Protecting Our History, Save The Silk Cotton And Boabab Trees

Some who took part in the save-the-silk-cotton-tree action (Heather-Lynn Evanson)

Let us name the area around the Silk Cotton  and Boabab tree  “Centennial Passage” with a Arch and have a monument to inscribe the names of centenarians  invite tourist to visit and make a wish for Longevity. Another unique tourist attraction which will justify additional cost of this project. Barbados has the 3rd oldest person alive. This money can also be stimulus money for the economy.

Please lets think outside the square. Mr Pandor please find an accommodation as this is sacred to our history. The Jews, Muslims and Hindus have their monuments. I was recently in St Vincent and was taken by a taxi driver to see an inconspicuous plaque on a wall on the side of road to Port Charlotte of the visit of King Ja Ja to St Vincent.

Agyeman Kofi

  • Julian Hunte alleged this to me at one time in our dark and dismal past.

    There used to be a big tree up in St. John.

    A very large contractor was contracted to remove it.

    Julian Hunte told me he went and chained himself to it.

    He was removed and put in the psychiatric hospital.

    The tree was moved.

    Has anyone else heard of this?

    I’ll pass the area just to check that indeed the tree was removed and I was not dreaming.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with this one …. and of course, who get put where!!

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  • @John

    Julian attempted on several call in shows to make the point you just made with great difficulty.

    He was ‘bleeped’ out.

    It would indeed be interesting to establish if this were true.

    It would indeed be an injustice of a high level perpetrated on a citizen of Barbados.

    We all know how passionate Julian is about the outdoors and nature his eccentricity not withstanding.

    In fact we often wonder if his company, The Outdoor Club which was prominent in the early 90s is still active.

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  • I had done a post on this tree last year on my blog http://benthamshouse.blogspot.com/search?q=baobab

    Barbados has so little in regards of natural vegetation and what little we have must be protected. We have to nurture a love for our natural environment it is all we have.

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  • Letter to all involved and especially to the Minister written prior to the meeting at Warrens:
    Dear Mr. Kellman:
    Apart from the fact that there is supposed to be legislation in place to stop the ‘murdering’ of trees of a certain girth, I would like to add my ‘two cents’ to all those who have bitterly opposed the cutting of the tree in question up at Warrens. Trees give us life, air to breathe, and God knows that in this little island of ours, we need as much as we can get!!
    Personally I think this tree can be saved, like the others, all of them given a plaque explaining what their botanical name is, and why they are special – also that they were saved in 2011 by the people of Barbados. A great historic moment for the island. Tourists I am sure would love to visit and what a great lesson for the children of our rock!
    If the developers cannot figure out how to do this, Sir, may I offer my design services for free. It certainly would not take a rocket scientist! But if we continue with this continuous devastation of our nature, we will soon be called the capital of concrete. And we will need many rocket scientists to envelop us in green again so that we may take a breath every now and then.
    “Welcome to Barbados. Visit all our concrete and enjoy!” This might have to be our next tourism thrust if we continue in this vein. The developers should be ashamed and whatever section of government sanctioned the abomination, also! We the people are speaking. DO NOT ALLOW THIS.

    Having written the above to Minister Kellmann, I have also signed the petition making its rounds on Facebook to ensure that the Silk Cotton Tree is definitely saved and have said the following as a comment: “For the sake of generations to come we need to ensure that history is not totally annihilated from our island. History is an important fact for all people – whether good or bad. These trees are a symbol of the survival of our people. These trees are a symbol now of the strength and conviction of our people. These trees are a spiritual source & there are stories to tell around them. These trees symbolize unity. These trees show us that there is hope for this island. Most of all these trees help us to breathe. The area could be a tourist attraction that can pay for the price of change and a place of reflection for all of us who live in and love Barbados. They simply cannot go. Or we will have lost all of the above.”

    Further, I believe that if in fact this tree is definitely saved from its death penalty, that yes! we should name the area Centennial Passage, ensuring that Agyeman Kofi is honoured as well as the people of Barbados for standing up and fighting for what is right. It shows the power of what we can do. And there is so much to be done for the good of the island. We want this island to be pure, we want this island to be safe, we want this island to be healthy. Simple things in life that matter.

