Left out

Former First Lady; Opposition unhappy with Heroes Day tribute

“Strategically inappropriate and unacceptable”

That’s how one former first Lady today has described Government’s plans to honour only one of this island’s seven Prime Ministers during tomorrow’s tribute event in National Heroes Square.

Today workmen were seen putting the finishing touches to the plan for tomorrow’s Heroes Day event.
Today workmen were seen putting the finishing touches to the plan for tomorrow’s Heroes Day event.


In response to a letter from Maxine McClean, chairperson of the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebration; Coordinating Committee, Stella Lady St John, widow of the late Bernard St John — the country’s third Prime Minister who served from March 11, 1985 until May 29, 1986 — accused Government of committing a grave error of omission in its preparations for the event, entitled: A tribute to the Prime Ministers of Barbados: Friends of all, Satellites of None.

“ . . . You end that letter by writing that, ‘you seek my input into what will be a stirring and fitting acknowledgement of Barbados’ seven Prime Ministers.

“[However] in your letter you failed to state that you intended to unveil a portrait of only one Prime Minister,” she told McClean, who is this country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

“Since that particular Prime Minister has already got a delegated holiday of his own – Errol Barrow Day, January 21st, I seriously suggest that portrait be unveiled on that day,” the former first lady said, while also suggesting that a more “fitting and stirring acknowledgement” of the island’s 50th anniversary of political independence would be the “unveiling of seven portraits of all seven Prime Ministers or none at all”.

Earlier, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) had also accused the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration of seeking to politicize celebrations marking this year’s 50th anniversary.

Addressing a group of party supporters late last week, General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott said he felt the intention behind tomorrow’s ceremony was to pay tribute to one prime minister in particular.

Dr Walcott did not identify the Prime Minister by name, but he told the gathering at the Central Bank’s Grand Salle the DLP administration had been slighting the Opposition in relation to the Independence anniversary activities.

Walcott, said he expected further discrimination on Heroes Day, April 28, when the Prime Ministers would be honoured.  “[Tomorrow] the circus, or the charade, will continue where there will be a ceremony to honour the Prime Ministers of Barbados, and the intention is to honour one Prime Minister, primarily,” Walcott said at the time.

“We all will wait and see on that, in terms of how many Prime Ministers will be honoured,” he added.

His comments came against the backdrop of a lecture delivered by policy and planning specialist Kirk Humphrey. The subject was A Role for Adaptive Leadership in a Time of Crisis
in Barbados

Welcoming persons to Humphrey’s presentation Walcott said his suspicions were justified by past instances of discrimination against the BLP in the activities for the celebrations.

“When a committee could be established to develop a number of programmes and activities, and the Barbados Labour Party, which formed the Government for 24 of those 50 years, would not be even invited to send a representative, then I say something is wrong,” the former Minister of Health said.

“Furthermore, when the leader of our party could attend the first event in Independence Square without having received an invitation, then to be given an apology . . . later by a Permanent Secretary that it was some problem that occurred, this is just not right.”

Dr Walcott also accused the organizers of the recent dramatic presentation at Golden Grove Plantation, St Philip, tracing Barbados’ development from the 1816 Bussa slave rebellion through to Independence until today, of a “ bold attempt to re-write and re-interpret history and to try to denigrate the contribution of the Right Excellent Grantley Adams to this country, one of our National Heroes.

“It is not right,” he said. (GA)

7 Responses to Left out

  1. Ivy-Anne Duke
    Ivy-Anne Duke April 28, 2016 at 1:25 am

    I’m no scholar, journalist of linguist but something reads oddly strange about this lead Barbados Today.
    “‘Strategically inappropriate and unacceptable’. That’s how one former first Lady today has described Government’s plans to honour only one of this island’s seven Prime Ministers during tomorrow’s tribute event in National Heroes Square.” From all the ads that I have heard and read, Government said they would honour all seven prime ministers in the tribute. So is IT Barbados Today’s or Stella St John’s opinion or fact that Government will only honour one?

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 28, 2016 at 3:44 am

    This woman never ceases to amaze me. After her escapades in Llaro Court that subsequently contributed to the fed up stances that led Barbadians to end the Prime Ministerial reign of her late husband, one would think that this woman’s propensity to strut her high minded mentality for Stella St. John to be seen, recognized, glorified and bow down too, would have stopped as she grows in wisdom. But, somethings never changed. Mrs. St.John, Lady St. John Esq, do you not know that your behaviour in Illaro Court is primarily responsible for your husband’s short stint as Prime Minister? You are to heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.

  3. Wasman April 28, 2016 at 7:47 am

    If D, B or G was in office all would have politicize it so what! you didn’t get the chance to do it because you were beaten in the last election so live with it. Stupes

  4. dave April 28, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Well Well Well -Errol Barrow has a Big statute in Barbados already. The best legacy , however, for Freundel Stuart and his band of merrymen/women is return the University of the West Indies to viability and provide the nation’s youth with increased opportunities to be trained and educated. That is what Freundel Stuart should be doing and stop using Taxpayers money to fuel his campaign for reelection, undeserved as it might be.

  5. Jackson Unplugged April 28, 2016 at 11:48 am

    It is always dissppointing to read these comments

  6. Sam Clarke April 28, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    This is totally unacceptable to the people of Barbados. This government has been engaging in tribal politics, since it has been talking up the 50th anniversary of Barbados.
    While Prime Minister Errol Barrow led us into independence, what the DLP administration has been doing, is a disservice to those who served this country.
    This shows the lack of maturity in this current lot of the DLP. This should be a time of inclusion and not vindictive politics. In this time of serious economic, and social instability in Barbados, the more for this administration to be reaching out to the people of this country.

    Real Leaders lead, and don’t play petty politics at a time when this country needs serious healing.

  7. Big Brown May 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Lady St. John is 100% correct. If you are honouring our Prime Minsters since Independence then they should all be honoured equally. This is the sign of an immature Government. This lot is trying so hard to hold onto the few Barrow Dems left that they will stop at nothing. By contrast it was the BLP that erected the statue of Barrow.

    Why is it that we only heard the voices of the 4 DLP Prime Minsters during the video presentation that night in Heroes Square. The Dems never cease to amaze me. They like they frighten for 3 dead men and the ones in St. John still voting for 2 dead men.


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