Call to BARP’s Membership

The blogmaster continues to follow the story regarding a call to BARP’s membership to attend the AGM- the rule requires 200 members in good financial standing to achieve a quorum. 

It begs the question why the Barbados Association of Retired Persons with close to thirty thousand members representing a cross section of the local population has been unable to raise a quorum. One far fetched reason is that the meeting being convened via ZOOM, far fetched because BARP has a significant 50s professional membership. BARP has rescheduled the meeting for December 06, 2021 via ZOOM in difference to the prevailing COVID 19 condition.

A key agenda item to be discussed at BARP’s AGM is to approve a team to intervene in the upcoming Barbados Light & Power (BL&P) rate review. The BARP president has raised public concern regarding the impact an increase in the electricity rate will have on its membership. The inability of BARP to raise a quorum to be an intervenor at the rate review goes to the root of our failing as a people to actively participate in civic engagement activities.

The blogmaster looks forward to BARP being able to host a successful AGM on December 06, 2021.

BARP considers protest against proposed BL&P rate hike

The Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP) is concerned that the hike in electricity rates proposed by the Barbados Light & Power Company, (BL&P) will be burdensome and unbearable for its members, and plans to intervene on their behalf.
BL&P has applied for a substantial increase in its rates and tariffs that would see the domestic rates per kwh increase between 33.3 per cent and 42.9 per cent, and the cost for new service (below 200 amps) jumping from $50 to as much as $130.
BARP is hoping to assemble a highpowered team of individuals of various skills to protest the steep increase.
“Since all rates are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT), such a steep increase will be even more severe for our members. We must make our voice heard, not only for our members but for all ratepayers,” said BARP president Marilyn Rice-Bowen.
She confirmed that the proposed intervention will be discussed at BARP’s annual general meeting which will be held next Monday via Zoom.In its 1,300-page application to the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), the BL&P said that following adjustments for rate-making purposes, its profits fell from $53.4 million in 2019 to $28.7 million in 2020.
The BL&P had also stated that its application for a rate hike was only its second in 40 years, and acknowledged the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent ashfall and Hurricane Elsa, had on ratepayers. (BT)

Source: Barbados Today


51 thoughts on “Call to BARP’s Membership

  1. @David, as ‘wise’ heads may say: ‘ but why yah so doh’! 😂

    You got yah new 3 day commentaries blog rules and den still post fresh meaty articles seeking active debate to a third day closing/closed blog! Wha yah sa wicked, tho!

    Anyhow…. On this BARP matter … when yah enroll it’s like almost dun and forget….. all the discounts and related benefits accrue with de annual subs paid so attending meetings becomes almost passé, not so! (Unless u want to hobnob and catch ole friend … which of course you can do anytime because … WELL yah retire and comfortable enough to invite people for tea and conkies) .

    So one attends meetings when SPECIAL matters like this occur. The power of a BARP is NOT finding regular quorum but being able to galvanize massive support rather effectively and quickly for big concerns; like this.

    In sum: I imagine they will get the attendance required!

    Now … on the “closed blog” matter…

    Patterson wrote well re OUR president retaining the Dame designation. It’s a lot more that ‘optically infra dig” as I believe he said. It’s absurd.

    The fact is that as we all know too well, most of our elite measure themselves against peers in the world (and Commonwealth specifically) so the British honorific is a badge they wear very proudly when they attend conferences and other international fora … it’s their emblem of achievement boldly ‘in their face’ of former university colleagues and professional peers.

    It stands to reason that ALL previously designated with a previous title like Sir or Dame would be equally eligible for our now local highest order but how many would quickly and readily give up that one for this new one! …. I laugh deeply as I think of that….

    No disrespect intended here so in sotto voce I say:

    Yah think that Sir Elliott would have said to his daughter : Mia let’s put off my knighthood until later when you finalize the Republic status; I want to proudly be a first among the ranks of the Order of Barbados. Yah think!

    Or to our recently departed Othneil … after expending a few of his millions or billions to attend the palace directly for his ascension to knighthood, I find it hard to conceive that he would more greatly embrace a new order and dismiss the other.

    It’s a lovely game of smoke and mirrors is how I would graciously describe it … but then again would my long deceased relative give over his OBE (or whatever it was) for a newly minted Republic one … I really don’t know.

    A lot of us measure awards with badly jaundiced (prejudiced) eyes.

    But regardless it’s an absurd contradiction of the Highest Order for our new Republc president to retain her collegial (now bragging rights only worth) Bristish designation.

    I gone.

    • @Dee Word

      People tend to miss the water when the well runs dry as they say. The blogmaster does not have the time or the patience at this time to be chase short pants behaviour.

  2. @ David
    This is a cultural short coming. We have organizations with thousands of members and the quorum is usually very small yet they often not met.
    Most times they are met during a crisis. For example, I was a member of an organization where we never had to worry when salaries were on the agenda!

    • @William

      This is try but in this scenario there is an agenda item that should have demanded BARP members attend the first meeting. It definitely says something about us which permeates all areas now we conduct our lives.

  3. Much like some people turn to church when they develop some physical or health ailment, some people turn to BARP because they reap some financial benefit from showing its card.

  4. @ William
    Organizations cannot “ demand” that members attend meetings. As we continue to transform our society, we are going to continuously realise that habits and cultural norms must be discarded.
    You will note how the distribution of receptacles for garbage is being treated by some citizens.

  5. @David
    You’ve touched on a subject that affects many organisations; be they cultural; sports; political; alumni you name it. Much of the heavy lifting is done by a few dedicated individuals but many others expect to reap the rewards. I’m sure you’ve read about prominent members of our cricket fraternity who turn up to vote or expect to lead it when they were not even financially up to date.

    Cancelling meetings because there is no quorum? Its not unheard of, happens frequently.

    • Sad but true Sargeant, the irony is that The same Bajans are quick to cry for change. Nothing will change until this attitude by Barbadians to upping their level of participation.

  6. @ David Bu
    People join groups to achieve specific objectives. It is quite rational to attend meetings that address impacts on those objectives.In the case of BARP,they usually get quora for their Annual General meetings and matters that would impact their diminishing incomes. BARP by definition is for the aging and aged cohorts.In these depressing times do you expect members to attend meetings? Do you expect them to know the techniques of zoom? And spend money on computers and internet services ?
    We must tailor practices to operate in a changing environment. Let the elected officers deal with the 1 K page convoluted document. of the BL&P. That is why they were elected.

    • @Vincent

      Explained in the blig is the fact thousands of BARP members are working profyin their 50s conversant with the use of technology.

  7. @ David Bu
    The 50 year olds should .They still have 15 more years to work. It is the majority cohort of 65 to 85 year olds that make up the majority population of BARP that I am referencing.

    • @Vincent

      Fair enough, your point is understood. The 50 year old professions are in it for the reasons you, Sargeant and Dee Word offered. A shame!

  8. Skinner
    If it is being demanded, legalized, according to Michael Mansfield, to take a vaccine, it is not at all unexpected that such a demand becomes legal as well. Don’t you not see the former vastly more problematic than the latter?

  9. @ Pacha
    There are attempts everyday to use legislation to legalize what the “ Maximum Leaders” want so an absolute danger exists. They simply would not call it a demand anyhow ; just the law and failure to follow would have fines , penalties etc.
    Just a few days ago, a national hero was presented as a “ surprise” .
    So, our “ democracy” is starting to resemble Animal Farm , almost every hour. Slavery without the whip !

  10. @Vincent Codrington December 5, 2021 2:08 PM “…do you expect members to attend meetings? Do you expect them to know the techniques of zoom? And spend money on computers and internet services?”