    I would also like to propose further that all bearing fruit trees not be allowed to be destroyed and that legislation be put in place to state that every householder must have at least one fruit tree of their choice planted in their garden. Also, that the highways and byways (roundabouts for instance) of this island, instead of having only “pretty” shrubs and trees, should have fruit trees planted with a sign giving their botanical names and local names. What joy! Do people realize that most of the tourist that come down here have never even seen a pawpaw, mango, ackee, dunk, gooseberry tree etc etc??? never looked upon what we take for granted?? I know the first thing everyone will scream about is the ‘tiefing’ that will go on…well that can also be rectified…life can have simple solutions.

    I am just so proud of Barbadians today….yes! yes! yes!

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  • Just to give a little insight. Julian Hunte is a lot eccentric but he is no fool. There was no real reason to put him into the psychiatric ward and this alone may have caused him damage mentally. He was sane, he was just very very determined to ensure a better Barbados. Unfortunately this island has dealt him many a blow because of his conviction of right and wrong…to this day he is constantly harrased (I have interviewed him). He sadly lives in squalor and now could be deemed just a tad ‘off’ but he does not hurt anyone, and I have seen how his day promotes the little village he lives in…showing off who cooks what and where…who is a tailor, a carpenter, a shoemaker…he loves this island to the core, even through all his travails. The above story about him chaining himself to a tree, I believe is true because I remember clearly the incident but exactly where the particular tree was, I don’t recall. May those who stand strong on our positions of what is best for this wonderful island be forever commemorated and not made be made out to be ‘outlaws and criminals’. Or ‘mad’ for that matter!!

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  • @Rosemary

    Thanks for the update on Julian, have always enjoyed his passion on matters pertaining to the environment.

    What you have written about his current state is indeed very sad and speaks volumes to how we (Barbadians) view the environment.

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  • Seems like religion was his undoing more than the time spent in Jenkins, unless of course they screwed up his head more with drugs and electric shocks.

    Often people who think and do things differently to the majority are classed as eccentric. Remember Edison and Einstein? They were both considered in some circles as mad. They thought outside the box and did things thier way.

    I am no genius, but some say it is a hair’s breadth away from madness. Some of my friends call me mad, others crazy, but a male friend always told me he found me an enigma. I never let any of this get to me. With a label of mad or crazy, you soon realize you can do and say anything you care to and the world be damned.

    I admire Julian Hunte for standing his ground, good for him and the world be damned.

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  • Here is an excerpt from a submission I made in Dec.2008 (on BFP) re one of the Baobab trees.
    *************
    Barbados can’t compete in terms of physical beauty with some of the other tourist destinations in the Caribbean so it must build on its strength which is in the main the warm and friendly people, low serious crime rate and excellent communications and stable political climate. The Harrison’s Caves of the world are great to visit but how about promoting some other things many of us pay little or no attention to e.g. the Baobab tree in Queen’s Park which is the oldest living thing that I have seen. Last time I was there some English visitors off a cruise ship were enjoying its magnificent splendour. I know there another one in the Warren’s area but are there any other examples in the Caribbean? Think of what the world was like when this tree was a sapling, I know there is a plaque with some details but the authorities could do a better job beautifying the area
    *********************
    I pay a pilgrimage to that tree on every visit, I also revel in the sights and smells of many other plant species on the Island. I’m all for progress but we shouldn’t destroy the things that contribute to the natural beauty of the country in the name of development. There were many “woods” which were once filled with mahogany and other trees which have largely disappeared under the bulldozer’s shovel. We should act before it’s too late

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  • @Pat

    Where has it gotten him though?

    Was it worth it?

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  • Environmentalists are always never taken seriously in Barbados.

    We have people of the stature of Dr. Karl Watson who has been trying his damnest to bring awareness to the issues.

    His last commentary was the urban sprawl which has taken root in Barbados at the expense of everything in its path.

    Perhaps we can cap the argument by observing who was given responsibility for the environment. It is never given to a high profile minister.

    For those who have Facebooks Accounts there is a petition in place. Sign up!

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  • … remember Don Blackman refusing the job as minister of the environment because he didn’t regard it as a full time job!!!!!

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  • A concerned citizen looked into the laws of the land, and found that indeed according to the laws of this here Barbados, a tree is a living being (described so within these same said laws)…and these same laws do describe the size of trunk, bark etc (apparently) that does not allow anyone to “kill” (my words but pretty close to the reality) a tree. i.e. it is against the law to destroy large old trees unless found to be dying. Hmmm. Wonder how many people should be up at Dodds as we speak for murder!!

    On another point…I would like to commend another brave Barbadian, pensioner Movita Field, who took a stand with reference to her having to pay a deposit on egg cartons that were non-refundable (and do not carry that charge from the producers of those said cartons and eggs as well). Because of this eggs can now be purchased free of this unfair charge placed on the consumer by one of our largest supermarket chains. Oh! Boy! Barbadians are coming out of their nap (it was only a nap guys)…now we see what we can do…how about standing up to banning Monsanto, GMO products, chemicals in our foods and and and….ahhhh…the power we have as consumers could make this little island perfect!! @David…do you think the march is on?

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  • @ David
    ” @Pat Where has it gotten him though?
    Was it worth it?”
    …………………………

    As long as he is happy in his own skin, doing what he loves, it will be worth it to him. Values and happiness are not homogenous.

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  • Agyeman Kofi

    Note, the spin of Mr Pandor,during our discourse in the presence of others and the Barbadostoday reporter was this figure mention. So in a private interview it seems this is now on the table. Oh how convenient as I said in an earlier post we need to convince Mr Pandor of a wholistic approach

    MONEY TREE

    news.barbadostoday.bb

    It’s going to take an estimated $1 million to save the silk cotton tree which is at the centre of controversy in the Greater Warrens Traffic Safety Improvement Project.

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  • I find it interesting that moving whatever it was that they were going to do (culvert/road/whatever) just a little to save the tree will suddenly cost all of this money. Hmmm…Could this be yet another little piece of ‘greediness’ happening here??? I actually know nothing about construction so just asking. Perhaps a second opinion from another Mr. Pandor…or several for that matter from others as well-qualified that have no ulterior motive? Just asking again.

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  • Today you do not have to put a chain saw or an axe to a tree to kill it. I have seen trees go from very healthy to dead, dead , in 3 to 4 days. Contractors I am sure are aware of the deadly chemical which kill these trees. So the fight with the Sand Box tree is not quite over yet.

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  • Julian Huntly (BAFBFP in Disguise)

    They got two trees hear … The Silk Cotton tree, opposite the Baobab, and the Sand Box which is opposite the entrance to the Warrens industrial park. The Silk Cotton get save (for the time being) but every body forget ’bout the Sand Box with the extraordinary canopy. COW still smacking he chops …. I plan to chain myself to that tree. Who wid me ..?

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  • Until Barbadians understand the role of the enviroment and its contribution to man”s everyday survival. To them it would be just another tree. Government has done very little in thearea of keeping a clean enviroment . An unhealthy enviroment leads to debilating disease. A tree or trees hepls to contain many of the pollution we bearth everyday. If we continue to cut them down at the pace we are goiing we would not be the wiser for it.

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  • Many Bajans are tree haters….just look around dem homes. Ac I totally agree with you. We gine be real sorry when tings get real bad.

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  • I Kammie Holder renamed Kofi Agyeman by an old lady in a village in Kumasi, Ghani declare I am sound mind and have never been certified insane. Yes, I am sort of an enigma who just believe in doing the right things to make the world a better place. As a student of Kellonomics, I like to swim up stream and think outside the square.

    I coordinated 350 Persons, Planting 350 Trees in 350 Seconds at Morgan Lewis in 2009 which was shown at the UN and now referenced by Universities worldwide. Trees are more than just wood!

    My birthday is the 1st of April and I don`t know why I does always crazy things like jump off of buildings then to realize ah aint got nuh parachute. People does always tell me I miserable and too persistent, but I does tell them mediocrity and laziness leads to poverty.

    I was raised by my grandmother in Cliff St John, god bless she old soul and we had ah acre and half of agriculture land, so ah had to bring in de sheep and de rope always had a strong smell, so I know about planting and farming. Me granny had a acre of sugar cane and we planted bananas, sweet potato, yam, coconuts, vegetables and breadfruit for our own consumption.

    Three thing me granny always told me, always be honest, never let deceitfulness overcome truthfulness and always respectfully speak your mind. Never follow de crowd, its too crowded.

    On a serious note about yesterday,it was not about politics but creating and preserving our heritage for Barbadians of the future. Sometimes we must break ranks, lest we will have many regrets on our dying bed. Neither was yesterday a victory as we need to deal with the naysayers and work on preserving the Boabab tree. Thus the government needs to tell the people what arrangements have being made to ensure there has been no environmental impact from the cement or waste from construction of the First Citizens building to the Boabab tree.

