Bajan Pride Harmed | Inflating the Bajan Psyche

William Skinner asked the blogmaster to clarify the following comment posted to Donville Inniss blog on the 2018/08/06 at 8:26 pm  currently choking local news feeds.

Another BLACK mark on the Barbados brand. How much more can we take? Interesting this old charge got laid on Inniss at this time. A conspiracy theory in the making.

On reflection the reply was too concise to effectively convey what was troubling the ‘mind’ of the blogmaster.

For many years Barbados enjoyed an enviable reputation in the region and dare we suggest the world? It was frequently referred to as a model island operating above its weight class. People visited from far to observe our electoral system and prominent Barbadians were invited to participate in election observer missions across the globe. A clear demonstration of the respect for how we managed the electoral process in the recent past.

The most frequent feedback shared by foreigners about Barbados centred on the sense of order to the way affairs of the country was managed. The quality of the infrastructure – road network, telecommunications, health services, educational system, political landscape, stability of the financial system, quality of justice, low level of crime and quality of justice dispensed etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Much of which was reflected in Barbados’ high position on the Human Development Index , Transparency International and other respected international indices.

The 2007-2008 global economic recession exposed vulnerabilities and for several reasons discussed in this space and elsewhere the country  has not been able to correct the ‘wobble’. As fate shared, the recession collided with the election of a young prime minister who died early in the term. The tragic occurrence of David Thompson’s death catapulted his deputy Freundel Stuart to office. The jury is about to return the verdict on Stuart’s legacy, however, it is accurate to state that under his stewardship Barbados was locked in a perpetual state of abeyance.

As a people we have had to suffer frequent downgrades by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s eventually attracting junk status under the former government. The final nail was delivered three months ago when the newly elected Mottley government deliberately defaulted on foreign loan payments and the inevitable SD rating resulted.

Another dent to the psyche of Barbadians etch forever in the blogmaster’s mind is the spillage of sewage that occurred on the South Coast. Some argue that it is a poorly design plant that brought us to this point. Even if this view is accepted there is evidence that the plant was poorly maintained and misuse by consumers largely ignored- even today-  which has contributed to the current state. The lethargy shown by the last government to quickly address the problem on the South Coast given the catastrophic ramifications continues to be a source of discomfort for the blogmaster. What manner of people would have approved millions to build government buildings, travel first class and be accommodated in 4 and 5 star hotels, buy luxury vehicles, BUT, ignore the warning that the South Coast Sewage plant was under stress nearly two years before it escalated to the public attention?

We can engage in the useless political exercise of blaming Bees and Dees, the challenge confronting BARBADIANS is rehabilitating the Barbados brand which has been done irreparable harm. The job at hand- should we chose to accept- how do we inflate the Bajan psyche to create people confidence by encouraging many hands to make light of the work to be done.





  • “Before leaving the Barbados Transport Board a number of Leyland Power-Plus Chassis had arrived at the Transport Board, to be fitted later with bodies manufactured by ACME.”

    Kaspar Coward

    Then I stand corrected…… you’re the first person I’ve known to ever mention the TB bought Leyland Power-Plus chassis that were fitted with bodies manufactured by ACME…….and my father was a bus driver.

    Thanks for the information.

    I believe I have read your contributions on forum such as Photobucket.

    I have seen a number of discussion forum with a few individuals that posted contributions about TB’s early operations……and it seems as though some of them were mechanics who subsequently migrated to the UK after stints at TB.

    But I’ve never read anything written by them or heard from anyone I spoke to that mentioned the Leyland you referred to.

    Many of the people I spoke with all recalled the Leyland Albion Victor, which, based on information received…….were fitted with Weymann bodies…….

    ………..and Leyland Tiger Cub (Weymann bodies) that were ordered in 1959 and arrived here in 1960.

    The Bedford SB was fitted with Marshall bodies.

    Are you also suggesting the 1960 models of Mercedes O321H, Leyland Tiger Cub and AEC Reliance buses were fitted with bodies that were not manufactured by ACME?

    ACME moved to Cane Garden, St. Thomas……at the site where L & N Workshop is now located. You can this information.

    Despite what Hal Austin seems to be sarcastically implying, you can’t get much information on the modern day operations of TB via Google……..and far less what occurred with that entity during the 1950s and 1960s.

    Additionally, there is very little information on line about the private concessionaires, such as the ones that operated from where Rubis Barbarees Hill is now located and Yonkers in Eagle Hall……. as well as National, Central and the more recent Elite and Rocklyn Bus Companies.

    I also learnt that there was a bus station that serviced the northern parishes, which operated from Lone Star Garage in the Gardens, St. James.

    So……..under these circumstances, why on earth would anyone want to rely on Google for any information on this topic?

    But we are all aware of Austin’s particular agenda.

    Ironically, the name of my project is similarly called “Barbados Transport Through the Ages” as well……….and I have several articles and photos of buses, trains, trams etc I sourced from old newspaper clippings and people who were willing to share information with me.

    It would be enlightening if you could share bit more information on TB’s early operations.


  • Artax’
    In 2005 the Transport Board published a magazine called Transport Board:50 years of service 1955-2005. It is possible that they still have some copies. It contains a lot of interesting information.
    An interesting piece in this magazine,which was not known to many .” On May 18 ,1956 ,the bus fleet of 116 was reduce to 106 when 10 buses were returned to concessionaire Mr Birch of Progressive Bus Company”. Apparently Mr Birch had paid a visit to the Transport Board’s Weymouth Compound one night after his buses were taken over,and was abhorred at the sight of his “birds sleeping in the open” and requested their return.They were eventually retaken sometime in the mid-60’s.
    I suspect that in the first instance the Transport Board was glad to get shot of them as they included some heavy Bedford SB steel bodied buses with big gas guzzling engines. These were changed out to diesel engines after the second take over.
    Some of the first buses to arrive in Barbados with enclosed steel bodies make bu Duple in the UK were on Bedford OB chassis and were operated by Tudor of the National Bus Company (?). They were quickly phased out .When I went to the Transport Board in the early 60’s the patent body was being removed from the last one to be replaced by an old wooden body.


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