dont know these super egotists but permanent secretaries head this “special ones bunch.” Headley is one of them. Lionel Weekes in another. Listen to them speak. Its like the British comedy “Yes Prime Minister”. Its the PS who is the power behind the throne.

  55. cynty

    A quote re slave huts from 2007 Ins & Outs Magazine.

    ‘Small rectangular stone houses can be seen dotted throughout the villages. Many people refer to these as slave huts but they were actually built by peasants, in the nineteenth century, who were fortunate enough to own their own land. There are no known slave huts in existence today, since they were made from organic material called ‘wattle and daub’ with roofs made from of materials such as plantain leaves and cane trash. There is a fine example of a slave hut in the Heritage Village at Tyrol Cot.

    So I guess it wasn’t a slave hut that was destroyed after all!! just a home of some poor ‘peasant’ (nasty expression.)

  56. Well dear peoples

    I chatted with a former EPD staffer and them had NO sympathy over the hut, even though I know they are a rabid black activist too! They said Nat’l Trust had plenty opportunity to save the hut but they did nothing and there was 2 years to intervene, as far as they’re concerned? It is a harbour for rodents (their words, not mine) and they went on like that – shut them off in my head, sorry!
    Couldn’t believe it, not even working there and holding up for the place, sigh.

    Check this bit from GIS -

    EPD NEVER HAD PLANS TO DEMOLISH SLAVE HUT

    There was never any plan by Government’s Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to demolish a historic structure at Rock Hall, St. Thomas, that has traditionally been considered a slave hut.

    This is the word from Director of the EPD, Jeffrey Headley, who said the wood and wall structure was termite-infested; also the site was unsanitary and a risk to the public.

    Mr. Headley made the comments today during a press conference at his Dalkeith Road, St. Michael office, in response to an article which appeared in the Friday, October 31, Weekend Nation edition. The newspaper reported that workmen from EPD “demolished the only slave hut which was still standing at the Rock Hall Freedom Village” and displayed a picture which the EPD Director said was not a true representation of what the building looked like on the day the roof and rotting wood were removed.

    Mr. Headley pointed out that even the rafters were termite-infested, so therefore, the galvanise roof could have collapsed at anytime because there was nothing to support its weight. He added that the recent heavy rains and the deterioration of the building over a period of time would have resulted in the roof falling in.

    “We also had a problem with a vagrant who was living in the structure … There was much refuse in it, and as a result, it became a breeding ground for rodents… So, this action was taken to strictly protect the health of the residents in the immediate vicinity and to preserve the stone parts of the structure because we recognise that there are plans to restore it to its former state.

    “It was not a demolition … but strictly a clean-up of the property; the contractor had just completed a part of his work, so he will shortly return to de-bush and clean the area,” he added.

    Mr. Headley said his department had received complaints about the situation from a resident of the area and officers of the Environmental Health Department. He added that notice had eventually been served on the Ministry of Housing, the land owners, on May 30, 2008, but no stay of execution was requested.

    “According to the law, we would give a stay of execution. That means that when that stay of execution has been exhausted it is the right of EPD to remove the structure. Sometimes we also give a second stay of execution after listening to some of the comments of the owners or agents. So, the EPD does not go in, see a building, put a notice on it today and take it down tomorrow. There is a process to be followed,” he stressed.

    Meanwhile, during the current financial year, about 50 derelict buildings have been removed by the EPD at a cost of nearly $230 000 and notice has already been served on another 76 structures. This list is to be published. (SA)

  57. Annon

    BFP
    WHERE IS YOUR RETRACTION AFTER ALL THE BASHING FROM YOUR SUBSCRIBERS ABOUT THE CLEAN UP OF THE SLAVE HUT IN ST. THOMAS. DOES CYNTHIA FORDE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE ABOUT SOMETHING BEING DEMOLISHED AND SOMETHING THAT WAS CLEANED UP. BFP IF YOU WANT TO BE A WATCH DOG FOR THE PRESS THEN YOU SHOULD ALSO GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. SEE THE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WERE TAKEN THREE DAYS PRIOR TO THE CLEANED UP EXERCISE AND THOSE PRESENTED BY CYNTHIA FORDE AND PUBLISHED. THOSE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN 3TO 4 YEARS AGO. pLEASE PUBLISH THE RECENT PHOS FOR YOUR SUBSCRIBERS BENEFIT. RETRACTION PLEASE.