    All I ask is that the good faith shown by the Minister of Transport & Works infect his technocrats. In life you stand for something or fall for anything. Therefore, call me mischievous or whatever but I am Bajan and that gives me a right to have say in my country’s affairs.

    Tree huggers are not mad, we just respect mother earth.

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  • If you look on the opposite side of the road from the Baobab Tree, in the gully, you will see a drainage well which attempts to get the water runoff from the basin in which Warrens Development is placed to go underground.

    This Gully as you can see on Google Earth, joins the major gully coming down through the country from as far away as Coffee Gully in St. Joseph.

    The gully proceeds through the Rayside Quarry, …. on Google Earth you can tip the picture and see the hole, …. particularly if you go to tools and make the vertical enhancement 3.

    From the Rayside Quarry, the Gully proceeds through Waterford Bottom, a large collapsed cave, and to the Belle Pumping station. That collapse occurred perhaps before settlement and is ongoing, like Brittons Hill.

    It then joins two other gullies, one from Hothersall and the other from Charles Rowe Bridge ……. the gully in which Chefette is built …. and down to Constitution River and the Careenage.

    Much of the water flow from the country occurs underground and appears in the Belle, Warrens area. That’s what where we get much of our drinking water.

    Thus, in addition to the tree or trees, there are other issues right under our feet that we will one day wake up and realise that like the trees, somebody hasn’t got a clue what they are doing with the planned development of Barbados.

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  • It is like Malik’s calypso …… “A Madman”!!

    That is about as clear a vision as you can ever get!!

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  • Dem should have built the flyovers.

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  • As far as I know, there is no question about the Baobab tree being saved. The original design for the road improvement project that was outlined at the Town hall meeting at Queen’s college a few months ago made it clear that they were designing the roundabout around the baobab tree. It is the Silk Cotton tree that is directly opposite the Baobab at the SW end of One Accord Plaza and sited on the edge of the gully there, that is the tree at risk.

    The Baobab tree is 276 years old, having been planted from a seed or seedling imported from Senegal, Africa in 1735. The Silk Cotton tree could well be of similar age or might even be substantially older.

    The Silk Cotton tree, or God tree, is known in folklore and history as a sacred tree. It can grow to an extraordinary age (there is a well documented one in the DR (that looks a lot like the Warrens one) that was still standing up to 3 years ago and was, reportedly, the tree to which Christopher Columbus tied one of his boats in the 1492 voyage of discovery. It was worshipped as a sacred tree by our ancestors on both sides of the Atlantic, West Africa as well as Central America. Even today in several caribbean countries the tree is venerated to the extent that it is very difficult to get someone to cut one down, except in Barbados where we have lost many of our ancient traditions.

    This thread has some excellent ideas by Kofi Ageyman and Rosemary Parkinson that could form the basis of justifying the redesign of the project to save both trees. It seems really strange that it could cost 1 million dollars to do what appears to be a minor redesign since the trees are so close together. I think we should lobby that government should get a detailed breakdown of those costs and not just accept that blanket pandor figure that seems to have been thrown up in the air to scuttle any further action for keeping both trees.

    I think the BU family should thank Minister Boyce for his very quick response and his appearing to be amenable with the side of conservation and preservation of our environment as well as the socio-cultural aspects of this development. We should continue to keep prodding him however, to ensure that other forces do not easily ease him away from the path he now seems willing to tread.

    Both trees must be saved.

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  • Abdul Pandor is an engineer and explains why he he would be unsympathetic to something to cutting down a tree.

    It is not his decision, it is the minister who directs policy.

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  • “I think the BU family should thank Minister Boyce for his very quick response and his appearing to be amenable …”

    checkit-out

    I plan to lick you down wid a big rock and stomp up pun yah head, but I change my mind so you should thank me for my very quick response and my appearing to be amenable …!

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  • Random Thoughts

    I had a friend visit from Canada, she is Jamaican born as it happens, and on her second say here, after resting the first afternoon, I asked her what she wanted to do or see first of all in Barbados and she said “I hear that you have a magnificent baobob tree in Queen’s Park” Can I see the boabob tree?

    And so we went to Queen’s Park in Bridgetown and spent a beautiful 2 hours admiring the baobob.