    Shame, shame, shame on me. I am a member of BARP and I read and ignored the notice to attend the zoom meeting. Because I am lazy and expect other people to attend the meeting for me. Even though I am closer to 70 than 50 I do know how to use the Zoom thingy, and in fact attended church by zoom for most of last year and much of this year. Now that I have been properly shamed by the BU crowd, I will attend.

  11. Maybe I should be worried about my electricity bill, but at present honestly I am not, since I am such a modest user my bill has been mostly under $90 BDS per month for years or perhaps decades. And yes I do understand that sharp increases in the cost of electricity can have a knock on effect and lead to an increase in the prices of all good and services which use electricity which is just about everything.

    And “yes” I know that inflation is a monster.

  12. The Credit Unions had to introduce food to get persons to attend AGMs. Persons were then turning up eating and leaving as voting was in the afternoon. Now voting comes before the food by a specific time. What does it say about Bajans self concern and civic responsibility.

  13. Dang! I knew I was forgetting something! One has to register first, I hope I am not too late.

    David, I understand that BARP is cliqish and that only CERTAIN members’ opinions are respected. Last year, I ran into an “ordinary” lady with great ideas. She has no airs nor graces, just plain so but very articulate and logical AND practical.

    She gave up trying.

    This is probably why many people, including myself, give up on attending many activities in Barbados. You have to belong to the clique or you either get piled on, criticised and told your ideas WON’T WORK or they ignore your comments totally and there is deafening silence before they turn their heads to a clique member and continue as though you never spoke.

    Not a cliqish person and so I know how that feels.

    • @Donna

      Like many similar entities there are a few who are loud at the meetings. Their voices gain currency because they are regulars and build relationships over time.

  14. @KammieH 1.16am
    I was told some years back, there was a small group of people who owned a share or two in every company they could. It was explained it was all about the food at shareholder gatherings. And this crew didn’t miss a single opportunity.

  15. David,

    NO EXCUSES! It should have nothing to do with relationships. I can learn something from a drunk man whom I never met before.

    It is about the idea presented. It is the idea that excites me. If it is good then I do not care from whom it came.

    People who close their ears to every idea that comes from outside their clique are left begging for enough members to make a quorum.

  16. This clique thing to which @ Donna refers, is also a major problem with PTAs, especially at the primary schools level.
    We love to close our eyes and pretend that these norms are non existent.
    Finally, a lot of nonsense is being brutally exposed. I support becoming a republic and we have gone from adult suffrage to independence to republic but we have not discarded or fought long and hard enough to correct many societal issues. Far from so doing, we have defended , nurtured encouraged and protected them .
    The very last one was to invite the former slave master to be our guest of honor and then give him our highest national award at what was supposed to be our defining statement of kicking his ass out of our affairs.
    The well executed cultural presentation was therefore clouded by that stupid act. And then we treated our local journalists like pig shit while the international ones were given proper professional courtesies.
    But. if we are so doancarish when it comes to ensuring we at least get quorums at meetings;what can we really expect. Connect the frigging dots . Stop the crocodile tears…………..,,,

  17. Want to cure this non-attendance at AGM’s? Reduce the number required to form a quorum to some ridiculously low figure, with the stipulation that any decisions voted on and passed cannot be reversed for a period of under one year. Their may encourage those who care about the organization to be present when important decision are to be made. First low-quorum meeting raises membership dues by 200%. That should either get them out in their numbers or drive them away.

  18. Yup! At PTAs also!

    We are a clique society. I don’t do cliques. Up to this year I received a birthday call from a really nice former classmate of mine from the QC association. We talked for hours though I had not seen her since we both left school. She was not one of my best friends but we sure talked as though we were.

    Still can’t bring myself to join the association.

    Often cliques are the reason why we fail to progress. I literally cannot deal with the clique thing right now.

  19. RE This is probably why many people, including myself, give up on attending many activities in Barbados. You have to belong to the clique or you either get piled on, criticised and told your ideas WON’T WORK or they ignore your comments totally and there is deafening silence before they turn their heads to a clique member and continue as though you never spoke.



  20. @David… My understanding is the meeting tonight will officially start at 5:30 pm tonight.

    The Zoom “room” will likely be open before then; the email notice giving the link says it “…will be open at 4:30 p.m” for those who like to ensure their connectivity, hardware, and software stacks are working correctly.

  21. I am seeing little comedy sketches of people being patted down at the airport in Barbados. One is extremely funny. It is where travelers with guns are allowed to pass and only the passenger with the bottle of water is challenged.

    It is good when we can find humor even in bad circumstances. I will not go into conspiracy theories. I think a mistake was made. Perhaps assumptions, a friendship or deference was the cause of the breach in security.

  22. It is unfortunate when events like that one happens, but they are the canary in the cage. They let us know that our vigilance is slipping and that we need to remain alerts as threats can emerge from various sources.

    Instead of dropping the hammer on members of staff, a severe tongue lashing may be adequate. I am willing to bet that the best screener during the past few days was the person who goofed.

  23. Good evening everyone.

    For anyone who registered for the BARP AGM (and received a Zoom link) but didn’t follow the link, PLEASE do so.

    BARP don’t yet have the numbers they need. Although many serious people are in the Zoom, collectively listening to Christmas tunes…

  24. @David, @Skinner and @Donna … seriously!

    You are newly disgusted about cliques or clanish bias or Bajans loving a freeness (in this case food) rather than substantive discourse at meetings! Fah trute.

    I am a senior like u guys (unisex descriptor). I encountered that eins ago when I left school and along with a few like minded folk joined my alumni in an attempt to shake things up … I had an active run there and on and off have for many years.

    That to say, of course all of what u added is true but that has been the case long before our times. It is left to the individual to ‘make that change’ and always will be… it will never happen just because it’s now Republic Day!

    And @David re “There is a proposal to reduce the quorum from 200 to 100.”

    That’s a MASSIVE STEEUPSE. Are INTELLIGENT people to be lauded for doing the damn OBVIOUS!

    They had that high number because of hubris. I would graciously say.

    Looka, I have gone through enough ‘Robert’s Rules of Order’ debate reviews and modifying constitutions to do my play-play lawyer ting 🤣 … but one key thing I learned is REAL lawyers and super ego professionals does befuddle these types of organizations with lots of unneeded BS … it was freaking COMMONSENSE to do what was needed to reduce that quorum long ago but BS prevailed I am sure.

    I saw similar absurdity at Bdos Cricket Meetings (not quorum issues) just pure BS grandstanding. I was the type (yes @GP) to challenge the BS then too.

    So yes they are always a crew whose “voices gain currency because they are regulars and build relationships over time”. That is the everlasting focus of life: working from the outside to become an insider. Or in the words of another here … to become a the perfect anarchist : destroy what is to create what isn’t!

    I gone.

  25. @Dribbler et al… Please forgive me for this, but we’re just trying to get something done.

    A mentor of mine once told me that walls are presented to ensure those who get to the other side are motivated to get there.

  26. OMG, @David, !

    At least Stafford had that rather ‘engaging’ Brit twang (accent). But yes, talk about grandstanding on occasions!

    Smith was seemingly quite the ‘snob’ and acted as if the world should revolve around his rhetoric.

    Is he still within our mortal realm?

    A famous bajan family no doubt … yah think they have any S.C. type intrigue amongst Sleepy, Joe Physics and himself! 🙈😇

  27. Steupse! Walls are created to keep certain people out.

    I don’t do cliques. I have no intention of trying to get inside by becoming like the pack. More often than not, the pack is made up of puffed up, pretensive prigs, “getting on like duh mek duhselves”.

    When I go to my credit union, the members talk freely to each other as they wait in line. There is a sense that we are connected. When I go to BARP, there is a stiffness and a distance between certain members.

