Sir Charles Griffith (left) being officially conferred the honour of Knight of St. Andrew by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
Sir Warwick Franklin (left) being officially conferred the honour of Knight of St. Andrew by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
Publisher Sir Anthony Bryan (left) being officially conferred the honour of Knight of St. Andrew by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.
The country’s highest honour was yesterday conferred on three distinguished sons of the soil for outstanding contribution in their respective fields.
The insignia of Knight of St. Andrew was bestowed on the three by newly installed Governor General Her Excellency Dame Sandra Mason, in a ceremony held yesterday morning at Government House. They are businessman and media mogul, Sir Anthony Bryan; retired land surveyor and former Minister of Government, Sir Warwick Franklin; and businessman and former cricketer, Sir Charles Griffith. The announcement of their accolades came in the National Honours for Independence Day 2017, which marked the country’s 51st anniversary of nationhood.
The investiture took place in a ceremony witnessed by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and other members of Cabinet, as well as family and friends of the awardees.
Sir Anthony, owner and publisher of this island’s oldest newspaper, The Barbados Advocate, as well as the country’s first privately owned FM radio station, received the accolade of Knight of St. Andrew for his exceptional contribution to publishing, broadcasting and business, presenting a positive, balanced, credible view of Barbados.
The September-born, self-made businessman came from humble beginnings, and today his media empire has reaped success not only here in Barbados, but within the Caribbean as well. In 1972, Crown Caribbean Publishing – the first of his successful ventures – was born. The company would be responsible for releasing several local magazines, including the first in-flight magazine distributed on Caribbean Airways flights to Europe. Ten years later, he would branch into broadcasting, forming Barbados Broadcasting Service putting BBS 90.7 FM on the air. Then in 1991, driven by a strong Christian upbringing, his never-ending love for God and a desire to fulfil a need he saw in our society, Sir Anthony opened a non-profit radio station, Faith FM 102, dedicated solely to religious broadcasting.
But it was his purchase of The Barbados Advocate in 2000 that was his “most daring business venture” and that purchase would make history, as he is the first black Barbadian to own the esteemed newspaper publishing company. With his leadership, the company which was ailing would turn its fortunes around and with that success, the father of three would in 2006 venture outside of Barbados, into Grenada, to launch The Grenada Advocate. That is the first Barbadian-owned publication to be circulated successfully in Grenada.
Prior to this honour, Sir Anthony received the Gold Crown of Merit in 2001 and the Companion of Honour in 2016.
Sir Warwick Franklin was conferred the honour of Knight of St. Andrew in recognition of the prominent role he has played in the land surveying profession and to the land and property valuation profession. The father of four, who was awarded the Gold Crown of Merit in 2011, is a founding member of the Barbados Association of Professional Valuers.
The St. Philip-born man, after pursuing studies in Trinidad, returned to Barbados and was appointed Surveyor at Barbados Water Authority and Ministry of Transport and Works. Sir Warwick has held the posts of Deputy Commissioner of Land Valuation and Commissioner of Land Valuation in the Ministry of Finance. In the former role, he understudied UN-appointed advisors on rural and urban valuations to develop a valuation system for Barbados. According to his biography, he was also responsible for the introduction of a site and improved value system for land tax to succeed the rental value method.
In addition to his work in the land surveying field, Sir Warwick also entered elective politics representing the constituency of St. Philip North from 1981 to 1994. He served as a Minister of Government from 1986 to 1994 holding responsibility for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Labour and Consumer Affairs and Trade.
In respect of Sir Charles Griffith, his accomplishments on and off the cricket field are to be heralded. He had an outstanding local, regional and international career as a fast bowler and represented the West Indies in 1960 and from 1963 to 1969. He took 94 wickets in 28 test matches at a rate of 28.54 runs per wicket. After retiring from cricket, Sir Charles in 1973 joined the Barbados Lumber Company Limited as Assistant Manager, Marketing and Sales and recognising his qualities of loyalty, integrity, commitment and dedication, he was eventually promoted to the post of Manager, Sales and Marketing. He was also appointed as a Director. His commitment to the company and great leadership helped to make the Barbados Lumber Company Limited one of the leading firms in this country today.
It was no surprise then that following the death of the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2010, that it was Sir Charles that would act as CEO until 2012 when he retired. Even since retirement, he has continued to work with the company in a consultative capacity.
He was conferred the honour of Knight of St. Andrew in recognition of his stellar contribution to entrepreneurship, leadership and business development and his contribution in the area of sport, especially cricket. But this is not the first time his achievement in business development and cricket has been recognised, as he received the Silver Crown of Merit in 1992.