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

    BFP says,

    First of all, calm down. You are YELLING and if you don’t know it already, nobody reads an all-caps submission.

    When we get a few moments, we will revisit the story, but not today.

  58. Anonymous

    “BFP
    WHERE IS YOUR RETRACTION AFTER ALL THE BASHING FROM YOUR SUBSCRIBERS ABOUT THE CLEAN UP OF THE SLAVE HUT IN ST. THOMAS. DOES CYNTHIA FORDE KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE ABOUT SOMETHING BEING DEMOLISHED AND SOMETHING THAT WAS CLEANED UP. BFP IF YOU WANT TO BE A WATCH DOG FOR THE PRESS THEN YOU SHOULD ALSO GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT. SEE THE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WERE TAKEN THREE DAYS PRIOR TO THE CLEANED UP EXERCISE AND THOSE PRESENTED BY CYNTHIA FORDE AND PUBLISHED. THOSE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN 3TO 4 YEARS AGO. pLEASE PUBLISH THE RECENT PHOS FOR YOUR SUBSCRIBERS BENEFIT. RETRACTION PLEASE.”

    Good luck with that, I am convinced they don’t have the spine to apologize, especially when the photos shown , reveal 2 standing walls and 2 “bush” walls.

  59. Restoration

    Anonymous doesn’t know what he or she is talking about, and appears to favor highly unprofessional behaviour in regard to preservation of historic structures.

    If Anonymous (Headley maybe?) truly knew about how to legitimately de-construct and re-construct a historic building, he would know that THE FIRST THING is to put a protective fence around the project, then bring in an archaeologist who would verify the dimensions and construction details of the building, archive the findings, and then based on those findings begin a very careful de-construction, structural protection and reconstruction process.

    Was the National Museum and people like Mr. Farmer consulted on this building? Were consultants such as Dr. Karl Watson asked to confirm or suggest options?

    Of course not.

  60. St George's Dragon

    This smacks of a lack of joined up thinking between the Government Departments but as everyone was just carrying out their job, that’s all right.

    Actually, it isn’t. It can’t be right that the EPD carried out a “cleanup” on a historic building like this which left only the masonry walls standing. It should have had the protection of the EPD and a sensitive restoration.

    I guess there are now no records of what has been demolished, so little chance that any decent sort of restoration can be carried out.

    PS – how can the Advocate publish such a climb-down (page 17 of Sunday’s edition). Presumably favours have been called in and strings pulled. So much for the battling press in Barbados!

  61. Anonymous

    I love when people disagree with you they don’t know what they are talking about.

    For the record “anonymous” is not Headley and has knowledge on environmental matters. Fact is there were only 2 walls and a rotten roof. Any sensitive restoration would have removed the “rotten” parts. Pick sense people.
    1) The state of the structure was hazardous with a vagrant living in the structure and residents were complaining of the smell and rodents.
    2) The agency responsible for the removal of hazardous structures did what they were supposed to do.
    3) It was not a demolition, if it were the ENTIRE structure would have been removed.
    4) If they had the money to restore it why was it not done for 3-4 yrs Where is that money?

  62. Restoration

    Anonymous hasn’t answered the question, because he cannot.

    The poor idiot seems to think that hazard mitigation on a historic structure somehow absolves one from proper deconstruction which FIRST includes plot and structure surveys by historians, archaeologists and others with academic or anecdotal information.

    We’ll never know what was scooped up in that “selective removal” process, will we? All we hear from those who destroy our heritage is “oh, it’s vermin, and there are vagrants and boy do they smell! And it’s just some old roofing!”

