Rest in Peace Julian

Submitted by Caswell Franklyn

The late Julian Albert Marryshow – click image to offer condolences.

A notice in the obituaries of the Midweek Nation of July 25, 2012 informed us of the passing of Julian Albert Marryshow on July 17, 2012, and further that he was cremated in a private ceremony a week later on July 24th. I am sure that his quiet departure from the scene was done in accordance with his wishes. After all, he was not one to crave the limelight or even claim the accolades that were rightly his.

By now many would be asking, Julian Who? The answer to that will not redound to who we are as Barbadians. It is a carefully kept secret that he was the man who was responsible for the introduction of our Crop Over Festival. The xenophobic revisionist among us would want to exclude his pioneering role in the development of something that is considered to be an integral part of our Barbadian culture from History. My understanding is that he drew his first breath in Grenada which to some is all that is needed to exclude him from his rightful place in History.

They probably reason how can we call Crop Over our own when it was developed by a Grenadian? To cure that apparent defect, they have shamefully removed him from all aspects of the development of “we culture” which should bring us no pride as Barbadians.

Julian you are gone but not forgotten, at least I will remember your contribution and I will tell others. Rest in peace.

0 thoughts on “Rest in Peace Julian


  1. crop over story…
    “The Yoruba Foundation, under the direction of Elombe Mottley, came up with the idea of reviving Crop Over. However, it did not receive the necessary support and approval from Government; the concept was eventually taken up by the Board of tourism, now the Barbados Tourism Authority. That planning committee was headed by Julian Marryshaw, Carol Cadogan and Emile Straker. The idea was to create an event which would attract tourists to the island during a referred to in the industry as the ‘slow season’.

    The responsibility of producing Crop Over was later handed to the Ministry of Culture, then headed by Nigel Harper and subsequently Elombe Mottley. In 1983 the National Cultural Foundation was established, and has been conceptualizing and producing the festival ever since.”

    http://nigel.search.co.tt/barbados/cropover/story.html


    • Thanks Corrie, have to admit this is history not widely known.

      Rest in Peace Julian.

      Your legacy is secure.

      It seems distasteful given the origin of Crop Over the name of this gentleman should not be a household name along with the others.


  2. “Julian you are gone but not forgotten, at least I will remember your contribution and I will tell others. Rest in peace.”

    So sad to hear of Julian’s passing! He was a real
    “Caribbean man”; a genuine example or the epitome of what CSME ought to be about.
    I too can vouch to the fact that Julian was vitally instrumental in making the real Cropover into a national festival. I clearly remember being part of the early movement of a few donkey carts loaded with sugar cane, street musicians like Seaman and a rag tag group of revelers(including me) leaving the Pelican complex off the Princess Alice Highway and ‘chipping’ up Broad Street with Julian in his broad straw hat, white shorts and pipe.
    Julian you help made Cropover and on behalf of all Bajans thanks for your unique contribution and the lasting memories. May you live eternally among the muses of music, art and culture! Dionysius or Bacchus or his cultural counterpart has the door open to greet your arrival!


  3. David

    It is absolutely correct, but apparently you did not get the point of my presentation. We have been denying the inconvenient truth for years. We do not want to accept that it was a Grenadian who conceptualized our major festival.

    Let me give you a little History lesson. Julian Marryshow was hired by the Tourist Board to come up with a concept that would get tourist to come to Barbados in the off season. He came up with the Crop Over festival but he insisted that it would only survive if locals were included. Originally the festival was a gimmick to get tourist to come to Barbados. The accepted History was written after the fact.


  4. Elombe’s history as well as Julian’s is well known to those of us who know and knew them both. Julian Marryshaw is no longer with us…perhaps continuing his gentlemanly ways in another sphere, another dimension….what is indeed sad is that yet again one of our most influential men in matters that matter has gone perhaps without knowing that his work was not in vain…I hope and pray and the contribution that Elombe Mottley has made will not go unnoticed like everything else in this island that is really really something…until the day he goes and suddenly the country mourns the passing of a great innovator. Man oh! man! Nothing gets me more upset. .I cry for the unsung heroes for they just do not deserve it. But I also smile because I know that they knew what they had to know and just moved accordingly. I loved Julian. Bless his heart. I love Elombe Mottley too…and Corrie Scott whose total devotion to the promotion of the arts goes largely ignored…the usual problem…”we doan like it when someone else does show we up yuh…imagine she gorn and put out a whole directory on every artists ‘pun de island and every monff she does give up she time for free to put out a magazine about art events ‘pun de net fuh de wurld to see…how she tink she is doah?”

    Sad. Sickening. Enlightening at the same time. Mentality is everything eh?

    Meanwhile to the family of Julian Marryshaw…remember he was loved, understood and revered by those who also matter. Bless your heart Julian..that face of yours will be indelibly written on my mind…you were one of a kind!!


  5. a true non-national patriot and classy gentleman who has made a worthy and meaningful and genuine contribution to tourism and culture in Barbados. would have been a unanimous choice to hold the portfolios of tourism and culture in a non partisan political environment. i hope that he is fittingly honored even if posthumously.


  6. The responsibility of producing Crop Over was later handed to the Ministry of Culture, then headed by Nigel Harper and subsequently Elombe Mottley. In 1983 the National Cultural Foundation was established, and has been conceptualizing and producing the festival ever since.”

    there is some truth to this story although Mr Nigel Harper’s involvement from my recollection related directly to the staging of Carifesta in Barbados. That aside, let us not belittle the significant contribution made to tourism and culture in Barbados without fanfare by this noble gentleman.


  7. I am of a younger generaiton, did not know him well, but on the few occasions I passed him and spoke, it was clear from his manner that he was a gentleman and willing to acknowledge those younger than he in a firendly manner, not usual among some bajans, if I may say.

    There is an arrogance to some in Barbados, the see themselves of ‘station’…but not this gentleman.

    Why are the greatest the most humble?


  8. Yes I remember Mr. Marryshaw well as a youngster following the procession into Queens Park at the very first Cropover. I always wondered why he virtually disappeared from the cultural scene in Barbados when he was at one time such an integral part of it. I recall his cheerful personality and openess to everyone. He will be missed.


  9. @ Crusoe | July 31, 2012 at 5:34 AM |
    “Why are the greatest the most humble?”

    Because HUMILITY is the hallmark or essence of GREATNESS.

    “ When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”


  10. “Corrie Scott | July 30, 2012 at 7:44 PM |
    crop over story…
    “The Yoruba Foundation, under the direction of Elombe Mottley, came up with the idea of reviving Crop Over. However, it did not receive the necessary support and approval from Government; the concept was eventually taken up by the Board of tourism, now the Barbados Tourism Authority. That planning committee was headed by Julian Marryshaw,”

    IT SEEMS TO ME THEN THAT ELOMBE NOT JUILIAN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CROP OVER FESTIVAL FESTIVAL


    • Lovely Skin

      You are proving the point that I was trying to make, that is, we are doing everything to diminish Marryshow’s role. Elombe and Yoruba what! First of all, there was never any crop over festival to revive, that is absolute nonsense and a product of “twistorians”. The closest thing to a crop over celebration anywhere in Barbados prior to 1970s, I think 1974, was where individual estates would dress up the last load of canes to the factory. There after, individual estates might hold a fair with the proceeds going to the Anglican church. THERE WAS NO CROP OVER FESTIVAL IN BARBADOS PRIOR TO THE 1970s. Marryshow did not run with Elombe’s ideas. Marryshow was a consultant who was employed by the Tourist Board to come up with something that would attract visitors to the island during the off season. He developed on the plantation celebrations that had long died out. Even in death they refuse to give the gentleman his due.

      If there was a crop over festival prior to the 1970s, I challenge any historian to produce any evidence of such. This History was made up in people’s minds,not that it ever actually took place. We are being deceived again!!


  11. @ LOVELY SKIN | July 31, 2012 at 1:47 PM |
    “IT SEEMS TO ME THEN THAT ELOMBE NOT JUILIAN WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CROP OVER FESTIVAL FESTIVAL”

    YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT, INDEED!!! Yes, Elombe and the Yoruba Foundation guys are the source of the idea of the revival of the old–time ‘Cropover Festival’. But Julian implemented the basic foundations of its modern version i.e. a street festival and parade with great commercial potential.


  12. “The Yoruba Foundation, under the direction of Elombe Mottley, came up with the idea of reviving Crop Over”

    Merely catching at straws. Even the above proves that the revival came from somewhere else. Anybody could come up with a thought but the implementation is another matter. the name of the Grenadian born Barbadian citizen and patriot Mr Julian Marryshaw would always be associated with the introduction of the Crop Over as a national event in Barbados and no mythical aberration by some as alluded to by Bro Caswell can deny him that accolade.


  13. @ Caswell
    THERE WAS NO CROP OVER FESTIVAL IN BARBADOS PRIOR TO THE 1970s. Marryshow did not run with Elombe’s ideas. Marryshow was a consultant who was employed by the Tourist Board to come up with something that would attract visitors to the island during the off season. He developed on the plantation celebrations that had long died out. Even in death they refuse to give the gentleman his due.
    *******************************
    This is also my recollection of the facts…however, one could not result without the other…..therefore …one would tend to believe the commendation should be equally shared.


  14. Ninety-two-year-old Julian Marryshow sharing memories of Crop-Over.
    By Gercine Carter | Fri, July 23, 2010 – 12:00 AM

    Barbados is currently caught up in the music and excitement of Crop-Over, but the man considered “father” of Barbados’ biggest festival is tuned out.

    At age 92, an ailing Julian Marryshow merely reflects on the event he conceptualised over three decades ago.

    His eyes light up over the memories, when he talks about the many cultural events of the festival, mostly so as he relives the experience of being among throngs of people following the decorated donkey cart parade through Broad Street.

    And he regrets such early cultural features of the festival are no more, replaced by “wuk up” and “raise yuh hand in the air”. “This wuk up and hand in the air I don’t approve of” he told the Weekend Nation in an interview on the patio of his Hastings, Christ Church home yesterday.

    Marryshow was heading his own advertising agency when the Barbados Tourist Board invited advertising agencies to submit proposals for a project that would sensitise Barbadians to the importance of the tourism industry. Marryshow’s company won with its submission Project T- Tourism Needs You, You Need Tourism.

    It turned out to be his passport to a job with the Barbados Tourist Board as public relations consultant and later consultant public relations manager.

    Working with the Barbados Tourist Board, he realised that June was a particularly dead month for Barbados’ tourism. “I felt that we could do something to promote that month”.

    Celebration by slaves

    Then, through research by Flora Spencer, he discovered the celebration by slaves on Barbados’ plantations at the end of the sugar cane crop. Thus was born Crop-Over in June 1974.

    “How I did it? I had divided each activity into groups and you had a group leader and he reported back to the main committee, which was chaired by Emile Straker, and there was Livvy Burrowes.” The people mentioned were all members of the Tourist Board of the day.

    Last canes

    The festival opened with the cutting of the last canes, and Marryshow asked plantations to leave some cane behind to be harvested symbolically for the festival.

    “I had the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, I had other officials not only being there, but cutting the canes . . . We had a man to demonstrate how to cut the canes, then we did it ourselves until we got enough canes to fill the cart.”

    That dray cart load of canes was later decorated and led the very popular cart parade that opened the event. Hotels competed, entering their own decorated donkey carts in the competition, and thousands lined the streets of Bridgetown and every vantage point afforded by business houses along the way to witness the parade.

    Regional artistes

    Marryshow recalls that the Crop-Over of yesteryear was filled with sporting and cultural activities – goat and donkey cart racing, and he invited dancers and other artistes from Martinique, Cuba and Trinidad to participate. These regional artistes were also a feature at the plantation fairs.

    “The whole island was involved in Crop-Over, and there were events all over the island.”

    As a festival with its roots in the plantation, Crop-Over saw well organised fairs at plantation grounds that drew hundreds of patrons.

    Disappointed

    “I was disappointed that the plantation fairs were discontinued,” Marryshow said.

    “We tried to have one north, south, east and west. We would have a merry time, with trying to catch the greased pig, climbingthe greased pole.”

    Admission to those fairs was $1 for adults and fifty cents for children.

    While these fairs provided an opportunity for participation by rural communities, activities like the barge show in the Inner Basin of the Careenage in Bridgetown attracted people from all over the island.

    There was also a calypso competition. Reflecting on it now, Marryshow says in jest,

    “Praise God I did not have calypsonians as they have today. People were given tokens as prizes. They were not paid any money so they could not go on strike.”

    He recalls the legendary Sir Don (Don Marshall) and the Mighty Dragon winning the crown.

    Today’s Kadoomentis yesterday’s Trinidad-styled “ole mas” at the Marine Hotel where small groups competed.

    Marryshow, a Grenadian by birth, left Barbados shortly after the Ministry of Culture took over Crop-Over in the early 1980s, only returning about ten years later.

    Premier cultural event

    The festival has evolved, and the “father” of Crop-Over is happy that it is now Barbados’ premier cultural event, attracting not only Barbadians from throughout the diaspora, but hundreds of other visitors from around the world as well.

    He is a “little disappointed” that it has become more of a Trinidad-styled carnival than the cultural event that he conceptualised.

    And he remarks: “Since I left the Tourist Board nobody has ever asked me to organise anything about it. I have never been asked anything about Crop-Over and I have never looked at it.”

