Minister in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance, Peter Phillips, believes the birth place of National Hero the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow should become a FutureSpace of national significance.
Mr. Phillips expressed that view on Tuesday while delivering remarks at the unveiling of the plaque in celebration of the centenary of the birth of the Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow, at his birth place at The Garden, St. Lucy.
He told the audience, including Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley: “At this time in our history, as our country innovates and goes through its transformation process and positions itself to meet and exceed its development goals, I hope in the near future we can turn our attention to this place, and have it restored as part of our built heritage.
“We Gatherin’ 2020 offers visitors and locals alike the opportunity to see Barbados’ attractions through a new lens with a community focus. It affords the chance to create a 52-week calendar to grow our domestic and international tourism products; it provides the prospect to reconnect with our Bajan heritage. Therefore, the proposed investment will go far beyond the year 2020.”
He pointed out that an Errol Barrow Museum at “The Garden” would have large cross-cultural appeal, and would allow tourists and Barbadians to experience the excellence and many facets of Errol Walton Barrow, and showcase what is iconic and indigenous about St. Lucy.
“The spin-off benefits of such an attraction would have positive economic impact and social implications for St. Lucy specifically, and for Barbados as a whole,” he insisted.
In her address, Ms. Mottley said she was confident the site would eventually become a museum. “And I have every confidence that the people of Barbados, including the Government which I lead, will play its part ….
“I believe that the people of St. Lucy, being led by your MP and others, civil society, the private sector and the Government working together, that this project, in the same way that Tyrol Cot became one, can become a magnificent point of reference and a museum for the people of St. Lucy. We shall certainly play our part,” she assured.
The Prime Minister said Government was committed to creating opportunities for people, especially for those whom none existed previously.
CARICOM Ambassador David Comissiong said he hoped a facility would be built at The Garden site which would tell the story of the Barrow and O’Neale families and their contribution to Barbados.
Mr. Comissiong stated: “Every nation needs heroes …. Heroes represent the best that we can be. Heroes and heroines are sources of inspiration.”
Representative of the Barrow family, Robert O’Neale, said Mr. Barrow had a bond with St. Lucy, and he encouraged his siblings and cousins to invest in Pickering Plantation when it went on the market for sale in the 70’s.
Mr. O’Neale thanked the Government and people of Barbados for installing the plaque, saying his family was heartened by the initiative.
Ambassador Comissiong produced a booklet entitled Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow: Champion of the Caribbean Community, which was shared with the audience.