Tribute to Sir Branford Taitt

The late Sir Branford Taitt

The late Sir Branford Taitt

Some members of the BU household have followed politics with a keen interest over the last few decades. There is no doubt that Sir Branford was a member of a cadre of politician who operated in an era which starkly contrasts with the present.

David (BU) had reason to interact with Sir Branford over the years and what was obvious is that he was always willing to engage on any topic. When the interaction was over there was a sense that there was value in the exchange. There was no 5-minute conversation with Sir Branford, you needed to set aside 20 minutes at minimum. Although you could easily have been intimidated by the man he always made you feel comfortable in his presence.

The one blemish in an imitable career was the St. Joseph Hospital saga. Hopefully in years to come the public will get a sense of what really happened.

On behalf of the BU household we extend condolences to the family of Sir Branford, you served the country well. May he rest in peace.

0 thoughts on “Tribute to Sir Branford Taitt

  1. @David.Close examination of, and conversation with, those associated with the St. Joseph Hospital, would reveal that this was not a blemish. It was a concocted political campaign of disinformation with the express motive of destroying his political career. If you want to know about St. Joseph and the “snow job” that was done on Sir Branford, talk to me.
    Oh by the way to those constantly misspelling my name, it is Cummins.

  2. I remember Brandford Taitt as an extremely impressive orator in the class of Mia Mottley and just above the class of Stephen Lashley and Chris Sinckler, imho, the best speakers in the current parliament. There were hardly any latinisms in the well crafted phrases that flowed effortlessly from Brandford’s lips. The estimates and particularly the budget debates with Tom Adams, Brandford Taitt, Henry Forde, Billie Miller and David Thompson were a joy to listen to. I especially remember one phrase that Brandford used when he drew himself up to his full height and chastised, I think it was Tom Adams, for some apparently hypocritical remark But the honourable member cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time or the thunder in his delivery when he took a turn in the foreign Doctor (his name escapes me) who deigned to report that Barbados’ AIDs profile was poor and would become catastrophic if the Government continued on its then current path of seemingly sweeping the cases under the carpet and pretending all was well (Was it Shloshberg or some such name?)

    I also remember him as a perennial pall bearer who could be relied on to be up front (no back seat for him. He had to be noticed by all) at all the funerals I attended over the years at churches in his constituency.

    He contributed much to Barbados’ development over a long life span. May he rest in Peace

  3. Taitt was the worst Minister of Trade this Island ever had. back in the 70’s simple staple items like potatoes, onions, were placed under license and with baby food banned or restricted I remember too well how difficult it was to feed my first born.
    What about the iniquitous granting of the sole license to import cement to Leo Leacock who never had imported cement before?
    St. Joseph Hospital provide political fodder but Taitt was the only man who ever received a gift – in this case a study built on to his house – from his late wife.

  4. Alvin Cummins. I’m sorry you felt there was a need to bring that up at this time. But You are wrong. ’nuff said.

    • It is a pity the government does not see the wisdom in making the St. Joseph Hospital report public to dispel the speculation which surrounds this matter. It seems the DLP and BLP have closed ranks on this matter and so be it. The discussion will now relegate into a he say she say scenario.

    • @Crusoe

      9 million dollars of tax dollars and what?

      Both political parties continue to laugh at the people.

      A listen to the tributes in the House today should expose those who are unaware of the friendships which exist across the political divide.

  5. I did not think Taitt to be possessed of any special skill as a politician.Compared to Tom Adams,Bree St John and Henry Forde,it was chalk and cheese.He was simply outclassed by these three.My view and that of quite a number of those who knew him prior to all the foolishness about one “Goldie”
    whom none of us can recall him being so addressed,know that he was all show and little substance.RIP

    • @Baffy

      Was about to make the same observation, be hospitable 🙂

      @Duppy Lizard

      Good to see you are about and kicking, hope all is well.

  6. Shloshberg was right about the AIDS epidemic , they all did try to cover it up, just like the St. Joseph Hospital debacle, just like everything else they insist on covering up in Bim. When everything is finally out in the open, I hope that there are no more calls for young people to see these blow hards as role models.

  7. @ check it out .
    You continue to make asinine comments which are difficult to associate with one of your age who constantly boasts of his association with Harrison College . You should be aware that to successfully ” use latinisms ” first require a knowledge of those latinisms . But are you suggesting that the appropriate use of latinisms reduces the quality of ones speech ? No wonder there is such a dearth of good language usage today .

  8. An honourable man a person who understood the meaning of being a true patriot. not being comfortable with the way things were but set out to make a difference by those who lives he touch leaving a legacy of dedication and inspiration .A true warrior indeed. May he rest in PEACE.

