H.E Robert Morris, Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, speaking of his fond memories of Evelyn “Granny” Walcott.
Evelyn ‘Granny’ Walcott – A phenomenal woman
Fri, 03/25/2016 - 12:00am Barbados1
Speaking not as Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, but as a historian and an alumnus of Foundation Boys’ School on the topic “Oistins, Entreprenuership and the Phenomenal Granny Walcott”, the Honourable Robert Morris gave a thorough presentation during the Sir Harold Bernard St. John Lecture on Wednesday night.
Touching on the history of Oistins, Morris informed that it was a busy town during the 1800s but this steadily declined as business shifted to Bridgetown – and it was in this era of decline that Evelyn “Granny” Walcott was born. Moreover, Morris gave a step by step commentary of infrastructure, businesses and families that have occupied the stretch of Oistins over the years. Therefore in creating the context of Oistins, Morris noted that “Granny” always had a sense of location.
Being given the opportunity to work in the canteen of the then Foundation Boys’ School, “Granny” was in business and left many to wonder how she prospered in such a poor town being black and more than that, being a woman. Morris explained that “Granny” was an entrepreneur who sought to diversify her product and soon, there was the emergence of varied ‘cutters’ that locals and tourists alike enjoy. Added to that, there was the notion of rum drinkers off lining their stomachs with grease when getting ready to consume rum and “Granny” provided this grease in her delicacies.
To this end, Morris asserted that she found her niche and exploited it to the benefit of her business. However, it is “Granny’s” character and personality that kept her business afloat as she was known to help many who lacked basic needs. Furthermore, she passed on her entrepreneurial skills to her children and today, food can still be obtained from her restaurant.
“You have to leave more than you brought, otherwise you’ve failed,” posited Morris as he went on to emphasise that “Granny” left more than she brought, making her a phenomenal woman.