Barbados Today Read, Watch, Listen & Discuss Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:07:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 WALK HOLY Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:07:59 +0000 As Bajans look to a range of activities, including fetes and shows, over the Easter weekend, the head of the Roman Catholic Church is raising concerns about how Barbados now treats the holiest period on the Christian calendar. 

Bishop Jason Gordon told Barbados TODAY he was worried that more people were losing their respect for all that is godly and the island was now evenly divided between those who are deeply committed to God and those who have moved away from Christian ideals. He is particularly concerned about             the youth.

Bishop James Gordon

Bishop Jason Gordon

“We have a lot of young people . . . who are very active in our church. There are a lot of young people who are not coming to church, and are staying away not only from the church and the traditional services of the church, but also not understanding the seasons and the times.

“People are not keeping Holy Week holy, having bashments and fetes at a time deemed as the most holy time in the life of the church,”  he lamented.

“There was a time when the society would not have done that. I would say that on the level of society there is a loss of sensitivity to the religious seasons; and that loss of sensitivity to the religious seasons is indicating a society moving away from its Christian ideals, and moving away from the faith of its forefathers.”

During an interview at his Ladymeade Gardens, St Michael office today, he warned that moving away from Christian ideals would take Barbados down the wrong path. He advised that that the Easter message struck at the very heart of the lives of Barbadians.

Adding that Easter was a reminder of the time Christ died for His people, Bishop Gordon said the Resurrection was not just an historic event.

“He is God’s son, and everything that Jesus said is true, and God’s raising Him from the dead is saying to us that death has no power; that the power of death is ended. That means, that the power of drugs is ended; the power of addiction is ended; the power of sickness is ended; the power of all the negatives in society is ended.

“But we have to believe it, and we have to want to follow Him to see the end of the negatives and the emergence of the positives. But if we are going to follow the path where we have no consciousness of God, then all the negatives are going to be there,” the Roman Catholic bishop said.

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Sugar strike ends Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:35:18 +0000 After six days of intense and sometimes charged negotiations under the chairmanship of Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, the crippling Portvale Sugar Factory strike is over.

Agreement in the dispute that caused an eight-day work stoppage was finally reached just before 1 am this Good Friday.

At 12.56 am, Minister Suckoo announced in a joint statement which was also signed by General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union Sir Roy Trotman and General Manager of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company Leslie Parris, that the parties agreed to immediately resume sugar production.

“After indepth discussions, the minister is satisfied that there have been misunderstandings in the redundancy consultation process. The parties agreed to seek solutions to those unresolved issues. The parties further commit to completing those discussions by April 30, 2014,” said the joint communique.

The BWU and BAMC also agreed that, in the case of any redundancy situation, all appropriate and applicable methods, including consultation, would be utilized in dealing with those people impacted and their unions.

“The parties further agree that the full consultative process will . . . be used to determine how the best and most efficient use may be made of the labour component,” continued the accord.

The two sides said, too, that they remained committed to upholding all of this country’s labour laws.

“The parties further commit to observe the established norms and procedures founded in the Barbados voluntaristic system of labour management relations.”

The minister, in the statement, thanked both sides for their demeanour and civility during the meetings which she chaired and expressed satisfaction that the parties were able to resolve the issue in the national interest.

The BWU had been protesting what it said was the BAMC’s disrespect for the workers when it retrenched 57 employees from Andrews Sugar Factory in the middle of negotiations earlier this month. It was also requesting enhanced severance packages for those workers made redundant.

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Sugar deal! Fri, 18 Apr 2014 05:09:28 +0000 There’s finally been a deal struck to end the sugar impasse.

It has just been announced, after more than eight hours of talks, that there’s a settlement in the dispute between the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) which is representing workers at the Portvale Sugar Factory and the Barbados Agriculture Management Company (BAMC).

More details to follow.

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Still no settlement Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:20:15 +0000 It was a wait-and-see state of affairs late tonight as Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo continued her effort to bring a settlement to the eight-day strike by Portvale Sugar Factory workers.

Up to 10 p.m., management of the Barbados Agricultural Management Company was in one meeting with Byer-Suckoo, while the team from the Barbados Workers’ Union waited in another room for the BAMC to decide on the contents of a document, which should form the final agreement.

BWU general secretary Sir Roy Trotman had told reporters up to that point he was happy with the contents and was waiting on the management to sign off. He said the language of that document, which had been discussed in several back-and-forth sessions, was tantamount to the apology the union had been demanding from the company for the manner in which 57 Andrews Sugar Factory workers were made redundant earlier this month.

The union was also requesting enhanced severance payments packages for those retrenched employees.

