Former resident of Orange Hill, Gilbert Taylor, (far left) looks over some documents with (from left) a friend; Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett; Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley; and Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime MInister’s Office, Sen. Irene Sandiford-Garner.
Residents of Orange Hill, St. James, will soon have an enrichment centre complete with library facilities at their disposal.
The amenities will be as a result of a recent donation of a half acre of land and a house to Government by former resident of the area, Gilbert Taylor.
He lamented the fact that the community was devoid of such facilities when he was growing up and that the St. Silas Primary school still had no library. “So we decided to do something in our grandparents’ name, [it could be called] the ‘Joseph Elizabeth Forde Enrichment Centre’ with a library as the base. This is supposed to be something to enrich the neighbourhood,” Mr. Taylor explained.
Minister of Community Development and Culture, Steve Blackett, thanked Mr. Taylor for his generous donation, which he said gave some reassurance that the spirit of philanthropy was “alive and well” in Barbados.
“I want to assure him that the Community Development Department … will bring to fruition the plans for a vibrant community centre for the people of this area,” Mr. Blackett said.
He suggested that the current structure on the property could be refurbished to make it immediately available to members of the community, while benevolent agencies overseas could be approached for assistance with establishing the library facilities.
Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley, who was also present for the donation, pointed out that there was also a possibility of adding to the housing stock in the area.
“Once Mr. Taylor produces the title deeds, then the Ministry of Housing, with Cabinet’s approval, will go into negotiation. There are existing lands behind the building and there might be a possibility for housing,” he noted.
Mr. Lashley promised to lead a team from the Ministry of Housing “to see what we can make of it, subject to Town and Country Planning and Cabinet’s approval”.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner also witnessed the presentation.