    Instead he is happy with his quiet, retired style of life. “I have just taken my new guard at cricket. I have to keep batting until I am 100,” quipped Crop-Over’s pioneer.
    AND ON THAT NOTE, REST IN PEACE JULIAN, I BELTEVE YOUR VERSION OF THE EVENTS BECAUS I WAS AROUND WHEN CROP OVER BECAME A HOUSEHOLD NAME.


  15. Is it such a difficult a pill to swallow for some that a Barbadian who was born on the beautiful island of Grenada can be the father of Cropover? If a country refuses to acknowledge the contributions of some because of their place of birth then David Thompson should be ignored as well. This the Hypocrisy that is choking many Bajans who feel that if you were not born here you are not worthy.


  16. Marryshow was heading his own advertising agency when the Barbados Tourist Board invited advertising agencies to submit proposals for a project that would sensitise Barbadians to the importance of the tourism industry. Marryshow’s company won with its submission Project T- Tourism Needs You,
    ********************************
    While Julian was commissioned…….It was Elombe Mottley who brought about the sense of African awareness ….through encouraging and supporting such organizations as the Youba Yard in Fontabelle with El Verno del Congo,Temple Yard, Pinelands Workshop…..out of a real love….He later piloted the program Getting Down Brass Tacks……the whole idea of “We Culture” as we know it now was initiated……The Tourist Board hence saw an opportunity to sensationalize the whole dazzle as an attraction hence in came Julian with a specific mandate to formalize a festival atmosphere based on this We Culture thread.


  17. @ balance | August 1, 2012 at 8:53 AM |

    I too was around and involved in the various Cropover events especially the street parades.
    If would be most fitting to honour the memory of Julian if the NCF could organize for next year’s festival a special parading band that displays and reflects the spirit of the original concept of the festival e.g. decorated donkey cart parade and traditional locally made costumes.
    But, given that we might soon have a dead sugar industry on our hands, such an event might just be too much for this modern crop of ‘wuk-up’ mentality organizers to conceptualize and pull off.
    If such a band can be organized it would not only honour the memory of Julian but would provide an annual reminder of the last vestige of our cultural past built around an industry that has engendered mixed feelings and chips on our people’s shoulders that are weighing us down and preventing us from advancing and fulfilling that clarion call expressed in the National Anthem: “…. those fields and hills beyond recall, are now our very own….”.


    • @islandgal

      It is uo to the stalwarts who know the truth about the birth of Crop Over to step up. In fact it would be useful if someone of the stature of Elombe issue a statement on the matter of Marryshow.


  18. @ old onion bags | August 1, 2012 at 9:25 AM |

    When the BLP gets back in and when Mia becomes PM it would be most fitting if the NCF is run as an NGO- a non-profit organization with funding from private sponsorships, commercial ventures and a government subvention.
    It would also be most fitting if the Foundation is named after Elombe and rebranded the” Elombe Mottley Cultural Centre or Foundation”.
    If left to the DLP they would want to name it after David Thompson or maybe after the little Hitler fellow who believes he is not only the Minister of Culture but also the Chairman and CEO of the NCF and the chief spokesman on moral and ecclesiastical affairs.
    The two ministries headed by Lashley and Blackett have many overlapping and duplicating portfolio responsibilities. In any future Cabinet these two ministries need to merge into one and called the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Social Services or something along those lines.


  19. Thank you Julian and thank you Balance for this most precious posting.
    thanks to you too for having no problem with my cherry pickin.


  20. onions/miller ref honouring ELOMBE/JULIAN, both your posts have merit but miller i was thinking about naming the roundabout where the bands enter spring garden from black rock after julian if possible.


  21. @ balance | August 2, 2012 at 7:11 AM |
    ‘….i was thinking about naming the roundabout where the bands enter spring garden from black rock after julian if possible.”

    Very good idea that is timely presented as an easily implementable proposal.
    Balance, expect the Minister to run with this; and at the ‘arranged’ interview by the Press this coming Kadooment Day the fellow would be announcing such a proposal or something along similar lines to honour Julian just for political mileage. Many of miles of which the party needs within the coming weeks. He has taken the revived issue of ‘Reparations’ for slavery and colonialism” to play to the Pan-African gallery. One wonders if he is really serious and would follow through with the cause recently discussed here on BU. Let him start with a public request to the British Government to provide some ongoing financial contributions to fund scholarship at the UWI in the field of science focusing on health care, agriculture and the development of alternative medicines based local and regional plants. A similar request for help with the construction and equipping a new hospital should also be on the cards.


    • The big winners!

      5th – Popsicle
      4th – Adrian Clarke
      3rd – Gabby
      2nd – Ian Webster
      1st – RPB Again!!!

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