Bajans interested in their ancestry

Virginia Mapp (centre) in deep discussion with Professor Pedro Welch, while Ed Bushell looks on.

There has been a noticeable increase in the interest of Barbadians in tracing their history over the last ten years.

And Professor Pedro Welch says the inscription of Bridgetown and Its Historic Garrison has helped to renew a recent spurt in interest in the country.

Speaking after a Barbados Association of Retired Persons lecture on the topic Our Women in the Emancipation Era: Countering Patriarchal Domination, Welch said the four lectures he was giving this month alone was testimony to the curiosity of the public.

“There is definitely an interest. People are more keen now to learn about their past and the more they hear the more they want to know. I think that interest explains why there is a demand for persons like myself and some of the others I mentioned [like Dr. Tara Inniss, Dr. Henderson Carter, Dr. David Browne, Dr. Richard Goodridge, Professor Hilary Beckles, Professor Allan Cobley].”

He said too the inscription was contributing in its own way to the fascination, but there were other factors over the last ten years showing a renewal.

“That may be contributing to a more recent surge, but we have been noticing that interest for some time now. This is the fourth lecture I’ve given to BARP and there are so many we have been giving over the last ten years… The University of the West Indies launched something in the 1980s and 1990s called the Emancipation Series and it used to be held at the Steel Shed. That is what I consider, that really sparked the interest of Barbadians. We don’t have that series now, but we do have occasionally a collaboration with the Barbados Museum and Historical Society; but the fact is that I think it is a series of things, but the more recent inscription of Bridgetown is adding some impetus.” (LB)

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