The Adrian Loveridge Column – Realizing Bree St. John’s Dream for Oistins Town

Oistins Town

Every time I drive through Oistins and pass the now demolished former District Hospital and its environs, from a tourism perspective it is difficult not to think what an incredible opportunity we have missed. While the Fish Fry over the years has become one, if not the most visited island attractions there is so much more we could do to enhance the area.

An extended and widened pier; a restaurant village overlooking the bay with its incredible natural breezes, perhaps imitating the one at Marigot on the French St. Martin part of the island; a coastal water taxi to help minimise car parking requirements and give both visitors and locals alike a great alternative to current transportation options.

While Oistins currently provides a value-for-money dining options, not everyone wants to eat out of Styrofoam containers, especially now considering the greater environmental concerns. And to add to our title by some that Barbados is the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’, a greater restaurant choice would raise the overall earnings for the area and in my humble opinion drive even more visitors.

The existing bus ‘terminal’ could easily be moved across the road and the present toilet facilities serving the fish fry, enhanced and better monitored from a hygiene perspective. Even if this means imposing a small charge to staff and clean modified versions.

Such a concept would also greatly enhance our struggling fishing industry, that is currently struggling to compete with the increased volume of imported refrigerated containers full of tax and duty-free frozen food. This situation will be dramatically aggravated as the scheduled hundreds of additional all-inclusive rooms come online in December further pushing up our import bills and foreign exchange requirement.

While Government is under severe fiscal pressure, this is when the private sector has to step up and assume at minimum the conception, implementation and construction lead. It was interesting to read recently about the formation of Williams Caribbean Capital.

Maybe the timing is perfect, when our existing traditional banking sector seemingly is being more than cautious about supporting new tourism investment facilitation, some new funding competitive options may aid and stimulate the only sector that can take the country out of our economic malaise.

I will always cherish the memories of at least two former Ministers of Tourism, Sir Harold St. John and Peter Morgan and as everything seems to come down to partisan politics, two outstanding people who were poles apart from a political standpoint. Both however possessed the incredibly important virtue of listening to people, whether they were from the lower social stratum of society or elevated in status.

Even if neither ended up following any advice proffered, they listened and that is all most of us can reasonably expect. Sir Harold and in fairness, Lady Stella had a dream for Oistins, or Oistins Town as he would frequently refer to it.

Let us not forget that ‘dream’ and help make become it a reality.

Empty derelict buildings and idle abandoned land do not generate taxes, employment or attract investment. Government has clearly demonstrated, at least in certain selected instances, that it can fast-track ‘big picture’ projects from a planning perspective.

Could Oistins be one of these targeted areas for augmented development?

Unification of the Magna Carta: The Model for Constitutions in the English Speaking World

A copy of the Magna Carta from Sailsbury Cathedral

A copy of the Magna Carta from Sailsbury Cathedral

Although Magna Carta was signed in 1213, it was issued on 15 June 1215. Magna Carta represents the most important part of the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in the English speaking world. It was used as a model for many of the colonies, including Barbados, as they were developing their own legal systems and the constitutions as they became independent.

Barbados’ own Treaty of Oistins, signed at the Mermaid Tavern in Oistins in 1652 depends heavily on Magna Carta. And the US Constitution, that incorporates large chunks of the Treaty of Oistins, also heavily depends on Magna Carta

Magna Carta put into law certain rights that we tend to take for granted today. Such as that no freeman can be punished, except through the law of the land. Of course, today the word “freeman” refers to all men and women. The actual clause, translated, reads:

“29. NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.”

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Is There Oil In The South of Barbados?

Why has the government put oil exploration on the back burner?

Arising from one of the blogs yesterday titled Darcy Boyce Please COMMUNICATE, You Are The Servant the point was made by a Amused that there was exploration on the South East of Barbados many years ago on a land area which spawns Oistins to Silver Sands. The revelation provoked more than a little curiosity in the BU household to follow through on the accuracy of the information. The point was made that the information should be available at the Barbados Archives.

It turns out indeed that the land in question (Oistins to Silver Sands) was recorded on July 25, 1919 in the Courts of Barbados. It was signed by William Kellman Chandler, William Benjamin Hallam Messiah, Henry Graham Yearwood, George Laurie Pile and Charles Ernest Gooding.  The period of the Lease was for 50 years and expired May 12, 1972. British Union Oil Company sold out its interest in the Lease to the Gulf Oil Company.  Government in 1950 nationalised all outstanding oil leases.

In is interesting to note that British Union Oil sold to Gulf Oil and one may reasonably conclude that there had to be some high level of prospectivity in the findings at the time. To be fair, the technology obviously trailed that of today but there was a method back in the day to locating oil we have to admit.

To add to the intrigue the government nationalised the leases. What would have been the consideration for doing so if not monetary? To the layman, and BU is included, there must have been the thinking at the time that oil deposits existed in the area (Oistins to Silver Sands).

Although it is unlikely any government would have the courage to ‘dig up’ Oistins looking for oil, landowners in the area may want to be cautious when considering a decision to SELL! They should go to the Barbados Archives or where ever the information is lodged to be seized with all the information about where their lots land in the tract recorded by the Courts in 1919..

See BU notes below:

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