Diaspora Corner

Barbadians who live abroad navigate to BU to share experiences, search for news about what is happening on the Rock.

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55 Comments on “Diaspora Corner”

  1. stingingantMelvin Skeete December 9, 2012 at 4:41 PM #

    Melvin Skeete
    Kingston Ontario

    Dear Editor,
    It is with great interest that I write this letter to you in connection with the proposed shredder operation for Bagatelle, ST. James. I would like to take this opportunity to share my knowledge of this kind of operation with you and the people of Barbados as a whole. I am the safety officer for such an operation in Ontario, Canada, and I must tell you there are many challenges that the operators and the community will face once the shredder is fully operational at the proposed site.

    Recycling is not an issue here. Recycling is a very good thing and must be encourage but, the location of a recycling plant that includes a shredder of the type that is being proposed is something that must be carefully studied and all the pros and coins sorted out before it is too late.

    As of now, the current situation at Bagatelle is a health hazard to the residents of that area, and should be corrected as soon as possible. Speaking under correction, I am not sure if Freon, Engine oil, Mercury switches, and hydraulic oil e.c.t is being extracted from vehicles, machinery and equipment that is buried there right now. All these and others pose a danger to the environment, our ground water, and in turn to the health of the residents.

    Bagatelle is not a very good location for such an operation. No matter how much new technology will be use there, the noise pollution will be above the level that is comfortable for 99% of the residents. I can assure you that the average sound level for the shredder when operating will be between 110 dBA and 140 dBA at the point of the nearest house or buildings. The noise will also reach the nearby Sandy Lane Golf Course. This will not be constant but, depends on which direction the wind is blowing. The quoted noise levels include non shredder noise source, and the natural environment noise. This will result in a significant decrease in property values. (One must remember that the residents were there first) not that they came and found a shredder as a noise source.

    Dust and fumes should not be significant problems once manage properly. However the leakage of gas, oil, and other pollutants will pose significant problems to the environment, mostly groundwater. If Bagatelle gets the nod for the operation, the area surrounding the plant should be planted with tall growing trees. This will help in absorbing some of the noise.

    Explosions will occur from time to time. This will scare residents, and workers until they get accustom to it. Explosion results from such things as propane, acetylene, oxygen tanks e.c.t, that is missed by the shredder in feed operator and the material sorting people. Vehicle gas tanks if they are not taken out of the vehicles and cut open and drained will also cause loud explosions. (Shredder operational time should be limited to 8:00AM to 3:00PM Monday to Friday, giving residents some off time).

    For the company to export the shredded material to North America, certain conditions will have to be met. Freon and Mercury switches will have to be taken out of the vehicles, and household appliances. I am not sure what the requirements for Asia are. It is best for the environment to remove this material before shredding.

    As I mention before, recycling is not what is being question here. It is the location of a scrap material shredder. Barbados is a very small island, with no one point no more than just over an hour away. I can’t understand why the recycling company would want to operate a shredder at Bagatelle knowing full well the attention and problems that will be associated with such a plant. Spring Hall St. Lucy would be a much better place for a shredder. Note I said Shredder and not a recycling business.

    Bagatelle could remain as a drop off and sorting area for the general public. Government and private companies however should deliver material directly to the shredder if located in St.Lucy. In addition the shredder could operate from 7:00 AM to 6:00PM Monday to Saturday.

    I urge all players involved in the decision making process to carefully listen to the residents of the area to avoid future law suits which could be costly.

    Melvin Skeete
    Health & Safety Officer


  2. stingingantMelvin Skeete December 9, 2012 at 4:45 PM #

    That should be pros and cons.


  3. David December 9, 2012 at 5:14 PM #


    Can you speak to the specific specs of the Shredder which B&B purchased? Does your comment fit the equipment to be used?


  4. Hants December 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM #

    Shredders in St.Lucy.Wind Farms in St.Lucy. Solar farm in St.Lucy.Airport in St.Lucy.

    The new industrial development of Barbados?


  5. islandgal246 December 9, 2012 at 5:18 PM #

    Keep outta St. Lucy please the last virgin parish in Barbados!


  6. stingingantMelvin Skeete December 9, 2012 at 6:09 PM #

    How do you expect Barbados to develop. St.Lucy is suited for many types of industrial development. I was born in St.Lucy and I know the area very well. There are many places in St.Lucy that could accommodate certain industries without causing problems to its residents. A scrap metal shredder is a scrap statement. If anyone can show me a scrap metal shredder anywhere in the world located in an area like Bagatelle with dBA levels below the ones I mention I will withdraw my statement, that will not happen so I stand by my statement.


  7. islandgal246 December 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM #

    Put it in St. John and leff out St. Lucy! Dem people in St. John more backward than the whole of Barbados and they need some development!


  8. stingingantMelvin Skeete December 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM #

    The only real benefit to having the shredder located in Bagatelle is that it will be near to a landfill. I hope this is not the major reason why Bagatelle was chosen. Flock or Fluff which is shredder waste and is label as hazardous waste will have to be transported regularly to a landfill as it can’t be stored for a long time at the shredder site. I can’t say that the current landfill in St.Thomas will be the one as I don’t know that, nevertheless a landfill will have to be found to store this waste. This waste can be very dangerous. Legislation covering the operation and disposal of shredder waste will have to be put in place long before they are allowed to operate at Bagatelle. Permission from Town and Country Planning will not be enough to safeguard the residents, workers and the environment. Fires will also occur at the shredder site (please don’t think that this won’t happen) as lots of combustible material will be stored there once a shredder is in operation.


  9. Hants April 8, 2014 at 6:56 PM #


  10. Hants April 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM #


  11. Hants April 13, 2014 at 9:13 AM #


  12. Hants June 1, 2014 at 11:16 PM #

    In order to escape the domination of bulinnanwickin on other posts I will spend my time watching this exotic aboriginal beauty. Natalie rocks.


  13. Hants June 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM #

    Golden oldie.


    20 years later


  14. Hants November 27, 2014 at 11:07 PM #

    Really good singer.


  15. Hants November 29, 2014 at 10:43 PM #

    Happy Independence Barbados.


  16. Hants November 30, 2014 at 9:19 PM #


  17. Hants November 30, 2014 at 11:18 PM #


  18. Hants January 31, 2015 at 12:03 AM #



    Bernard Heydorn

    As New Year’s Eve rolled around, I thought of Barbados and the night clubs I used to go to in the 60’s and 70’s. The New Year’s Eve dance at the Crane Hotel in 1970 comes to mind. It’s no surprise that the Crane Hotel reportedly scored in second position of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. The Crane Hotel at the top of the rock, tilted to catch the breeze of Africa and the Atlantic, foaming and gnashing its teeth at its feet, is one of my favourite memories of Barbados. The band playing that night was the very popular Merrymen of Barabados.

