Wrong Sir!

DLP stalwart suggests wynter Crawford is more of a hero than Sir Grantley

A longstanding Democratic Labour Party (DLP) member today argued that the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams should never have been listed among this nation’s pantheon of National Heroes.

Instead, DLP stalwart Astor B Watts contended that the late founder and leader of the National Congress Party Wynter Crawford, should have been among the ten distinguished Barbadians accorded National Hero status.

Wynter Crawford
Wynter Crawford

The other nine National Heroes are Father of Independence Errol Walton Barrow; slave rebellion leader Bussa; politician and journalist Samuel Jackman Prescod; trade unionist Sir Frank Walcott; medical doctor Charles Duncan O’Neal; political activist Clement Payne; politician Sir Hugh Springer; Methodist missionary Sarah Ann Gill, the lone heroine; and cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers, the only living hero.

However, based on the fight Crawford waged during his political career on behalf of the disadvantaged in the society, Watts today argued strongly for his inclusion among the eminent group of Barbadians.

The 94-year-old Watts, who has been a member of the ruling DLP for the past 40 years and a supporter for an additional nine years, was at the time delivering the DLP’s lunchtime lecture at the party’s headquarters on George Street, St Michael.

Speaking on the topic Fifty and Onward, Then, Now and A Possible Beyond, he told the small gathering that he had lived through the period of social upheaval and had

first-hand knowledge of the events.

And giving his reasons for throwing his support behind Crawford as a suitable candidate for the status of National Hero, Watts said unlike Adams, who he said had thrown his support behind the planters and merchants upon his return to Barbados in 1928, Crawford had championed the cause of the working class even prior to the formation of his National Congress Party in 1944 and continued after the establishment of the party.

Watts insisted that it was Crawford and not Adams who had spoken out against the impoverished conditions of the farmers and peasants working on the sugar estates in the 1920s and 30s. For this, he said, Crawford gained the reputation from the Colonial Office as a socialist agitator.

On the other hand, Watts recalled that Adams was the lead writer of the Agricultural Reporter, the mouthpiece of the planters and merchants of the day.

Watts further recalled that during the 1937 riots, Adams, who was regarded as one of the legal luminaries of the day, had refused to attend a brief for Clement Payne, who was facing deportation for a “false” declaration to immigration officials in Barbados.

The longstanding member of the DLP argued that Adams could have easily won the case because it was a known fact among most Barbadians that Payne was born in Barbados to Barbadian parents, attended school in Barbados, but was later taken to Trinidad as a young boy by his parents.

Watts further charged that Adams’ anti-working class position came to the fore again when he chose to represent a Bridgetown merchant who had brought defamation charges against Clennell Wickham, the editor of the pro-working class paper, The Herald.

According to Watts, Wickham lost the case against the merchant and later died a “broken man” in the sister island of Grenada.

He further contended that Adams was never in the forefront of the formation of the Progressive League, the precursor of the current Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), but only became the leader because he was in “the right place at the right time”.

His comments came against the backdrop of recent concerns raised by the BLP that attempts were being made to rewrite
history and to diminish the contribution of the party’s founder to the island’s development.

Late last month, BLP General Secretary Dr Jerome Walcott leveled the accusation against the organizers of the 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,” Walcott had said then.


9 Responses to Wrong Sir!

  1. jrsmith May 7, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Everyone who have the chance to soap box the media, goes on about our Bajan history, but show the young people that history, show them the culture ,show them they heritage …explain to them why most of everything that’s worth anything in Barbados is foreign own, explain to them after 50 years of ( Independent (DEPENDANCY ) why 1% of the people in Barbados who plays no part in politics are the wealthy ones…
    Explain to them why they are no jobs , no water in our taps, no more free education, no more sugar cane factories which is now replaced by gaunga farming, explain to them why our beautiful island is flooded with drug and guns… JUST EXPLAIN TO THEM OUR ISLAND FAILURE.. they are the ones who would be taking over…

    • Coralita May 7, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      If everything in Barbados was as negative as you are trying to paint it, I guess all of us would have gone somewhere else better to live. Care to give us a few options to choose from??

  2. Tony Waterman May 7, 2016 at 9:03 am

    @DLP stalwart Astor B Watts!!!!! are you telling Me/Us, that all that we have been Taught over all these Years about the Exploits of The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams are False, and should NEVER have been Written Into History ???

    My late Dad Taught me about Mr.Wynter Crawford, and YES he did do a lot for the people during his time, but how does Pulling The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams, help us, why do Black People so often have to pull each other DOWN, and how does that Parochial attiyude help the Young people in likeing and Learning about their past, which is SUPPOSED to to help them see their Future.
    It is My HUMBLE Opinion, that YOU Sir are doing more Harm than Good, would it not be better to just get 100.000 signatures on a petition to make Mr.Wynter Crawford a National Hero.
    BTW Sir: PM Freundel Stewart was also in the Right place at the Right time, so what is so wrong with The Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams being in the right place at the right time ??? Perhaps Political AFFILIATION ???????.
    We just have to stop Cannibalising each other this way, it’s wrong, and one would have thought that at 94 years on this Earth, you would have by now figured that out, this is so Sad.

  3. Ralph W Talma May 7, 2016 at 11:08 am

    1. I agree with Mr Watts that Winter Crawford should have been included in the list of our 10 National Heroes, but, not at the expense of Sir Grantley Adams whose status is unchallengeable.
    2. I knew Winter Crawford. Indeed, he and my father were involved in setting up the Barbados Progressive League which later became the BLP. My father inter alia said we would have made a very good Prime Minister, but unlike him he could not duck-and-weave very easily, so to say. And, in those early days one had to be able to move with the shifting sands as my father did successfully.
    3. I my considered opinion, he did more than enough in the formation ad development of our independent Nation, and the improvement of the lives of our people, to have been so honoured. I would have given him my preference instead of Sir Garfield Sobers.

  4. BaJan boy May 7, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    Why would anyone reply to ignorance is beyond me…

  5. dave May 8, 2016 at 12:28 am

    i AM NOT EVEN READING THIS article. Cannot afford to contaminate my mind with drivel

  6. J. Payne May 8, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Well, the answer is to turn to declassified British documents to credit or discredit this.

  7. Sherlock Holmes. May 8, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Bajan boy you and Dave despite Dave saying that he did not read the article which we can clearly see that it is an untruth,are so steeped in your political biases that the truth if as big as the moon would not be seen by you two. Strangely enough there is a guy who calls the call in program Brasstacks and he has alluded to some of the things said here and the ironic thing is he appears to be one of your party supporters,he is always stringent in his calls for the elevation of Wickham and Crawford to hero status,maybe it is a case of him not allowing certain parts of our history being thwarted regardless,or being glossed over for various reasons.

  8. Ralph W Talma May 9, 2016 at 1:18 am

    1. This is an important topic and it is a great pity you deemed it fit not to allow my post of Saturday a.m. I will try again.
    2. My father and Winter Crawford were great friends, indeed, they were amongst the few who established the Barbados Progressive League, which became the BLP. Inter-alia, my father said he would have been a great peoples’ PM, but unlike others, Mr Crawford could not easily duck-and-weave, a trait required in those politically sensitive shifting-sands early days of an emerging Nation.
    3. Whilst I agree with Mr Watts that Mr Crawford’s efforts make him suitable to be amongst our 10 National Heroes, it should not be at the expense of the Right Excellent Sir Grantley Adams whose status therein is unchallengeable. No, I would not have given my vote to our world famous cricketer at this time.
    (Now, will you be so bold as to allow the above?!!)


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