Saturday, April 13, 2024

JUST LIKE IT IS: Put wrong right

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It was pleasing to hear from the minister responsible for culture, Stephen Lashley, that the inscription ceremony for Historic Bridgetown And Its Garrison would take place at the Garrison Savannah on June 13.
A society is a cultural achievement and artifacts tell an eloquent story about a country’s values and social heritage as it transitions from generation to generation in the endless march of relentless time.
To have been accorded the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) stellar award should fill the Barbados World Heritage Committee and all Barbadians with a sense of high achievement and national pride as we have transitioned to a World Heritage property.
The Historic Garrison, a bastion of British colonial power, has witnessed two significant historical events. On November 30, 1966, the Union Jack was lowered and the Broken Trident raised, breaking over 300 years of British colonial rule and making Barbados a sovereign nation state. And in 1975 Queen Elizabeth II knighted Garfield Sobers, the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen, at the Garrison Savannah in one of the few ever open-air investitures just around the corner from the Bay Land, the great man’s and our only living National Hero’s birthplace.
It is a longstanding and continuing national shame that when the inscription ceremony takes place with UNESCO’s director general formalizing the event by handing over the certificate to the Prime Minister, there will be no artifacts in place marking the sites where the two seminal events took place.
What do these acts of shameful national indifference say about us as craftsmen of our heritage? Who can genuinely convince our children that 45 years after casting off the colonial yoke and governing ourselves in a manner which has garnered international acclaim, unlike many countries which have achieved much less, we have not marked the transitional spot?
Appropriate artifacts will heighten The Garrison’s cache and overall historical appeal, and with the eyes of the world focusing more closely on the area in the years ahead, we cannot and must not continue to ignore these two landmarks of transcendental national significance.
The cynics will accuse me of crusading since I have adverted to this subject previously. But that will not and cannot divert me from pursuing a subject on which I feel strongly and which I hope will reach the political decision-makers and again capture the support of James and Jane Public.
More has been done for less deserving Barbadians. Now is the time to erect an artifact honouring our most important political transition and our incomparable legend of cricket and National Hero.
Down with pit bulls!
The newspaper story of the vicious attack by three pit bulls on residents of Kingsland sent shivers down my spine and must have driven fear into the hearts of residents of this densely populated Christ Church district.
I like dogs and have liked them all my life.
As a schoolboy from about age eight I kept a dog. Even after being set upon one morning on my way to catch the school bus and being savaged all over my feet by a roaming dog, my liking for the animals has continued through my life.
That was in the middle of the last century long before pit bulls and Akitas were known in this country. It is not in anybody’s interest to have these blood-thirsty breeds roaming neighbourhoods untethered, terrorizing and attacking unsuspecting residents, particularly the aged, women and children.
I am advised that the regulations governing the registration and licensing of all dogs are observed mainly in the breach. The authorities need to act expeditiously to ensure that the population observes the regulations and defaulters feel the full weight of the law.
It beggars belief that any responsible citizen could allow these fearsome breeds to roam the streets without a leash and unsupervised in the early hours of the morning when an increasing number of citizens are taking an early morning walk to keep their bodies in good physical condition.
I trust that the recent incident will galvanize lawmakers into enacting more stringent regulations to control unlicensed dogs from roaming the highways and by-ways and attacking people going about their peaceful, legitimate business and driving fear in neighbourhoods all across Barbados.   
The three Kingsland pit bulls should be euthanized and I wonder if it is not time to consider banning this breed and other well known attack dogs such as Akitas from being kept in Barbadian households. This seems to be a subject calling for immediate investigation and appropriate action if necessary.
I anticipate that the owners of some of these dogs will adduce plausible reasons for not banning the offending breeds. In the final analysis, the greatest good must prevail and it behooves the authorities to act before tragedy strikes.

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