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  • Random Thoughts

    I don’t accept the excuse that it is going to take 1 million dollars to save the tree. The idiotic engineers knew that the tree was there long before they were born. In their initial planning they should have taken the tree into account. But no the fools felt “we can just cut it down, it is only a tree”

    Bad planning.

    Somebody should take the $1 million out of the engineers pockets.

    Fools.

    I don’t know if any body recalls about 20 years ago some fools planned to cut down the lovely stand of mahoganies that grow opposite the Mental. The people protested and and the trees were not cut down, instead the Mental wall was shifted in about 20 feet and the lovely trees are still there.

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  • Instead of de lotta long talk wunna should organise a pressure group to identify Trees that should be saved.

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  • I agree with you Hants. But look at the group that started the Heritage Trust plaque on buildings…these are not supposed to be knocked down either…but in the middle of the night it is done, and then there is no recourse but to sue. Sue? Here? Years and years later…..? What good will dat do? Heavy immediate fines is what is required for those who are behind these abominations. These are the things that once the Minister’s attention is had, should be immediately placed before him. (1) More respect and adherence to the laws regarding trees and buildings with heavy penalties to those who indiscriminately “kill” them. Treat it as murder because that is what it is and (2) The making and enforcement of a law requiring all householders to at least have one fruit tree and one other tree (be it a flowering or not!) planted in their yard. Why not eh? Hopefully we will all be given good notice as to when the next meeting is to be held, so that we can all rally to the cause. I, unfortunately, all ready to move towards Warren got held back with a meeting, then with a conference call…so missed the historic meeting on the road…was not able to hug the tree but…one thing I know…my spirit was there and my body gine deifnitely be at the meeting with the Minister. It is important for all lovers of this island to show support. I just love those trees and have stopped so many times to take photos…was horrified when I saw all that construction going on and had a feeling…but guess what…that feeling feels better today, thanks to Mr. Kofi and the rest of Barbados who ensure that at least a stay of execution was granted. The fight is still one because Mr. Pandor, dear sweet little heart (and I mean that) has suddenly come up with that million dollar deal (does anyone talk thousands any more?)…but that can also be overcome. Watch us!!!

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  • Oops! a few typos in the above…but the essence is there. Do forgive.

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  • @Hants

    Your comment is not fair. All over facebook Barbadians are being mobilized. Both Kellman and Boyce (ministers) are engaged.

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  • Barbados have a very low tolerance for its environment and our heritage as is evident by the many historical buildings which have been gutted by fires as of recent Sam Lords Castle. This is truly a shame. Not only would it have been wise to save these buildings as they our eyes of the past. Sadly a past which we cant share with Tourist and future generations.

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  • Frankly I feel that Kellman and Boyce ARE two trees that need removing …!

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  • @David… I agree that finally we have the attention of the Ministers and it was indeed timely. If Mr. Kofi had not pointed out the imminent demise of the Silk Cotton Tree, it would be down all now so. Hopefully this action by the Minister will be a start to stopping some of the craziness developers are getting away with. Better now than never. We have to ensure that their attention also goes into action – thank God there was this, this time, and the tree was stopped from being ‘murdered’. Attention was not forthcoming before because nobody said anything much about what has been going on with concreting our island – well perhaps a few voices in the wilderness. The Lion’s roar was heard this time.

    This is the beginning and I hope that in future there will not have to be an uproar just before or after the fact…but instead let it be normal procedure that these catastrophes do not happen unless by natural disaster for crying out loud.

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  • @Rosemary

    As you know BU and several blogs are fully integrated with Facebook reported to have 109,000 Bajan membership.

    The point here is social media is making a difference.

    Yesterday David of BU participated on a Facebook page where we exchanged some robust views with Minister Kellman on the CLICO matter.

    Our points are being heard in the highest places, we have to make sure there is value in the points, we have to ensure there is followup. We have to keep the pressure up!

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  • BTW many oversees Bajans some of whom are friends are engaging in this process on Facebook. The need for an environmentally friendly Barbados would help propel barbados in a positive light world wide. Our country must stop pretending that because of our size our voices aren’t hear world wide. It is time for a change in our perception of things environmental ,whether it be trees or the way we treat our surroundings . Mother Nature has given all that it has to offer man free of charge and all we have to do is be vigilant and respectful of the way we respond to her.

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  • @David. The work done by the social media and blogs like BU – so darned important!!! And I commend you David, mostly because you are not ‘scared’ or ‘intimidated’ by what has to be said. I have seen a big turn around from the day I began joining in the conversation when it comes to food/health/environment etc. I know lots of people read but do not comment. I feel there is change in the air. You do not quit David. I will not quit either.

    @ac. My dream is to see a totally environmentally friendly Barbados. We need to get back to the days when people travelled here for their health (even Washington came here with his ill brother when it took months to get here… for crying out loud). On many of my first trips to Barbados (when I could talk that is) I often questioned my mother where did Bajans put their garbage…we never saw any and coming from Venezuela, this was so strange to me. Now, this can no longer be asked. It is put in gullies, on the side of the road, in cane pieces, in the sea…anywhere to be honest. So yes! the time has come to clean up.
    There is recycling but we need more. In Europe it is mandatory to have a bin for veggies etc. (compost), one each for plastic, glass (green, white, brown) and paper. We should start at least by composting for our gardens…

    As I have said before the time has come to make Barbados organic also, as self-sufficent as it can be when it comes to food & health with what is deemed ‘alternative medicine’ (I say the chemicals are the alternatives, as the natural came first) going hand in hand with science. No more Monsanto. No more hormones and antibiotics in our feeds (by the way David we never did get an answer from Roberts did we (or did we?))…I have heard that Gales’s stands firm on their “no hormones, no antibiotics” stand but chickens on their feed are selling size within 5 weeks – they then claim it is the breed (can I laugh out loud now…ha ha haaaaaa! – although it would not surprise me to learn that chickens have been scientifically modified to grow huge and fat in 5 weeks!).

    Oh! How wonderful it would be to know that we no longer have a huge health bill…and that we can proudly say we are pure, clean, green and loving it. And what a message we could send to the rest of the world. What a great legacy to leave behind by any government that implements these simple changes.

    I must stop. Because I do rattle on. I am passionate about this. But gotta go and paint…exhibition looming…David hope you will be there! And any others into art. Facebook has the event up, and Ace cards will soon have the free postcards all over the island. Ah gorn! Happy Sunday all.

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  • Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake Monument China

    by Agyeman Kofi on Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 2:31pm

    Erected in the 16th year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1751), this grand and well-proportioned 9.8 meter-high stele was meticulously carved out of a single piece of rock. The six Chinese characters inscribed on its front were Emperor Qianlong’s calligraphy meaning Longevity Hill, Kunming Lake. Inscribed on its reverse is the complete text of the essay, A Note on Kunming Lake at the Longevity Hill, written by Emperor Qianlong to describe why and how the lake was expanded

    Sandbox Tree saga

    Why cannot the whole area where the Sandbox and Boab tree are located be called Centennial Passage. A promenade similar to Lears with an Arch can be developed which can complimented by the mystique of Sandbox and Boabab trees. We are unto something as a true tourist attraction if we can convince Mr Pandor. Image if we promote Centennial Passage as place where you can go and make a wish for longevity playing on the mystique of the two trees. How much money would this bring in tourist dollars over a 10 year period? Lets put together a proposal to Government as they may be open to ideas.

    Barbados has the third oldest living centenarian and that apart from the island of Okinawa in Japan, Barbados has more centenarians per capita than any other region on earth. Thus lets have Centennial Passage where a monument can be erected and names of those who reach that ripe old age is inscribed. We can then market it s a tourist attraction where persons can go and make a wish for long life. So we would have a beautiful area that will cost more money but will be a tourist attraction and will be unique as a Barbados unique tourist attraction. In addition its has long term economic  benefit plus the government can justify the additional money spent as stimulus money for the economy. Suggestion needed!

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  • Do the majority of us only pay lip service to our National Anthem,around November?

    We loyal sons and daughters all
    do hereby make it known
    These fields and hills beyond recall
    Are now our very own
    We write our names on history’s page
    With expectations great
    Strict guardians of our heritage
    Firm craftsmen of our fate

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  • the story continues:

    ‘Barbadians are the ones lying’

    They humiliated and searched me like I was an animal, says J’can woman who complained of horrific cavity search

    BY KARYL WALKER Online News Editor walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    SHANIQUE Myrie, the Jamaican woman who complained of being finger-raped and humiliated by Barbadian immigration authorities earlier this month, has hit back at claims by the Barbadian Government that she was not subjected to a body cavity search.