  9. @ Just looking on. | March 13, 2013 at 7:46 AM |
    “But are you suggesting that the appropriate use of latinisms reduces the quality of ones speech ? No wonder there is such a dearth of good language usage today .”

    If “Checkit-Out” replies in the affirmative he would be correct.
    A speech is meaningless unless the people listening on under stand what the speaker is saying or talking about.

    The use of “Latinism” is appropriately pellucid and entertaining when addressing an audience of like minds like lawyers or scholars of the Classics like yourself;
    but totally out of place when speaking to a general audience.
    What is required is “Crystal English’ in our Anglophone world. The standard or hallmark today should be one of a ‘Diamond’ rating not one of obfuscation in original ‘Romance’.

  10. @Check it out.
    I did not bring it up. David did. But I am right. I know what I am talking about. You can’t defend what happened afterwaard…leaving the whole place to rot and fall apart for over fourteen years was criminal. to be truthful some of the money spent on World Cup (Kensington)could have gone into that institution, so don’t come to me with any foolishness. Under the BLP what was done there is indefensible. Sir Branford was pilloried, an inquiry was held caosting millions of dollars, and the conclusion of the report was that Sir Branford was blameless. Nuff said.

  11. @Miller

    What about those ordinary folk who are easily intoxicated by the mystique of the use of ‘strange’ words? Politicians have used such to good effect through the ears a la Don Blackman.

  12. Didn’t Arthur seek to explain on the floor of the House yesterday while giving his tribute that the thrust of the Inquiry was more about Taitt exceeding ministerial authority by recruiting nurses overseas? The matter of a study being built through questionable means was fallacious stuff by the media he suggested.

  13. What I admired about BT, was his culturally refined, extremely well polished, Bajan accent, coupled with his smooth baritone voice, IMHO, he was second to none in this regard, and was probably at his best while functioning in his role as Diplomat in NY!

    It was a delight to hear him speak!

  14. Alvin Cummins; Sorry that your response compels me to belabour the point even though it may not be socially correct to do so in this thread. You are of course right that David brought it up but it was, imho, unecessary for you to take the bait. In addition, to take that bait in the way that you did, claiming full knowledge that Mr. Taitt was blameless in the St Joseph Hospital matter was disingenuous, at least, and obfuscatory at most.

    Some posters above have pointed out some aspects of Mr. Taitt’s record that might have some bearing on the St Joseph Hospital affair that differ from your claims. But I can, in contradistinction to you, say that imho Mr. Taitt indeed had a case to answer with respect to alleged infelicities conducted under his watch and the alleged direct benefits to him in that affair. Anyone who remembers the disclosures in the Nation Newspapers of the time re. the alleged infelicities and the published previews of the Commission’s report would have no doubt that your conclusion that the Commission was merely a BLP attempt to impugn Brandford Taitt’s political character was politically partisan whitewash.

    Why do you think that it was necessary for the new DLP government in 2008 or 2009, to publish an expurgated report of the COI report in which Brandford Taitt was washed in the blood of the lamb? If the report said what they said it said, it would surely have been more effective and easier to publish the original COI report which would have had to be used to cobble together the report of the report.

    Why do you think the BLP would have utilised the services of Sir Brandford during their terms of office with nary a hint of the innuendos of the COI and the effective hiding of that document? In my view, the Political Brotherhood of the DLP-BLP scam game of the general public can fully explain why the report was not published in the BLP’s time in Government. They did not want to expose the alleged shenanigans in that affair for all and sundry to see as It might have been a bad precedent, in their view, which might come back to haunt them with a vengeance. So they sat on the report, imho.

    The DLP, on the other hand, felt that they had to get the report out of limbo and clear Sir Brandford’s name, so they did the indefensible, took out some of the conclusions and published an entirely different report. What blameless what?

    You may be right about the St Joseph Hospital itself and the BLP leaving it to rot and fall apart. But imho, that had very little to do with the COI. But re. Brandford himself, What blameless what?

  15. I have had to seek Branford’s help ONCE a few years ago … Once! If there is nothing good to be said I believe it right to say nothing …

  16. Just Looking on;

    Miller made a quite adequate defence of my reference to “latinisms”. Thanks Miller!. What he couldn’t say however, was that I was, in a somewhat veiled manner, expressing my opinion of the quality, or lack thereof, of the oratory of the member of the house who is best known for his somewhat halting use of Latin and Greek phrases and comparing him (by omission from my list of best orators) to Sir Brandford’s fluency without use of such phrases. You partially removed that veil and I now admit it.

