Senator urges youth to keep their family business going
It is important that young black Barbadians who come from a background of family businesses understand that after they have become educated they should continue that family affair.
This advice came from Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner as she delivered remarks to the students of Harrison College this morning as they climaxed their African Awareness Month celebrations.
Sandiford-Garner told the students that their involvement in family businesses would aid in succession planning which she said some black business owners had historically neglected to do.
The topic of her speech was James A. Tudor, the “father of commerce” in Barbados, who had many businesses and land across the island. However, though he had 21 children, his legacy did not last because he failed to have a succession plan. The senator said currently only one of Tudor’s children operated a business.
“You always hear that being said about black businesspeople as a whole. We sometimes do not have a succession plan. I belong to that sector as well and I have always had.
“But I have a succession plan because I have told my children that you will not leave school and work for anyone else unless it is to get experience to come and use it for your family business.
“Those of you in here who have family businesses understand that you would have inherited a great legacy, and it is your responsibility to contribute to it because that is what feeds you, and that is what educates you,” Sandiford-Garner said.
The senator clearly indicated that she was not forcing anybody, but simply advising children that if they are exposed to a family business they should see how they can operate it or even take it to a different level.
“But keep it in your family. We work hard to establish these businesses,” she said.
Giving the students the history of Tudor’s life, Sandiford-Garner stressed that he never received a knighthood, was not accorded an official funeral, does not stand as a National Hero or nor has he been recognised as a treasure –– which she said was sad and unfortunate.
“But the documented facts state without a shadow of a doubt that James A. Tudor is worthy of being recognized nationally as the black man responsible for changing the face of commerce in this country and enabling the success of every single black businessperson in operation today.
“It is unquestionable that his contribution deserves more than a roundabout carrying his name; and the fact that you this morning displayed to me that not many of you knew who James Tudor was articulates that more should be done to teach Barbadians about James A. Tudor.”
During the month the students of the Crumpton Street, St Michael institution engaged in various activities that heightened their African awareness.