2020 may not have quite the level of global hysteria as Y2K, but there’s much to be said about a decade that signals new vision and perspective. For Barbadians and those of Bajan heritage, there is however plenty fervour as our Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Mottley has called for We Gathering Barbados – a Bajan homecoming. The Prime Minister is encouraging those with a love for Barbados to return home – whether by birth, blood, or frequent visitation – to celebrate our nation and “build the best Barbados, together”. The celebrations have already begun, with A plethora of activities spanning the eleven parishes for each month of the year. Clearly there will not be a dull moment in Barbados in 2020.
CHRISTMAS IN QUEEN’S PARK Between 1783 and 1905, Queen’s Park was the official residence of the General commanding the British troops of the West Indies. Since 1909, it has been a designated park, an oasis of serenity in bustling Bridgetown. But not on Christmas Day! On that festive occasion, it is a hive of activity. After their Christmas church service, it is very much a tradition for Barbadians to show off their finery in Queen’s Park.
Call it Barbados’ equivalent to France’s Arc de Triomphe. The Independence Arch, situated in Bridgetown’s city centre, spans the southern end of the Chamberlain Bridge and is directly opposite to the Parliament Buildings. Designed by Grantley S. Romany, the Arch is now so much a part of the built environment that it is hard to believe that it was only erected in 1987, to commemorate the 21st anniversary of Independence – the coming of age of a nation. This month as you drive at night in Bridgetown, you will have the thrill of seeing the Arch swathed in blue and yellow light, the national colours of Barbados. Barbados gained its Independence on November 30, 1966, and in Barbados during the whole month of November, it is celebrated. If you get out of the car to take a closer look at the Arch by day, you will see that virtually all […]
Missed Rihanna when she was home for Kadooment? Well, it is not too late to take a peek at some of the places on the island associated with the iconic Bajan entertainer. First stop: Rihanna Drive, formerly Westbury New Road, renamed on November 30, 2017. This road defined Robyn Fenty’s neighbourhood before her meteoric rise to stardom. You can see the exterior of the very house in which she lived. Next, you can make your way to The Mighty Grynner Highway, previously known as Spring Garden. Renamed in honour of Barbados’ top Road March King, it is the site of the Kadooment finale. Rihanna tries hard to make it home for the culmination of every Crop Over Festival, donning a costume and joining in the revelry. On leaving the Highway, you can take a drive out to Combermere School, Rihanna’s old high school and stomping ground. If you travel along […]
“…a palace with which Aladdin himself might have been satisfied.” JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE (1818-1894), British historian and editor, Fraser’s Magazine, on Farley Hill in its heyday. Today, Farley Hill is a charred ruin and a national park of Barbados, but for 100 years it was a breathtaking wonder of a great house where Sir Graham Briggs, a rich British planter and legislator, entertained the crème de la crème of Barbadian society and even British royalty, including Prince Alfred, Prince Albert and Prince George (who later became King George V). The original building, Grenade Hall, was built in the 1800s by Sir Graham’s father, and he bequeathed it to Sir Graham in 1856. Sir Graham renamed the property “Farley Hill” after a British school of which he had happy memories. Folklore attributes 99 windows to his dream of a mansion. However, after his death in 1887, the building gradually became dilapidated […]