    Re. the HC matter. I’ve referred to my being a past student (long past) of HC on perhaps two occasions on this blog. Both occasions were follow-ups to others saying something of their association with HC. I don’t boast of my past association with HC. I’ve gone past that and don’t need to constantly go back and reference HC as the zenith of my career.

  17. David;
    What webs politicians weave!

    My ears or memory or both must have sorely deceived me. But I wonder how many other posters recall that a number of BLP politicians said the exact opposite around the time of the Enquiry.

    IMHO. The media merely reflected what was said on the political platforms and what was leaked from the official COI report itself.

    Look for FS exonerating OSA from any hints of wrongdoing re. the $75,000 affair next.

    What did OSA say about the draft estimates and the Auditor General report?

  18. BT was one of the better MOH’S. He had the St Joseph’s hospital functioning as it ought to have.
    He also had a vision of improving the polyclinics to be more like a GP’S office, but his ideas was shot down by morons around him. But that is another story, that explains why our country is stagnant and will not grow. GOOD IDEAS THAT ARE EASY TO IMPLEMENT ARE SHOT DOWN BY MORONS.


  19. @David,

    If “Checkit-Out” replies in the affirmative he would be correct.
    A speech is meaningless unless the people listening on under stand what the speaker is saying or talking about.

    The use of “Latinism” is appropriately pellucid and entertaining when addressing an audience of like minds like lawyers or scholars of the Classics like yourself;……………………..

    You are so right.

    Here’s a tit bit to further your point. On one of the rare occasions that I went to a DLP public meeting, the famous Dr Don Blackman was speaking. Every time he uttered one of his “big” words, the crowd went wild. A man next to me was jumping up with glee……aih,aih, snapping his fingers in glee. I asked him what does the word Dr Blackman just called means, the man said,” I dont know but it sound sweet”.

    Low information voter! The masses dont understand and they are fooled by the politicos!

  20. David; Thanks for the correction. So actually the DLP, needing to clear their man’s (Brandford Taitt) name, opted to prepare a ministerial statement from the original COI report which has itself not been published to this day

    If the COI report had actually cleared Mr. Taitt wouldn’t it have been significantly more effective to publish it, itself, with any warts it might have had?

    Indeed, if so, publishing the report should have also totally cleared up Alvin Cummins’ points above. In addition, the report would have clearly shown that since Mr Taitt was indeed cleared, the settting up of the commission would have very likely been, as Alvin Cummins suggested, a witch hunt against an innocent man.

    Like all uh dem politricians tink duh speaking only tuh de likes of ac’s and such in dis country.

  21. @ Alvin,
    “Sir Branford was pilloried, an inquiry was held caosting millions of dollars, and the conclusion of the report was that Sir Branford was blameless. Nuff said”……………………

    What blameless what? The man was guilty as sin. The BLP to their credit, shielded him from further public embarrassment!

  22. Taitt also endangered the life of patients,exposed the QEH and its doctors to lawsuits by unlawfully and illegally transferring funds allocated to the QEH to the St Joseph Hospital Project.Workmen assigned to the site were said to be working on his home.Taitt also tried to name the Blackrock polyclinic the Marjorie Taitt polyclinic but backed off when the political heat proved too great,yet when his cronies formed the next Dems govt they named the very same polyclinic after Goalie.Go to the St Leonard’s church and see where a plaque is placed and in whose name.Why do the unintelligent become obsessed with leaving markers behind like ordinary dogs,cats,and such animals.Brandford was all show and no substance.None whatso’er…

  23. “Brandford was all show and no substance.”

    Gabs I will not speak ill of the dead so I would prefer to put it this way. Your observation of Branford Taitt can easily be directed at every other living politician in the region.

  24. Roy Davis, the contractor on the SJH and who also worked on Sir Branfords house is non other than the brother of one Chris Sinckler.

    What was DT and CS role in this saga?

    “A tree is felled from a wedge cut from its own branch”

  25. @Baffy
    You said “every other living politician in the region”.Sadly,I concur but do you think we are at the stage of synthesis?If so, our goose is cooked.Adams and those of his generation gently goaded the colonial office for change.
    Barrow,Williams,Manley,Bustamante were more forthcoming and robust in their demands for total control of their states.The mealy mouthed likes of Taitt were more about fooling people while lining their and their families’ pockets .The people owed them a living…

  26. @Alvin Cummins | March 13, 2013 at 9:06 AM |
    “Sir Branford was pilloried, an inquiry was held caosting millions of dollars, and the conclusion of the report was that Sir Branford was blameless”

    and u really believed that? what about the constituency office that was conveniently burnt to the ground just as the inquiries was about to begin?

    i never admired him at all, he always seemed as a pretense but then again that’s my opinion

Leave a comment, join the discussion.