Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, poses with Vocational Service Award winners – BARP President, Marilyn Rice-Bowen; chef, Peter Edey; and former educator and trade unionist, Patrick Frost. (S.Austin/BGIS)

Barbadians have been called upon to recommit to the spirit of giving and sharing.

This encouragement came from Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, on Wednesday night, as she delivered the feature address at the Rotary Club of Barbados South’s Vocational Service Awards 2020, at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa.

Senator Moe said Barbadians now needed to take a stance.  “And, that stance is: let us at this, the crossroads of our future, consciously and deliberately take time to recall, recommit and reinforce the spirit of giving and sharing as we seek to make our country the best Barbados that it can be.  And it is not a duty that is mine or a duty that is yours.  It is the duty of all of us Barbadians,” she insisted.

She said the idea of “giving back” was almost stylish in certain circles today, but noted that traditionally, Barbadians had been a giving people, and there was a time when giving was second nature to them. 

She pointed out that the giving and sharing trait had been highlighted by the people of St. Peter and St. Lucy as a quality of their community.

“So, I have no doubt that when it comes to St. Thomas’ celebrations next month, all the way down to the parish of St. Michael in November, the one aspect that will be identified, knitting all Barbadians together, is the common thread of giving and sharing,” she stated.

Senator Moe said ‘get rich quick’ and ‘me first’ attitudes were competing with the principles of giving back.  However, she stressed that the antidote was not to avoid or restrict information technology and social media.

“The remedy is to use these same means to promote service.  The response is to appreciate the value of broadcasting technology in building communities, reaching wide audiences and developing followings.  I currently have before me proposals to enrich and diversify the broadcast market in Barbados, and if these proposals are implemented, there will be encouragement for broadcasters whose focus is public and community service,” she stated.

She lauded the Rotary Club of Barbados South for its programmes which incorporate young people, saying she hoped they were addressing the issue of ‘fake news’ as a topical international issue that touches on the rights of others. 

She noted that this phenomenon detracts from the benefits of the information revolution, and was a challenge to youth.

The Minister expressed the view that the “voyeuristic trend implicit in this too easy circulation of anecdotal clips” needed to be curbed.

During the evening, Denise Shepherd-Johnson was inducted into the membership of the Rotary Club of Barbados South.  Additionally, President of BARP; Marilyn Rice-Bowen; outstanding chef, Peter Edey; and former educator and trade unionist, Patrick Frost, received the Vocational Service Awards for their selfless service to Barbados.

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