Monday, April 22, 2024

In honour of fisherfolk

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Almost 60 years after several fisherfolk from the Oistins community lost their lives as a result of Hurricane Janet, there is a permanent landmark in their memory.
Spearheaded by the Christ Church South Constituency Council and the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organizations (BARNUFO), a plaque bearing the names of 12 fisherfolk who did not survive the September 22, 1955 hurricane now adorns an outer wall of the Berinda Cox Fish Market. It was unveiled last Sunday.
President Vernel Nicholls said the day should be considered for dedication and as a joint memorial day for fisherfolk and the many people who perished or went missing during the passage of Hurricane Janet.
And if Nicholls has her way, Oistins will not be the only landing site with a commemorative plaque for those who perished. She said BARNUFO would be seeking to replicate the memorial.
“There are other fishermen from various sites who have lost their lives at sea and should be remembered in a similar way,” she said, adding that fisherfolk risked their lives every day to provide healthy meal options and contributed to the gross domestic product of the country.
Nicholls said her organization was looking to make fishing a vocation of choice by improving standards and taking the industry to new heights.
Organizers also took the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of fisherfolk from the area who are deceased, retired, still plying their trade, lost at sea or who survived after going adrift.
Master of ceremonies Buddy Larrier offered some timely advice to the small gathering. Larrier’s father Darnell went missing at sea and he said it took more than 40 years for his youngest sister and mother to come to terms with it.
He said it had been even more difficult for his mother because she and his father had had a disagreement a few days before Janet and were not on speaking terms when tragedy struck.
He urged those within earshot not to go to sleep angry with their partners because one never knows what could happen. (YB)

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