Daily Archives: February 28, 2010

Political, religious, race-based agendas and fears are destroying our historical records

Our old friend and retired “Twotter” pilot Jim Lynch loves to preserve Barbados history and is a treasure-trove of information and advice for those seeking to learn about their Caribbean ancestry. He has published some very special books that will occupy you for weeks if you get one in your hands. Two years ago we covered his work in our article Old Barbados Newspapers Are A Treasure Of History.

Today Jim stopped by BFP and left the following comment that we think is worth a few minutes of your time.

Thanks, Jim! (I think the photo is about 25 years old, but you haven’t aged a bit, have you?) 🙂

I have been commended – and abused – in the past for saying what others think but refuse to put into words.

In Barbados, as in other Caribbean islands (and indeed in other parts of the world), records are destroyed – or not consciously preserved (same thing in a tropical setting) – for reasons of race, religion, or some other prejudice or irrational fear.

In this case, Barbados makes it difficult for “foreigners” to obtain genealogical information because there are some people in government who prefer to leave slavery and other unpleasant memories of the past in the dust of time. The excuses you will hear – in one of the most highly taxed populations in the world – is that they cannot afford the cost of preservation over other, more pressing, priorities.

Jordan and Walsh make it “pellucidly” clear in their book “White Cargo” that not only were the first slaves in the Caribbean – indeed, as elsewhere – white, but these men, women and children were as ripped from their English, Scottish and Irish homes and abused as much as black slaves were, and in vast numbers – hundreds of thousands were shipped to the West Indies for little or no reason. Most of the population of Ireland were being simply displaced and discarded as an English land-grab.

Present-day Caribbean governments, however, choose to remember only black slaves with white masters, hence the abuse of yesterday’s historical records.

The reason for the presence of the “RedLegs” who still exist in Barbados seems to have been conveniently forgotten – they were Scottish “indentured servants”, a class of servants who were treated worse than slaves and many of whom had their “period of service” extended indefinitely on any pretext.

So (in Barbados, at least) not only are these records becoming shoddy and insect-damaged, but in the last two decades there have been rumours of whole truckloads of historical documents being dumped into the sea late at night on the west coast. In St. Vincent there are rumours of whole cell blocks in forgotten garrisons filled with documents rotting from the damp ground up.

Once in the Barbados National Archives, however, records seem to be taken care of. But, as in other countries – as you may already have experienced – cash or money orders sent to pay incumbent workers in the various institutions for research or copies of documents manage to disappear without trace, and my understanding is that their managers refuse to take any action or even to investigate.

I do know of a reliable and knowledgeable professional researcher who does outstanding work in Barbados and charges reasonable fees. If you wish to make contact, please send me an email through this form (it is an anti-SPAM resource) and I will respond direct to you.
http://www.candoo.com/contactform/index.html

Regards,

Jim Lynch

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4 Comments

Filed under Africa, Aviation, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Race

Who is really in charge of WATER in Barbados?

Should Barbados ration water?

Perhaps we should start fixing the pipes too!

Something is fundamentally wrong with our decision-makers’ brains, there seems to be a fault in their logic and reasoning area.

It`s Tuesday Morning, 1:30am, yet sleep eludes me, because something is bothering me. I took my usual trip to the bathroom and and without much thought depressed the tank lever and the toilet was flushed; a function we take for granted and other Caribbean countries, even those with rivers cannot, because of drought caused by climate Change.

Jamaica, Trinidad and even Guyana with their rivers have being experiencing dry taps and saw it fit to ration their water supply.

People, thanks to Global Warming, droughts in one area and flooding in others will be the norm so get used to it. A Growing population, urbanisation, deforestation, global climatic changes and pollution are some reasons for the increased pressure on the existing water bodies. Population expansion is the single biggest reason behind the increased pressure on fresh water resources. Water consumption has almost doubled in the last fifty years and naturally, per capita availability of water has steadily decreased.

Broken main left running and unfixed for 5 days in 2007. Has the response improved since then?

I have heard lots of talk on Barbados not being a water scarce country so I will inform the uninformed that water is a finite commodity. If a country has less than a thousand (1,000) cubic metres (m3) per capita per year it is designated a Water Scarce Country. Barbados’ available water resources are currently rated by the FAO at (390) Cubic Metres per person. One cubic metre is equivalent to 220 gallons.  We are adjudged to be the fifteenth water scarce country in the world.

Though approximately 70 per cent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, only 2.5 per cent of it is fit for drinking. The rest is all salt water, which fills up the vast expanse of the oceans and seas — unfit for human consumption. Why then in 2010 are we are still flushing expensive potable water down our toilets and using it for agriculture.

Common sense also tells me that the BWA should have long ago been encouraging persons to conserve water and start water rationing.

Logic suggests to me that the BWA is leading the Minister responsible for The BWA rather than the Minister leading the BWA.

This modus operandi can only lead to poor judgment and chaos, as well as poor decision-making. Thus it’s like a case of a Private  leading a troop into battle, rather than the Commanding Officer. Will it take our Hotels, Schools and Restaurants’ taps to run dry before we act?

Deja Vu all over again: In 2008 Roshell Small hauled water to her home. In 2010: same old, same old.

Mr Lowe, this is an issue of National Security please show some leadership and stamp your authority. Our inability to imagine what we may be faced with and be proactive is because we have never experienced the stench from unflushed toilets.  Can someone tell me if the BWA management has employed an obeah man or some seer thus the delay of a water caution decision until March? Or is this another case of poor advice from technocrats to Ministers who are afraid to manage their ministers for fear of been accused of micro-managing.

Mr Lowe  can you please pilot legislation as your legacy, so that all homes can be encouraged through a tax rebate to install water tanks for water harvesting.

Finally I genuinely recommend the reading of the Biblical parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) to those responsible for the managing of our water supply.

Kammie Holder

28 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment