Daily Archives: August 11, 2009

Israel Lovell Foundation’s Irresponsible Action Destroys Millions In Irreplaceable Materials – Will the Barbados Museum Learn the Lesson?

barbados books burning

A Barbadian who is the editor of the Financial Times in London, Hal Austin, negotiated with the BBC and they offered these books to Barbados through the Israel Lovell Foundation.

“We took responsibility for setting up a library. There were thousands of volumes of research material, mainly material for academic research. We were looking to purchase some containers to set up a public library because the donors felt they could’ve been a tremendous contribution to the development of Barbados in relation to education and other forms of development,”

… Trevor Prescod, Director of the Israel Lovell Foundation comments on the fire that destroyed $2.5 million in rare books and sings the old Bajan refrain: Wuhloss! We were gonna do something later to protect this irreplaceable asset.

A Lesson For Our Barbados Museum & Historical Society

Millions of dollars of irreplaceable historical books and papers lost in a fire by the Israel Lovell Foundation. Uninsured. Un-scanned and probably not even cataloged or listed if the truth be known. All sitting in one spot and obviously not sufficiently protected from intrusion or fire.

Just sitting for two years with no action being taken to preserve, catalogue or protect this “irreplaceable” historical asset. Arson? Perhaps, but it could also have been spontaneous combustion due to damp papers oxidizing or fermenting: an event sufficiently common to warrant it being included in the course of study for professional librarians.

The old saying looks to be true… Easy come, easy go.

By all accounts the Israel Lovell Foundation received a treasure of historical documents from the BBC like manna from Heaven, and agreed to accept the materials without sufficient resources and planning to protect or effectively use them. I mean, how many more years would the books have sat deteriorating with nothing happening? Five? Ten? Twenty years until they were dust?

Sorry, but I don’t buy into the story that the foundation was “going to” do anything with them at all.

And if that sounds a bit cruel, and it is, perhaps it will inspire the Barbados Museum and the government that under-funds the museum to think about the thousands and thousands of books and historical records that are “stored” at the Museum without climate control, without a serious ongoing scanning and physical preservation programme and often without being cataloged. It is not an untrue statement to say that the Barbados Museum isn’t able to accurately list more that 60% of its books and historical documents. That comes from the same friend of mine who also expounds upon the Barbados Museum’s folly of keeping one-of-a-kind items in unlocked bookcases in the stairwells.

Public Money Makes It Everyone’s Business

Some may say that this fire was bad luck or unpreventable. I say that this disaster should cause the government and taxpayers to question the wisdom of using tax dollars to support organisations that are never audited or subjected to any tests or standards to ensure that public funds are being wisely spent. How much public money has the Israel Lovell Foundation received in the last five years, and what have they done with it? What are the priorities of the organisation, and is it being managed in a responsible manner?

Organisations can do whatever they want but the minute they accept tax dollars, their business and operations become the concern of every taxpayer in Barbados.

Mr. Prescod says that about 8,000 books and documents escaped the fire because they were stored at another location. Perhaps he can tell the public how his organisation intends to prevent another disaster with whatever remains of the “irreplaceable” historical treasures?

…submitted by BFP reader “CQ8”

Original Nation Article Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, History

The Barbados Problem: Unethical behaviour & conflicts of interest are legal

City of Bridgetown Co-operative Credit Union Limited Members Learn About Conflicts of Interest The Hard Way

Holder says nothing wrong with $250k untendered contract to old friend Dowell

"Ethically-challenged" Lynette Holder says nothing wrong with $250k no tender contract to old friend Oral Dowell

Some COB members are upset that their board awarded a quarter-million dollar contract to an old friend and “just resigned” board member Oral Dowell – without tender or notice.

Ethically-challenged COB President Lynette Holder arrogantly says that no laws were broken so Credit Union members can shove their concerns where the sun doan shine.

Listen to Holder’s slippery, slimy response in the paper…

Holder told the SUNDAY SUN the board was not guilty of any irregularities or financial mismanagement.

“There has not been anything untoward as evidenced in our [annual] report,” Holder said.

… from The Nation article COB defends money-spending

And why shouldn’t Holder behave with that kind of arrogance? Barbados government officials have been giving the “it’s not illegal” excuse for decades – all the while refusing to implement laws that make such conflicts of interest illegal. Slippery devils, indeed, these BLP and DLP politicians!

Hey… look at the St. Joseph’s Hospital mess. Never mind the millions of dollars missing and wasted, we had a government contractor simultaneously building the hospital and doing private work on the home of a Minister of Government, Dr. Brandford Taitt. The St. Joseph’s Hospital Commission had to say “no laws broken” because that slimy rascal Taitt didn’t break any laws. Ha! There were no laws to break, that’s why Taitt walked from disgrace right into the Senate!

Meanwhile, the Barbados DLP government sails along and (once again) announces that it will be another year or so until we see Integrity legislation. Maybe. If.

I am so tired of being deceived by David Thompson, Mia Mottley and the rest of them. They can and did change the Constitution in an afternoon to get their hands on Cricket World Cup money (that disappeared anyways), but try and get the politicians to do anything (like pass integrity legislation) that restricts their ability to feed at the trough and you suddenly become aware that Thompson, Mottley and the gang have an agenda that has nothing to do with raising up Barbados. For them, it is all about the mighty dollar in their own pockets.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption