by Kimberley Cummins
Organisers of fetes need to exercise a sense of conscience, says Minister of Human Resources, Ronald Jones.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY at the Ministry of Education at the Elsie Payne Complex today, he said that they must realise not every square foot of land in Barbados needed to have a fete on it.
“We have become so insensitive to other people,” he said. “We have to be careful of where we place these; we act so unconscious of other persons in our communities.
“We’ve had in the past complaints of so many areas. I know that Barbados is a small place and we have to give and take but there must be a sharing of our space.
“Why should fetes start at 10 (at night) and finish at 6 or 6:30 in the morning? When do people sleep, especially those in their home? You have taken fetes right into the heart of the community. In an open space, music travels farther and thing about it is you are not notifying the residence, you are not cognizant of the time it should finish so that people can get rest; you have older people and babies who need their rest.”
The minister was very clear that he was not at all against open air fetes, as he referred to the annual Cavalcades hosted by the National Cultural Foundation. What he preferred however, was that there be a type of zoning and for the events to be time bound so as not to disrupt residents in the particular area where they are being held.
“If I don’t want to hear you, don’t force yourself on me… I am not saying pull the events but where do your rights begin and where do my rights end? There has to be a consciousness in all these things. The Cavalcades have been successful; they are there for a time, they begin at a certain time and by 1 o’clock they move on.
“People come out, mingle, enjoy themselves and the little discomfort some people may experience, I think that can be tolerated but when you want to go from 10 p.m. to six and seven the next morning — that is something else,” he said.
Jones, who is also the Minister of Education, recognised there was a scarcity of entertainment venues which may sometimes be a problem, but he said that there were some on-going refurbishments to schools, such as the St. Lucy Secondary, St. Leonard’s Boys Secondary , Lester Vaughan Secondary, Christ Church Foundation and The Alleyne the communities could benefit from by utilising.
“More entertainment venues are needed, and if they are properly laid out, you could have the appropriate parking and space and that would not a problem. If we are going to push culture that is what we will have to do, but all I want is for people to be conscious of other people, they too have a right to live and exist in the same space,” he noted. [email protected]