    On Friday, Barbadian senator Harry Husbands claimed there was no record of Myrie being searched by either immigration or customs officers and alleged that the Jamaican was a victim of human trafficking.

    MYRIE… I can identify the woman who defiled me
    1/1

    “Shanique Myrie, on arrival in Barbados, claimed she would have been staying with a female resident, but a closer investigation however revealed she was actually staying with a Barbadian man who actually facilitates the entry of non-nationals into the island,” Husbands was quoted in the online edition of Nation News as saying.

    But yesterday Myrie was livid at Husbands’ statements and threatened to sue the Barbadian Government for the treatment meted out to her.

    “I am not lying. They humiliated me and searched me like I was an animal. They can carry me back to the Barbados airport and I can show you every room they took me into. I can identify the woman who defiled me. They are the ones who are lying,” she told the Sunday Observer.

    Myrie insisted that she was defiled by the Barbadian authorities at the Grantley Adams International Airport on March 14.

    In her interview published in the Daily Observer on March 24, she said: “The lady took me into a bathroom and told me to take off my clothes. I did as requested. After searching me and my clothes she found no contraband or narcotics. She then asked me to bend over, open my legs and spread (my private parts). She said that if I did not comply then she would see that I end up in prison in Barbados. When I bent over and spread my (private parts) I felt something enter my (private parts) and when I looked between my legs I saw her gloved hand in my (private parts). I screamed and stood up.

    “She then told me if I obstructed her doing a cavity search she would have me locked up. I bent over again and spread. She again inserted her fingers and poked around. I felt like I was being raped. I was so hurt and ashamed. I felt dirty and defiled, I don’t even know if the gloves she used was clean or had been used on somebody else,” she said.

    Myrie, who said the immigration officer removed her identification tag before humiliating her, also said the immigration officer expressed her hatred for Jamaicans.

    “I am going to sue them,” she went on.

    The trip was her first out of the island and Myrie lambasted Husbands’ claim that she was a human trafficking victim.

    “I went to visit Mrs Pamella Clarke. When I arrived at the airport they asked me who I came to and I gave them her number. They called her and she told them she wasn’t feeling well and had sent a man called Daniel to pick me up. They asked me about Daniel and I told them I did not know him. I have no reason to lie. They are the ones that are lying,” she said.

    Myrie said she was locked in a room with another woman whom the Sunday Observer contacted yesterday. The woman, Rickrisha Rowe, said Myrie cried all night as she recounted her ordeal.

    “I saw her being carried up and down by a man and a lady. She was crying when she came into the room and she told me what they did to her,” said Rowe.

    “She said they stripped her two times and that the woman was squeezing her breasts as if she could cut her skin and put something inside them. She said they made her bend down and spread,” said Rowe, who revealed that she was also denied entry into the island because she had overstayed on a previous visit.

    Rowe, however, said she found that strange because she had returned to the island without a problem since the time she overstayed.

    She said the conditions in the cramped room were deplorable.

    “I was locked in the room for over 12 hours. There was dirty toilet paper stuck on the wall and the place was filthy. You wouldn’t want to lean up anywhere. The bed was small with board and a raw sponge. In addition, the place was freezing. It was very cold, don’t care what you put on,” Rowe said.

    Both women claim they were herded out of the room minutes before the flight back to Jamaica and were told they would only have time to wash their faces and brush their teeth.

    Myrie’s claim sparked outrage in Jamaica and abroad and Public Defender Earl Witter has been mandated by Security Minister Dwight Nelson to investigate the incident. Witter is scheduled to meet with Myrie this week.

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  • Random Thoughts

    Quoting Rowe “It was very cold, don’t care what you put on,” Rowe said.”

    It is never freezing cold in Barbados and it is certainly never so in mid-March. On the same night Ms. Rowe claimed to be frezing col when fuly clothed is was possible to slep naked with the wondows open in BArbados, and not be uncomfortable.

    Jamaica is several hundred miles north of Barbados and is therefore several degrees cooler all year round, and even cooler in the highlands. Jamaican are therefore used to cooler temperatures.

    Therefore a Jamaican who claims to be freezing in Barbados in mid-March when fully clothed has to be lying.

    The lowest temperature experienced in Barbados in mid-March is about 73 degrees F. Tell me Rowe to explain to us how she could freeze fully clothed in an enclosed room when the outdoor temperature was 73 degrees F, and mind you the temperature only remains at 73 for about 2 hours between 2 and 4 in the morning

    Is she perhaps suggesting that that Barbados government tortures by air conditioning?

