Tag Archives: Barbados heritage tourism

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

Successive Barbados governments have been talking for at least twenty years about the need to protect our historical places, buildings and written history with laws and actions – and then offering that heritage as part of our tourism.

Yup, they have been talking about it for years. Talk. Talk. Talk. Talk – and not much else. Matter a fact, successive governments have chosen a fast buck or neglect every time over spending money to preserve and restore.

So this week was no different when Tourism Minister Richard Sealy said all the right words in front of first conference of Caribbean National Trusts and Preservation Societies. And words are about all that will be done until the next conference.

“Where’s the plan, Minister? Where’s the budget? Where’s the money put aside in your government’s budget for historical preservation?”

Words are all the DLP and BLP governments offer.

Here is an article we first published back in 2010, where our old friend Jim Lynch explains one of the reasons that we never seem to act to preserve our heritage, only talk. Maybe Mr. Sealy might read it…

Barbados Free Press

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…

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Economy, History

Barbados history destined to remain unknown without real action

Building tourism upon the dark history of slavery… slavery that inspired rebellion and a soaring quest for freedoms and rights.

by Passin Thru

For the last few days the local Bajan news media has been full of stories about the Oistins Charter. Our illustrious government says the country will be establishing itself as a heritage travel destination and our Prime Minister (what’s ‘is name again?) emerged from the martini lunches at the Hilton to do some photo ops. (See Barbados Today here and here)

Heritage tourism is a good idea – maybe a great idea – as studies show that tourists need more than sun, sand, sex and rum to get excited about a destination. But while some of us move to recreate and enhance our Bajan brand with history and heritage travel, others were busy destroying the architecture of one of our oldest structures.

According to Karl Watson on his Facebook page, the oldest existing building in Bridgetown was built around 1650 – and last week the new owners decided to “renovate” it by filling in some of the roofline with concrete. This happened at the same time that the government was saying wonderful things about heritage tourism.

Herein is the lesson about “saying” and “doing”: wonderful pronouncements from our Prime Minister and other elected representatives are not reality.

Words are not laws or enforced standards. Words are not deeds. Saying words, however inspired, is not taking action. Promising to do this or protect that does not make it so.

That is the problem with Barbados and that is the problem with the wider Caribbean: we citizens are told what the government plans or says it plans, but we never follow up to see what the government really does or accomplishes. In the old days we accepted the falsehoods in exchange for tinned beef, biscuits and a smash of rum or whisky. Now we trade our acceptance of obvious falsehoods for what?

What do we gain by nodding and repeating in a zombie-like fashion “Oh Yes! We will be a heritage travel destination!”

Who can hold the government accountable or judge performance when the most basic of financial expenditures remain secret because our politicians deliberately failed to pass a Freedom of Information law?

The Oistins Charter is the latest government fashion!

The Charter of Barbados was signed at the Mermaid Tavern, Oistins, on 11th January 1652 and ratified by the Assembly on 17th January 1652. It predates the US Declaration of Independence but contains an Article much treasured in the US…

As entered in the Charter of Barbados:-

3. That no taxes, customs, imports, loans or excise shall be laid, nor levy made on any the inhabitants of this island, without their consent in a General Assembly.

In the US Declaration of Independence this clause reads:-

There shall be no taxation without representation.

Barbados can be a world-class heritage tourism destination: but only if we stop destroying the physical evidence of our history. Perhaps fifty years ago Bajans – black, whitish and in between – made a decision to let the physical reminders of slavery rot and vanish. Walls, plantation houses, public buildings and books were offered as sacrifices to the concept that if we destroyed the relics we could forget or change history.

What a travesty! How wrong we were… and here we are today being force to “recreate” buildings and places like the Mermaid Tavern where the Charter of Barbados was signed.

Bajans must watch our representatives carefully to see that they really mean what they say. We should not accept any excuses. The truth is: I don’t believe Prime Minister Stuart. I don’t believe he and his government mean what he said, nor that the government will do what he said he would.

And that is probably the saddest thing of all.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, History, Slavery

How CLICO Ruined A Barbados Heritage Site: Sam Lord’s Castle

Click the photo to see a YouTube video

Click the above photo to see a YouTube video (Opens in a new window)

BREAKING: Sam Lord’s Castle burns to the ground, October 20, 2010

Barbados: The Demise of Sam Lords Castle

Five years ago CLICO Barbados said they would restore Sam Lords Castle as part of a major tourist development.  Surprise, surprise… as they did in the past and have done since about other things — CLICO lied.

You see folks, this is the way it works with these irresponsible corporate beggars…

First, they spot a piece of land that they want. If, like Sam Lords Castle, it is a heritage site in need of some work the corporation promises to restore the heritage site to its former splendor — all in exchange of course for permission to develop the land. Next comes the “the condition was worse than we thought” speech. After a few years of additional neglect, the heritage site becomes nothing more than a candidate for demolition. And if that doesn’t work, well, the Corporation just leaves the place unguarded and unlocked so the paros can look after business for them. When the place finally burns down the way is clear for the development they really wanted to build.

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business

PM Thompson Says His Conflicts Of Interest Are None Of Your Business

No Integrity Legislation, No Conflicts Of Interest Standards: David Thompson Lied To Get Your Vote

Don’t expect the government of Prime Minister David Thompson to hold CLICO to account.  You see, CLICO CEO Leroy Parris is a DLP financial supporter and Godfather to the Prime Minister’s youngest daughter. Oh yes friends, you can expect a whole lot of accountability from that combination. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Ethics, History, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Real Estate, Tourism