Right move!


A local historian is adamant that National Hero Errol Barrow was right to push for Barbados to become an independent nation in 1966.
In fact, Historian, Trevor Marshall is suggesting that had Barrow listened to those opposed to the idea of independence at that time, and those who were in favour of waiting for the smaller islands to also seek independence, it is possible that the country may not have gained independence for several decades. He made the submission while delivering the Democratic Labour Party’s weekly lunchtime lecture on Friday on the topic ‘The Revolution of Errol Barrow’.
Marshall’s comments came as he explained that when the country’s first Prime Minister put forward the idea of independence in 1965, a “storm arose”, and that storm, he charged, has reintroduced itself on the question of republicanism.
“Grandchildren and children of those people who fought against independence are now fighting against republicanism. The question was then – should Barbados proceed to what we call insular independence, that is by itself; or should Barrow wait until the Little 8 Federation had matured?”
Marshall, speaking to the accomplishments the country has made in several spheres since Independence, including education, told those gathered that he is of the belief that the “enemies of Independence” at that time, many of whom are still alive today, should apologise to the people of Barbados.

“We apologise! We had no confidence in Mr. Barrow at the time; we did not think that Barbados should go to Independence. We thought that Barbados would become a banana republic; we thought that Barbados would become like Cuba; we thought that Barbados would become like Haiti, we did not think that Barbados would survive five years as an independent country. It has survived 50… do you think they will apologise? No!” he stated.


With that in mind, he said that many who at that time opposed Independence have since jumped on the “bandwagon of Mr. Barrow’s revolution”.


Meanwhile, touching on the subject of education, he argued that all those who suggest that secondary education in this country was free in 1952, should rethink that idea. He said while the creation of St. Leonard’s, Princess Margaret, West St. Joseph and the amalgamation of Coleridge and Parry, presented more educational opportunities for those who could not afford it, they did not open the doors to universal education as the older secondary schools still charged fees. As such, he maintained that free secondary education only came with Barrow’s abolition of those fees.


“Having graduated from those schools you could not become a nurse, you didn’t qualify to be a nurse… you could not get your university qualifications, you could not come from Princess Margaret straight to a university, you could not go from St. Leonard’s to a university. Only from Harrison’s College, Combermere, Queen’s College and Lodge School could you go straight to a university, as I myself know,” he said.


Marshall maintained, “St. Leonard’s and Princess Margaret and then West St. Joseph prepared you to be bus drivers, alms house nurses and other such personnel. That is not free secondary education.” (JRT)



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