    Has Ms. Rowe overstayed anyplace else?

    Has Ms. Myrie?

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  • The environment is why man is alive today . without it we would be nonexistent. I am in awe of the way of nature”s pristine way of doing things in a orderly and timely fashion and never diverts or put off what necessary to be done to help us. Humans are the only living specimen who have a brain and the ability to make choices. However unlike nature we always seem to make the wrong choices, Look at nature way of giving us fresh air to breath,! and the ability to send the differing seasons on exact time. We can learn a lot from nature if only we would take time to listen. We are on a self destructing paths and with only our selves to blame. That is why we should continue to speak out against the abuse of the environment because on day mother nature might not have that safety net in place to catch us when we fall. Japan nuclear plant is an example the writing was on the wall but nobody listened

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  • The tree want cutting down. What is the big deal. i pay alot of money in road tax and such a silly tree shouldnt stop the road widening programme or make taxpayers fork out more millions just to save a tree.
    If this tree is cut down, what will die? nothing. nonsense talk about species under teh canopy. not in the gas polluted warrens area
    Cut it down. Motorists have rights also. Damn tree got more rights than a mortoist whose insurance and road tax are paid. mekking sport.

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  • I always think that if can have a second life I would want to be a tree. Especially a Palm tree. They various varieties reminds me of the way our bodies are built . Trees are very hard workers . Unlike the human species they are very active and potentially clean . Able to give us food and at the same time clean the atmosphere . Trees are a natural beauty and should be revered.

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  • being a tree. ppl urinating on you especially men, defecating on you. cutting things into your bark. i wont mind bing a tree if only women urinated on me. ahhhhhhhh. golden shower and i get a peek.

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  • Yeah your comments speak to the mindless senseless acts people of your ilk perpetrate on not only trees but humans as well. Your
    “dick” is our only source of how you think. You are a pervert . Not only should women pee on you but you should be castrated and buried up to your neck in sand while these acts are pillared upon you . You are one sick pathetic individual. I think Jenkins let you out too soon. Jerk! Now get lost ! your comments are tasteless! BTW don’t forget to take your medicine

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  • Agyeman Kofi March 28 at 7:49pm ReplyReport

    As a student of Kellonomic, I have always being taught that creativity and innovation provides the competitive edge. Thus the below recommendation is being made to engage government while challenging technocrats to think outside the box for the sake of present and future generations!

    Centennial Passage Tourism Proposal

    Why cannot the whole area where the Sandbox and Boab tree are located be called Centennial Passage. A promenade similar to Lears with an Arch can be developed which can complimented by the mystique of Sandbox and Boabab trees. We are unto something as a true tourist at…traction if we can convince Mr Pandor. Image if we promote Centennial Passage as place where you can go and make a wish for longevity playing on the mystique of the two trees. How much money would this bring in tourist dollars over a 10 year period? Lets put together a proposal to Government as they may be open to ideas.   Barbados has the third oldest living centenarian and that apart from the island of Okinawa in Japan, Barbados has more centenarians per capita than any other region on earth. Thus lets have Centennial Passage where a monument can be erected and names of those who reach that ripe old age is inscribed. We can then market it s a tourist attraction where persons can go and make a wish for long life. So we would have a beautiful area that will cost more money but will be a tourist attraction and will be unique as a Barbados unique tourist attraction. In addition its has long term economic  benefit plus the government can justify the additional money spent as stimulus money for the economy. Suggestion needed!   Anybody know John Boyce and Richard Sealy`s email address?

    By:Agyeman Kofi

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  • Never mind the Sand Box Tree. When the next big shipment of radioactive cars arrive from Japan to the big distributor next door, more that the trees may perish.
    Wonder what precautions the MOH is taking.

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  • Microdermabrasion is good to get rid of crows feet, acne scarring and dark spots.
    You can finally get rid in the appearance of those wrinkles and surface scars caused by acne.
    Adding a bit volume to lift the corners of the mouth
    changes a dour look to some more pleasant facial expression.

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  • I all the time used to study post in news papers but now as
    I am a user of web so from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

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  • Hi there everyone, it’s my first visit at this web
    site, and piece of writing is genuinely fruitful in support
    of me, keep up posting these posts.

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