Be happy and proud that you are privileged to live on this island called Barbados. This encouragement to the pupils of the Maria Holder Nursery School at Sharon in St Thomas today from Dame Maizie Barker-Welch, who in a brief and simple speech to the little charges and their teachers spoke of Barbados as a loved tourist destination.
The recently nationally honoured Barbadian woman was visiting the school as part of its Black History Month celebrations, during which she will be honoured, along with former South African president Nelson Mandela.
Beginning with the lesson that Barbados was an island, since it was surrounded by water, Dame Maizie told the little ones that this meant there were beaches everywhere. Adding the sun to the sea and sand, she said, made for the promotion of the island as a tourist destination and for a love among visitors.
“If you walk to this end you see the sea, if you walk to that end, you see the sea. All around Barbados are beautiful beaches and sometimes
you go on picnics and you have some nice things to eat and then you go in the sea with your parents. A lot more people love that beautiful sea you have out there . . . .
“And therefore, those who live where they don’t have the sea want to come to a place all across the world to see the sea, sand and sun. When it is cold they run over here because they know that in Barbados we are going to have sun, we are going to have the beach, and we are going to have the sea,” said Dame Maizie.
“When tourists come here they have to spend money, because they have to pay to stay at the hotel; they have to pay the taxi driver who will take them into town and other parts of the island; and they have to pay for other products and services they use while here.
“When you see tourists you have to be pleasant and polite to them . . . . You have to be very pleasant and polite to people who come to the island, because we are a special island and we want people to keep coming.”
Principal Shelly Boyce told Barbados TODAY that Dame Maizie was chosen to be honoured during the school’s Black History Month celebtrations because of “her commendable and significant contributions to Barbados, and now
with her post as chairman of the National Committee On Ageing”.