  28. Looks like a grab for membership and reduce cost on the insurance program but it is all good.

    40 and up for BARP

    BARBADIANS 40 years old and up can now join the Barbados Association of Retired Persons (BARP).
    On Monday night BARP, which caters mainly to retirees, made a decisive shift by passing a resolution to allow people in that age category to become members. The previous age to join was 50.
    President Marilyn Rice-Bowen told the MIDWEEK NATION they expect a flood of applicants, as there were 44 000 people in Barbados in that category. The organisation currently has a membership of 22 000.
    The resolution was passed by the majority of members who tuned in to BARP’s 26th annual general meeting, which was held online for the first time.
    “It was a very energetic meeting. The resolution didn’t just pass without opposition,” she said of the 219 people in attendance.
    Main factors
    Rice-Bowen, who was returned unopposed as president, said adjusting the age had to do with two main factors. “One would ask why 40? What our experience has been is that when most people join BARP at 50 and they come to seek assistance with their retirement planning, it is usually too late because they don’t have sufficient time and certainly they don’t have the money.
    “Therefore we thought it would be better to lower the joining age to allow the 40-year-olds, who are also professionals, to join BARP and have access to retirement planning tools, ensuring that these 40-year-olds when they reach our age – retirement age – they would be in a stronger financial position.
    “That is one of the major focuses because what we have seen is that quite a lot of people thought they would not need as much money in their retirement age and they do.”
    She said the other reason was BARP’s most-sought-after group health benefit programme.
    “We recognise that there are quite a few young professionals who are self-employed, therefore they do not have access to a group medical plan.
    “There are also 40-year-olds who do have a health group plan, but we always advise people that is also good to have a secondary health plan,” the president said, pointing to loss of employment
    as one of the reasons.
    Health plan
    “So it gives them the opportunity to have a health plan that they can walk with wherever they go.” Rice-Bowen said having that age group on board would help fund the existing health plan.
    “One must recognise that the plan is ageing and this injection of funds from the 40-year-olds would ensure that the plan remains sustainable.”
    She also said BARP was looking forward to having this group on board since they would bring a new perspective and be active participants on the various committees.
    Rice-Bowen said while BARP would have to do some tidying up in terms of its name, the organisation would still be focused on the seniors.
    “What we would do as a membership organisation is to ensure that we meet our different cohorts where they are, and we are flexible enough to do that.”
    She said the new entrants would enjoy all the benefits seniors enjoy with the BARP card, which is widely used for discounts at several businesses. The other members of BARP’s executive committee are vicepresident Dame Billie Miller, treasurer Monica Hinds, secretary Henry Barrow, and directors Eric Smith, Clorinda Alleyne, Lolita Applewhaite, Tony Marshall and Professor Andrew Downes.

  29. Wuhloss! BARP is lowering the eligibility age for membership in the organisation to 40, that should make it easier to get a quorum for their next meeting.

    I have a suggestion for the organisation, remove eligibility age and let all Bajans join, the more the merrier😊

  30. SargeantDecember 8, 2021 10:40 AM

    Wuhloss! BARP is lowering the eligibility age for membership in the organisation to 40, that should make it easier to get a quorum for their next meeting.

    I have a suggestion for the organisation, remove eligibility age and let all Bajans join, the more the merrier😊


    Then become a political party and throw your hat in the ring!!

    D’s and B’s can’t compete as they have nothing to offer the masses.

  31. @🐇/🐰
    The closing of blogs means that unless one answers in a timely manner then one is forced to deposit responses in a different blog…

    I see that you continue to draw no distinction between flood water, wastewater, sewage and drinking water.

    A single doctor is reprimanded for using ivermectin and you point to ivermectin use as responsible for the change in St Lucia’s infection rate.

    You are twisting facts to suit your arguments; you are mixing truth and untruth in a single response.

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