One of Barbados’ longest existing Afro-Barbadian institutions is lacking significant membership, but leaders of the organisation are working to overcome the crises.
Today at the press launch of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Barbados Landship at the “Dock”, Licorish Village, My Lord’s Hill, St. Michael leader of the movement, Lord High Admiral Vernon Watson, said that he understood that the organisation must become relevant in today’s society.
“In our plans we are seeking to align with national priorities, including the National Human Resource Development Plan being executed by the Ministry of Education,” Watson said.
“It is a matter of cooperation because no one person can do it alone. The Landship can only pledge to do what it can and indeed it requires a massive role to be undertaken … I am confident that many Barbadians will begin to see the relevance
of the Landship as we become more and more visible and credible,” Watson said.
He added that he held the belief that their contribution to national development had not ended, but infact was needed now more that any other time in recent history.
Co-Patron of the Landship, Margaret Williams, noted that the organisation’s first aim was to establish itself as central to understandings of cultural identity in Barbados.
“It’s specific mission is to popularise the Landship in every community where there are Barbadians,” she explained.
“One objective is to develop a practical appreciation of the Landship and its value to Barbados and Barbadians by sharing historical research with the general public through the publication of books and other literature that will give Barbadians a better understanding of their history.”
She added that there were plans to make the Landship sustainable by creating a hub for enterprise by training young people to give them skills and making products with a Landship brand.
“Most important is assisting in the branding of Barbados as a tourists destination by enhancing the niche market which the country has developed, making our tourism product more competitive through marrying culture with the tourism market,” Williams stated.
Coordinator Ashanti Trotman spoke of the activities that would take place as part of the anniversary events such as; Ship Ahoy, a community event at the Landship Dock; the anniversary lecture; the Landship Splash — a parade, Fair and Concert; the anniversary commemoration church service; and a tribute to the ancestors by visiting their graves. (MR)