    It’s people like Anonymous who are tearing this country down piece by piece. It’s people like Anonymous who won’t supply a fund source in departmental budgets for doing jobs properly. It’s people like Anonymous who are often low-grade professionals who don’t do the research, and then expect the rest of us to think they know what they are talking about.

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

    BFP says,

    100% correct old friend.

  63. Anonymous

    “Idiots” (BFP , yes I called you idiots since you are so fond of name calling) with a voice or the sheep that fall on their every word and don’t think for themselves.

  64. Hants

    The management of historic structures is sometimes costly but not difficult.

    Protect.Preserve.Restore when possible.

    Next!

  65. Anonymous

    ” Hants
    November 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    The management of historic structures is sometimes costly but not difficult.

    Protect.Preserve.Restore when possible.

    Next!”

    At what point is preservation out of the question? Sometimes you have to remove and then replicate. Can’t save everything. This “save at all cost attitude” on this blog trumps the general public’s health and safety.

  66. Anonymous

    Read page 12a in the nation newspaper. The huts in question are NOT slave huts. So go ahead and issue an apology now. I dare you BFP. Bunch of cowards.

  67. Pingback: Corruption-free Anguilla Opens Nominations For The Gold Medal For Cultural Vandalism « Barbados Free Press

  68. IRS Lawyer

    For a very long time liberal “arguments” were part of the mainstream discussion only because conservatives (and moderates) actually took them seriously, as if unable to believe someone would put forward a national “narrative” composed solely of nonsensical and pathetic balderdash. But rather than taking advantage of that the liberals just kept piling on more nonsense fully expecting that, with the aid of extreme left wing media, they will continue on the same road. nBy now, with the election of a totally unqualified person as a president of the country, a person who run his entire campaign and subsequent term in office, entirely on the premise of this nonsensical liberal narrative, this has reached a critical mass and is increasingly no longer treated as a serious argument by all, except the most gullible, conservatives and moderates. You can see this in many forms, from the total rejection of Obama’s childishly naive and destructive agenda by non-liberal legislators, to large outpouring of support for the wrongly accused and virtually lynched, “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman, to widespread ridicule of Cherokee Woman “Stands with a Pout” Warren claims that she did not use affirmative action pretense to advance her career.

  69. Mark Fenty

    @IRS Lawyer

    I don’t have the time or the space to clearly, and methodically take to
    pieces your regurgitated argument. You’re advancing a pure ideological argument predicated upon a Conservative demagoguery. I’ve heard your argument before, and it is lacking in substance, and cannot standup on the weight of empirical evidence. I categorically disagree with the Conservative views on: Immigration, Entitlements, with respect to Education, Social Security, Defense, Medicare and Medicaid. And not to mention the Conservative narrow-mindedness with respect to the moral directionality of the country, especially when it comes to “Gay- Rights.” Liberal –democrats has also champions the causes of the of the poor classes, and that is where we have gotten our Civil Rights, Women Rights, Gay Rights. These rights and equalities had been denied to the above mention groups for far to long . It must not be forgotten also that the liberties many in America now enjoy came about as a direct result of Liberal – Democrats, and the Civil Protest of the 91920s and the 1960s. These freedoms that we not take for granted weren’t give to the poor classes, because there were somehow denied from the foundation of the country. There had to be fought for through the mediums of the Women Suffrage Movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and through the court pathway, by organization such the NAACP, and ACLU. So please! Your argument appeals to the mentality of a very select group of people who cares nothing about the common man’s struggles.

  70. Mark Fenty

    @IRS Lawyer
    You I’ve advanced the argument that Mr. Obama isn’t unqualified for the office of presidency. But you have failed in your argument to specifically
    articulate conspicuously the criteria for of the president.
    I would kindly inform you Sir, that there is a fundamental difference, between a presidents’s failed policies, and his attributes for the office of the presidency.

    Firstly, Mr. Obama has met the criteria for the office of the presidency on the moral and intellectual level. He has demonstrates thus far, that he is a man that respect his wife, and children, and is a highly educated with the natural gift of verbosity.

