THE DALKEITH METHODIST CHURCH in St Michael was the first local place of worship to receive electricity from the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited – and that was 100 years ago.
The power company’s managing director Peter Williams made this disclosure last Friday night when members of his staff teamed up with the congregation of the church to mark the anniversary.
Williams also said Barbados has the distinction of being the first territory in the Eastern Caribbean to have a centralized electricity service, thanks to BL&P, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
In his address Williams asked the gathering to imagine life today without electricity.
“. . . None of us can imagine life without electricity,” he said. “It has transformed our nation and is the backbone of our economic well-being. Electricity has revolutionised the scope of everything that we do.”
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart told the gathering he remembered what it was like to study and do his homework with the use of lamps as a schoolboy growing up in the 1950s.
He also noted that Methodism was introduced in Barbados in 1788, when slavery was at its peak.
“In fact, it was the Methodists who acted as bearers of light to those who were enslaved, including persons such as our National Hero and distinguished Methodist Sarah Ann Gill,” he said.
“This institution brought spiritual light approximately 123 years before the BL&P was formed. In terms of bringing light to Barbados, this church should take credit, along with the BL&P, for the transformation both of them have made in the way that we are able to do things we never previously could before the introduction of electricity.”