Acting Chief Information Officer of the BGIS, Erskine Callender, addressing the launch of the "100 Great Barbadians" project.

The 100 Great Barbadians Programme is attempting to "produce a social history of our time, depicting portraits of our iconic figures, most of whom have not been discovered".

This was revealed by Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO), Erskine Callender, at the launch of the project at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, last Wednesday.

The 100 Great Barbadians Programme was conceived and is being coordinated by the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).??

According to Mr. Callender, Barbadians will be invited to nominate persons, who through their work, "have made a significant contribution to their community and by extension, the country, or have simply overcome obstacles and achieved outstanding accomplishments in their lives.?? These nominees must be citizens of Barbados, or of Barbadian parentage, living here or overseas".

He stressed that it was hoped that a wide cross-section of Barbadians would be included, and suggested that persons from every sphere of the society should therefore be nominated.??

Mr. Callender added that a Great Barbadians Committee would select 100 persons about whom short documentaries would be produced.

"The incorporation of internet and computer technologies in our agency will now mean that we can undertake this project in a systematic manner. Now that we are assured of the support of Government and possible funding from the private sector, we feel confident that we could overcome any hurdles in our effort to let interested persons know that Barbados has produced great men and women from all walks of life," the CIO explained.

In his remarks, General Manager of the CBC, Sars Soderstrom, noted that one of the aims of the inter agency collaboration was to record, promote and preserve the "rich legacy of the skills, history and culture of our people for present and future generations.

"Thus, as part of our new joint efforts, we propose safeguarding the historic film, television, radio and music content in the archives of the GIS and CBC by establishing a central digital AV archive, giving the educational, broadcasting and media sectors quick and easy fingertip web access to valuable, local and historic content for their educational, research and programme-making needs," Mr. Soderstrom said.

The 100 Great Barbadians Programme will run for three months. The nominees’ names, short bios, their particular disciplines, as well as contact information for them and the persons who made the recommendations, will be submitted via letters and emails.

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