    Trustworthy, the right seems to think that he not, because he has failed to live up to some of the campaign promises he has made. But the left knows that Mr. Obama was confronted with an economic- crisis, that was actually worse than what some notable economists predicted. So quite obviously this had some bearing on some of his campaign promises.

    Nonetheless, you have failed to recognize the fact that Mr. Obama was face with the worse economic meltdown in decades, the housing, and banking, were the two mean issues that took him away from what he first intended. It is funny how those on the right often try to draw comparison between Reagan’s trickle- down economic, and Mr. Obama’s spend, spend, economics. But what many on the right failed to acknowledge is the fact that, Mr. Reagan’s trickle- down economics, ballooned the national to an astounding 3 trillion dollars at the end of his presidency.

    Friend the Gallup Poll Statistics has stated in no uncertain terms, that Ronald Reagan the guy you’ll conservatives seems to eulogize so much. Has accumulated more national debt than all his predecessors combined. One final point I want to burr into your hearing is this, if President Harry Truman can governed this county with a mere “high school diploma”, President Obama can sure as hell govern it with a “masters degree”.

  71. Mark Fenty

    IRS Lawyer
    You have advanced the argument that Mr. Obama isn’t unqualified for the office of presidency. But you have failed in your argument to specifically
    articulate conspicuously the criteria for of the president.
    I would kindly inform you Sir that there is a fundamental difference, between presidents’s failed policies, and his attributes for the office of the presidency.

    Firstly, Mr. Obama has met the criteria for the office of the presidency on the moral and intellectual level. He has demonstrates thus far, that he is a man that respect his wife, and children, and is a highly educated man with the natural gift of verbosity.

    Trustworthy, the right seems to think that he not, because he has failed to live up some of his campaign promises he has made. But the left knows that Mr. Obama was confronted with an economic- crisis, that was actually worse than what some notable economists predicted. So quite obviously this had some bearing on some of his campaign promises.

    Nonetheless, you have failed to recognize the fact that Mr. Obama was face with the worse economic meltdown in decades, the housing, and banking, were the two mean issues that took him away from what he first intended. It is funny how those on the right often try to draw comparison between Reagan’s trickle- down economic, and Mr. Obama’s spend, spend, economics. But what many on the right failed to acknowledge is that Mr. Reagan’s trickle- down economics, ballooned the national to an astounding 3 trillion dollars at the end of his presidency.

    Friend the Gallup Poll Statistics has stated in no uncertain terms, that Ronald Reagan the guy you’ll conservatives seems to eulogize. As accumulated more national debt than all his predecessors combined. One final point I want to burr into your hearing is this, if President Harry Truman can governed this county with a mere “high school diploma”, President Obama can sure as hell govern it with a “masters degree”.

  72. Mark Fenty

    I beg your pardon Sir, for my grammatical miscalculation. It seems like my cognitive decline is progressively getting worse as I progress towards physical and intellectual decrepitude. I know what I want the express, but it
    don’t seems to materialize itself on print the way I construct it in my head.

  73. Livingstone Husbands

    Good! There are so many other decrepit buildings in Barbados that need cleaning up. On Bay Street for example, from the area by the jemmotts lane right up to Carlisle Bay, those buildings need to be demolished and a window to the sea developed. Also, so many decrepit buildings in Bridgetown need bulldozing.

    Time to clean up Barbados! Looking like a dump!

  74. Livingstone Husbands

    As for Sam Lord’s Castle, it need bulldozing and development by someone like Donald Trump. Beautiful scene there. Barbadians showed what little they could do with it, now we need real investors to build a luxury development and foreign exchange.

    Bulldoze that too.

    And do not worry, Sam Lord was not a pirate, he was a wealthy Barbadian landowner, so not worries about destroying any romantic idea with it.

  75. 235

    i hope one day the sea rise up and carry away all the fools great and small and leave only decent people who has barbados at heart we came so far and now we looks and sound so far back it a shame to say i am a bajan when you see and hear the things bajans do to their country ,but i want you to know lots of other countries do not like us that much anymore we has lost our self trying to be like others from other countries and we is stinking everday bring back the foundation was hand down through the old

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