The BAMC’s negotiating team included former Chief Labour Officer Mitch Codrington and former Minister of Labour Arnie Walters.

Just yesterday, Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick warned that Barbados was on the verge of losing the entire sugar crop if the dispute was not settled soon. He also expressed concern that the apology the union was demanding was a basis for calling a strike which he said had shut down the sugar industry and put the economy in further jeopardy.

However, earlier today, Sir Roy said the “refusal” by management to apologize made him sick.

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Cancer medicine Vidatox launched Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:31:35 +0000  Cancer patients in Barbados can now enjoy a better quality of life, thanks to the medical research being undertaken in the Cuban Republic.

   Today, Queen Elizabeth Hospital radiologist Dr Shazad Mohamed, Cuban Ambassador to Barbados Lissette Perez and brand marketing consultant Sheldon Browne turned up at Lewis Drug Mart on Rockley Road, Christ Church, to launch the medication Vidatox at a Press conference.

In introducing Vidatox to the local market, Mohamed said: “The product is an adjuvant therapy to correct chemotherapy treatment and radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients. Right now, it is seen in Barbados that there is an increase in the numbers of cancer patients islandwide with varying types of cancers.

“This product aims to decrease the symptoms associated with the varying types of cancer. It is a homeopathic treatment derived from the venom of the blue scorpion Rhopalurus junceus, indigenous to Cuba. Research has been done in Cuba and worldwide with positive results. In summary, this medication will decrease the pain, will also increase the patient’s appetite, lighten their general mood, and at the end of the day with the improvement in their mental well-being and physical well-being, the product will be very valuable to the patient as it encompasses everything treatment-wise for the patient,” he added.

Mohamed told reporters that research on the medication had been done in Cuba and clinical trials had being carried out worldwide with the product being accepted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States.

Asked if Vidatox had been accepted by the local medical fraternity, Mohamed said: “We have approached some doctors, but remember that the product has just come onto the market. Some homeopathic doctors have agreed, but some doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are reading the literature to ensure that it is legitimate. Remember that this is still the early stages of the product.”

Speaking on behalf of the Cuban government, Ambassador Perez said Vidatox was the result of many years of research undertaken by Cuban scientists in Cuba.

She further stated that the medication was being sold as far afield as Mexico, Chile and Argentina in Latin America, Asian countries and Europe, and nearer home in Jamaica and St Lucia.

Meanwhile speaking on behalf of the local agents for the medication, consultant Browne told members of the Press that so far the first shipment of 60 bottles were already on local shelves.

Browne said the Barbados Drug Service was aware of the product and had approved it, but stressed that his company would be holding a series of town hall meetings to garner feedback from Barbadians.

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Babb solves Chase Vault mystery Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:30:07 +0000 Movement of coffins within the Chase Vault in the Christ Church Parish Church cemetery is owed to naturally occurring acts of nature; not obeah; not anything supernatural; and it is no mystery, says Fielding Babb.

Folklorist Fielding Babb

Folklorist Fielding Babb

The historian, folklorist and prominent Barbadian artist last night sought to debunk the centuries-old belief that mystic forces were responsible for shifting caskets in the Chase family vault.

Tales of unnatural movement of the coffins began circulating in Barbados since 1812 when the sealed vault was opened to lay to rest other members of the Chase family. Each time the caskets had mysteriously moved from their spots.

The story took currency and went around the world after being published in 1833, and is firmly embedded in Barbadian folklore.

But when delivering the presentation A Cultural Look At Christ Church in the Christ Church Parish Hall, Babb said the basic laws of physics would explain the phenomenon.

“When we look at the vault, the water seeped through the vault and the coffins [floated], because the coffins were airtight,” he told some 50 engrossed parishioners, including Minister of Health John Boyce.

“Anything that is airtight [and] has a boat shape, it can float, once the weight of the water is stronger than the weight of the casket, and when the tide goes down, whatever position the weight [places it], remains the casket . . . . That’s all it was.”

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Home for the homeless Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:15:38 +0000 There is hope for those hopeless Barbadians who have been laid off, are now unemployed, and living in despair.

The Roman Catholic Church in Barbados has launched The Hub to keep hope alive and the dignity intact for those in need.

The Hub is a non-denominational network of philanthropic organizations that will work to meet the challenges created by the present economic environment. The goal of The Hub is “to assist individuals in need by ensuring that they have access to adequate resources to meet their basic needs, while at the same time providing opportunities for them to achieve self-sufficiency through their participation in programmes of The Hub, its affiliated organizations and any other organization that has linkages to The Hub”.

During an interview with Barbados TODAY, Roman Catholic Church Bishop Jason Gordon, at his Ladymeade Gardens office, said The Hub could be simplified as people helping people through an avenue which creates a new way of connecting people within society.

He explained that during this time when the country was facing an economic downturn, The Hub was established to restore hope for many living at a challenging time of high unemployment which is being felt by parents, children and the extended family. As a result, the said the hub will be a place where the unemployed can find different levels of support and be comforted.

“We are hoping that through The Hub we would bring people together and more ventures would start, partnerships would emerge, people would have ideas and would throw them around and they might get into a little venture.

“But without a space in the worldwide web and a physical space for that level of interaction and meeting people would not have these anticipated opportunities,” he said.

“Everyone who comes to The Hub has something to offer and everyone who comes has something to receive where the distinction between those who
are helping and those who are being helped will be blurred as a community where skills and opportunities giving people a meaning way forward out of their challenges, would be formed,” the bishop, who ignited the project, added.

The church launched the hub on April 3. Since then, there has been a tremendous response as people have been constantly calling the office which is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Managing director of the project, Majorie Riley, who was also sitting in on the interview said she believed those opening hours might have to be extended “because of the number of people that are coming”.

We have a mobile that has been quite busy. What we are trying to do is to have them come in, fill out the forms and we have the other groups within the Catholic Church helping,” Riley said.

The managing director pointed out that it was important to note that those people who were newly unemployed were not only educated, skilful and talented, but also wanted to maintain their dignity, and as a result, the confidentiality of their information would be respected.

“Even though they are giving us information, just a selected few of people on The Hub committee will see that information which will not be going all over the place and people will feel secure in their minds that we are helping them to retain their dignity,” she stated.

She added: “The working and how we phrase ourselves is important. The people who come to us and register their skills, we call from the community who have things to offer, we call them them part of The Hub community and then we also have companies and individuals willing to provide services free of cost to members of The Hub and they are called associates.”

The Hub’s website will be launched within the next few weeks.

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Football showdown Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:03:01 +0000 The stage is now set for an exciting finale to the 2014 Barbados Football Cup at the National Stadium tomorrow.

Several teams have booked their places in the finals and among these are Barbados Soccer Academy (BSA) who won a penalty shootout 4-3 over Pro-Shottas in the under-17 semi-finals showdown today. 

Defending champions BSA stamped their authority early in the 22nd minute of play at the Harrison College ground when the ball went over midfielder Torian Went’s head to the far post on the left of the field and Jadon Norville was there to finish the job as he headed the ball past Pro-Shottas’ goal keeper Jerome Blackman.

BSA extended their lead in the 32nd minute when a clearance from goalkeeper Codee Scantlebury bounced over midfielder Zaid Quintyne’s head and was headed on by striker Carl Hinckson who used his speed to get clear on goal and then sublimely lobbed Pro-Shottas goalkeeper Blackman for a sensational finish. At half time the score was 2-0 and at this stage many believed that BSA would secure an easy victory.

Antoine Greaves of Pro Shottas (left) was brought to ground by the KFC Pinelands defenders.

Antoine Greaves of Pro Shottas (left) was brought to the ground by the KFC Pinelands defenders.

But Pro-Shottas came out in the second half with a different approach to their game where they were pushed the ball more up the field and often kept possession for lengthy periods. It was just a matter of time before they were rewarded for their industry and it came in the 60th minute through midfielder Quintyne who received an overhead pass from defender Albert Collymore and took a shot at goal but the ball was fumbled back into play by the BSA goalkeeper. This allowed Quintyne to follow through and score from the error.

In the 70th minute Pro Shottas’ confidence grew even more when midfielder Akeil Smith received a through ball from midfielder, D’Cangelo Ward which Smith cut back and right booted past the BSA custodian. There were ten minutes of extra time and both teams failed to add a goal which meant that the game went down to penalties which went BSA’s way.

Gall Hill would be the team standing in BSA’s way of retaining the championship after they defeated Cosmos 2-0 to secure their berth in the finals. The Christ Church-based team began their quest when the ball was played over the top by midfielder Rajohn Oxnard from the left of the field to striker Khalil Gill who slammed the ball to the right of Cosmos’ goalkeeper Donte Hinds in the 41st minute.

A couple minutes later in the 58th minute Oxnard played the ball to the left of the field to striker Shaquan Newton who then right-booted the ball to the left corner of the goal bars and past a diving Hinds.

A new champion will definitely be crowned in the under-15 division after last year’s champions Barbados Soccer Academy were defeated 1-0 by Cox Coaching Academy (CCA) out of Trinidad and Tobago in today’s semifinal.

Playing at Weymouth, the visitors were impressive and it came as no surprise when a deft pass from midfielder Tyrell Emmanuel from the left of the field eluded three of the BSA defenders and found striker Ronaldo Edwards who crashed the ball to the right of BSA’s goalkeeper Akeem Scott and into the back of the nets.

The Trinidadians will come up against local team Pro-Shottas who won over KFC Pinelands 1-0 thanks to an excellent goal by midfielder Aluko Callender. 

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Churches taking the track Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:57:07 +0000 Six major evangelical churches from across the island will come together to challenge each other for the Kindred Sports Challenge Trophy at the National Stadium on April 21.

The event was started two years ago with three churches and has grown to include six churches with thousands of members and supporters. Covenant Life Teaching Centre (CLTC) is the reigning champion. This year, the Green Hill, St Michael church will be challenged by Power in the Blood Assembly, Sanctuary Empowerment Centre, Restoration Ministries, Kingdom Life Assembly and Love & Light Ministries.

This sports meet will begin with a parade of athletes where each church will render a challenge song and make a presentation. This will be included in the points tally for the day. Pastor Wesley Dear, founder of the event, said they were all looking forward to the big day.

“The athletes, from the youngest NAPSAC runners, to the BSSAC powerhouses, to the Senior Games participants, and then those who just want to have some fun and score a few points for their churches, will all be coming out on April 21 to try to win the challenge trophy,” Pastor Dear said.

He added that all the pastors were fully on board with the event.

“We are glad for this opportunity to showcase a mix of healthy activity, brotherly competition and all-round wholesome fun for the family.”

The Kindred Sports day begins with a parade at 9 a.m.

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Foul Cup Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:54:47 +0000 All is not well with the Barbados Football Cup which goes into its final stages tomorrow.

And director George LasCaris has attributed the problems experienced over the past few days in the tournament to the “dark side” of some of those on whom such an event would have depended.

George LasCaris

George LasCaris

The longtime football organizer and administrator has had to conduct this year’s competition without linesmen and Lascaris has complained that these football officials have basically been trying to overchrage organizers.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY LasCaris said this was the first time this situation had occurred and was due to local linesmen deeming the 2014 Barbados Football Cup an international meet and thus requesting additional moneys.

“The linesmen felt this was an international tournament and they wanted to be paid a rate that was not commensurate with their ability or experience and we refused. We had eight referees last year’s tournament who were paid over $285 for refereeing the under-13 and under-15 matches and two referees who were paid $340 for refereeing the under-17 and under-19 matches.

“The linesmen this year decided that this was not enough for them and some of them don’t even get that for a whole year in the BFA [Barbados Football Association] competition but I guess because we have international teams coming that they felt this was an opportune time . . . ,” LasCaris said.

WIBISCO manager and parent of one of the players in the tournament Clifford Gooding-Edghill told Barbados TODAY that for a competition called the Barbados Football Cup to be played without linesmen was very poor.

“This is very poor and embarrassing and for a cup which bears the name or is labelled as the Barbados Football Cup. The officials should be wearing identification cards so that the players and even the parents could know who they are. And yet still we say we want our football to be better but we need to look carefully at these things,” he said.

However LasCaris said the show had to go on and organizers did not intend to let the unavailability of linesmen adversely affect the longstanding tournament which has been in existence for 27 years.

“All the games are being played to their natural conclusion and the referees who have turned up I thank them sincerely because they have done a good job under trying circumstances. Every coach wants to win and they try every trick when they are no linesman to put pressure on the referees
for him to call it their way. But the referees have been professional, hard-working, and abused, but they have stuck to their guns,” LasCaris stressed.

Even though the BFA is not affiliated with the tournament in any way, LasCaris said he had received tremendous support from the National Sports Council which had used its coaches to coordinate the tournament.

He noted the Barbados Football Cup was the longest running football tournament on the island and had come a long way. He said he was very pleased with the progress made but added they still need some much needed assistance.

“I am very pleased because we started with eight teams in two age groups at one venue when the tournament first started and now we have sixty teams in five different age group for boys and one for women at six different venues. However we still need help because the finances have escalated,” LasCaris said.

Looking ahead to next year he said that the committee would be looking to limit the number of Barbadian teams.

“The committee is recommending that we limit the number of Barbadian teams so that if you place first to fourth in the local BFA competitions you automatically get the opportunity to play in the Barbados Football Cup which is the qualifying bar. We are trying to get more teams out of Canada and the United States so that you can’t just come and play in the BFC. You have to earn your play. That would only become a reality if we get the finances
to continue next year,” LasCaris said.

Please see also Pages 44 & 45 of our 17/04/2014 digital ePaper at

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