    My date for that evening was a beautiful brown skin beauty with Bajun roots. As it turned out, later that year, I met in Barbados, another brown skin beauty with Bajun roots whom I married. In the early 60’s when I migrated to Barbados from Guyana, the Merrymen had started out on their rise to fame, playing at the old Driftwood Bar in St. Lawrence Gap. This was a popular nightclub for both tourists and locals.
    Other popular nightspots included the Acquatic Club on Bay Street, just outside of Bridgetown. In those days (early 60’s), it was a mostly white club with a smattering of “browns” and a few blacks. Bands like the Merrymen and Tropical Islanders of Barbados, the Silver Strings Combo from Trinidad, and the Telstars touring from Guyana, played there.
    The Barbados Acquatic club has an interesting history. The story is told of Grantley Adams (1898 – 1971), a coloured Barbadian and English educated lawyer, who later rose to prominence as the first black Prime Minister of Barbados, would drop off his white English wife at the Club and later come to pick her up as he was unwelcome to enter it himself! In any case, I did manage to enter the Acquatic Club in the early 60’s and enjoyed some rollicking dances there.
    Later at the Acquatic Club gap came the Hilton Hotel and the Holiday Inn . At the entrance was The Island Inn, a very popular nightclub for tourists. This venue put on some very entertaining floor shows on Monday nights with limbo, fire eating and calypsonians with picong (teasing members of the audience with spontaneously made up verse and song).
    Further up Bay Street was a strip joint called Harry’s Nitery. This joint attracted a lot of tourists and some locals. When a tourist ship arrived, the place was packed. With a naval ship in port, the line waiting to enter stretched all the way down Bay Street toward Bridgetown.
    I, myself, never went into Harry’s Nitery but my wife said that she was taken there once on a date. My brother who patronized the place once said there were strict rules you had to adhere to such as “Down taw, nuh touch” – “Look but don’t touch”.
    Many of the bands in Barbados at that time were either white or black. The white bands, including the Tropical Islanders, played at posh hotels like the Marine Hotel that had a fabulous ballroom dance floor. My father danced there on a visit to Barbados in the 50’s and boasted about showing off his steps. I also danced there in the 1970’s.
    In the 60’s there were bands like the Staccatos, the Sand Pebbles, the Young Ones – white bands, performing at venues like the Ursuline Convent, Presentation College, and St Winifred’s School. Black bands like the Blue Rhythm Combo played at venues like the YMPC on Beckles Road.
    Returning to Barbados in 1970, I found the social and musical landscape had changed considerably. After Independence in 1966, the restraints of race had been replaced with more mixing, more bands, more clubs, and the rise of local music like spouge. The influence of the outside world with the disco beat dominating had also reached Barbados.
    The ever populr Merrymen were still going strong with their “caribbeat”. The most popualar nightclub at that time was the new Pepperpot in the St. Lawrence area. A fully integrated club, it was always packed with revelers of every colur, class and creed every night. If a wife or girlfriend found a partner or spouse absent, he could often be found at the Pepperpot, probably hooked up with a tourist.
    The Pepperpot was a great place to let your hair down and have a Bajun jump up. There were also entertaining floor shows. I believe that the Merrymen had a recording studio in the vicinity.
    The Bearded Fig Tree, Mary’s Moustache, and the Cat’s Whiskers were new clubs, popular with the young crowd in the 70’s. Barbados was the playground of the rich and famous. There, you never knew who you would be bouncing up with – a taxi driver, an aristocrat, a movie star, a test cricketer, an heiress, a millionaire, even a billionaire!
    The Cats Whiskers I particularly remember in Black Rock, not far from where my wife used to live. There was no light inside except for the flashing strobe lights. The DJ’s sound was loud, loud, loud! You couldn’t be heard. The music was rocking with the sounds of disco and Credence Clearwater Revival – the wailing lead guitar of songs like Up Around the Bend and the rhythmic Down at the Corner.
    The clubs would start to show some life after 10.00 pm. They wouldn’t close till near daybreak. I don’t know how I made it to work the next day. Coming home from a club and a date with Vivienne, after dawn one morning, I met my father rising for the day. Seeing me fully dressed, he said, “Boy. You’re up early”. Little did he know that I was up all night and had not gone to bed yet.
    I tell these stories as they are all part of my wasted youth. The narrative is part of history, nostalgia, sociology, the culture and music of Barbados. There was much liquor and love in those joints, lots of smoke and the beginnings of the drug culture. It was uninhibited and free – the beginning of the age of decadence, perhaps the equivalent of the Jazz Age in America in the 1920’s.
    As a young man, single and free, I visited these places, having fun and sometimes trying to make a connection. I remember going to the Paradise Beach Hotel in the 60’s and trying to get to know some Venezuelan girls who were visiting the island with their chaperone. Using the few words of Spanish I knew, I tried but could not even get to “first base”. The chaperone also did a good job of blocking my advances. All I got from the girls were the words “amigo banco” perhaps alluding to the fact that I told them I worked at a Bank in Bridgetown.
    Those times in Barbados were memorable. Luckily, I found Vivienne soon afterwards and settled into domestic life, putting my days and nights of clubbing behind me.
    Beautiful Barbados it then was and still may be. It’s time for me to re-visit the island. If the creeks don’t rise and the sun still shines, I’ll be talking to you.


  19. Hants March 26, 2015 at 10:17 PM #


  20. Hants March 26, 2015 at 10:29 PM #


  21. Hants March 26, 2015 at 10:54 PM #


  22. Hants June 30, 2015 at 7:08 PM #



  23. David June 30, 2015 at 7:24 PM #

    A good way to keep in touch eh Hants?


  24. Hants June 30, 2015 at 7:50 PM #

    Yes David. I try to monitor all things Barbados. lol


  25. Hants July 6, 2015 at 10:23 PM #

    Oh Canada!



  26. Hants July 9, 2015 at 12:47 PM #

    @ David,

    Not good.



  27. David July 9, 2015 at 12:53 PM #

    Yes Hants, Canada is an important market and any downturn has implications for international business, tourism etc.


  28. Hants July 9, 2015 at 2:03 PM #

    Unions ent playin. lol



  29. Hants July 10, 2015 at 7:10 PM #

    Looking forward to seeing the Bajan contingent in the opening ceremony.



  30. David July 24, 2015 at 6:50 PM #


    Let us wish the man good luck but don’t hold your breath.


  31. Hants July 24, 2015 at 7:23 PM #

    I am sure it will cost less than $700 million. lol


  32. Hants July 29, 2015 at 12:33 PM #

    It’s Hurricane season.



  33. Hants July 29, 2015 at 12:49 PM #



  34. David August 1, 2015 at 4:49 AM #

    Yes Hants it makes doing business a whole lot more expensive.

    On 1 August 2015 at 03:06, Barbados Underground wrote:



  35. Hants August 4, 2015 at 2:33 PM #



  36. Hants August 13, 2015 at 6:18 PM #

    Another feather in her cap.



  37. Hants August 16, 2015 at 3:45 PM #



  38. Hants August 25, 2015 at 6:33 PM #

    Alexandras 1977…memories….sweeeeet


  39. Hants August 30, 2015 at 11:49 AM #


    relevant ?


  40. Hants August 30, 2015 at 11:54 AM #

    Nice 70s style.


  41. David August 30, 2015 at 1:25 PM #


    Good vibes, were you a Black Uhuru fan?

    On 30 August 2015 at 15:54, Barbados Underground wrote:



  42. Hants September 1, 2015 at 2:46 PM #

    Yes David. They were in the era when I was a “party animal “.

    Bushie can rest assured that I thoroughly wasted my purpose in life. lol


  43. Exclaimer September 1, 2015 at 3:51 PM #

    @ Hants,

    You’ve taken me back to the past. Black Uhuru was a tremendous group. But Mikey Dread was a true originator. He had no peers. His music brought a feeling of pride, solidarity and militancy to the Caribbean negro diaspora who resided in the UK during the truly awful, hostile decades of the seventies and eighties.

    What happened to reggae music?

    Viva Mikey Dread!


  44. Dompey September 1, 2015 at 6:05 PM #


    What about Jacob Killer Miller music … this man cried for the Legalization of the ganja when the whole ideology behind rastafarianism infuriated the establishment in the Caribbean? And if you watch most of Killer Miller videos, you would notice that this lyrical soldier of the downtrodden youth in the Caribbean in the 1970’s, ablazed ganja in the presence of the authorities at his concerts.


  45. Hants September 2, 2015 at 10:08 AM #


    “Venus Williams is more than just a star tennis player. She’s a college graduate! And unlike those honorary degrees given to so many celebrities, Williams actually hit the books and earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University. The tennis champ, who’s into the second round so far at the U.S. Open, enrolled in the university’s online degree completion program back in 2011, and on her way to a tournament in Cincinnati in August, stopped by the Richmond, Indiana, campus to pick up her well-deserved diploma. Williams stated in a press release, “It was always my dream to have a business degree, and I ended up going to art school so many times, but in the back of my head I felt like I needed the tools to be a better leader.”


  46. David September 2, 2015 at 10:17 AM #


    Inspirational stuff!


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