Untamed natural landscapes, breathtaking views, beautiful scenery and unique rock formations are what residents of St Joseph are accustomed to on a daily basis.
Along with a rugged coastline, a world renowned beach and three botanical gardens, the parish is also known for having the oldest bridge which was made with molasses and egg white and is still standing strong.
2016 parish ambassadors Brandon Beckles and Cadesha Rouse are confident about their chances of winning this year’s Spirit of the Nation show. Cadesha, who is a self-employed poultry farmer, told Bajan Vibes “we are bringing home the Bacon”
The former Lodge School student described herself as a “good old farmer girl”, recounting her childhood growing up in the Airy Hill community. Cadesha enjoys reading and gardening. After deferring her studies at the University of the West Indies, the 21 year old lass decided to start her own business called “Jiffy Chicks & Seasoning”
Brandon, on the other hand, is known for being accident-prone. Having broken both his ankles twice and swallowed a marble on one occasion, he joked: “I am made of rubber and magic”. Brandon enjoys watching television, going to the beach and is a self-proclaimed “Pokémon expert”. He is always on the lookout for “pokie stops’.
The 20-year-old studied carpentry at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and Accounting at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
The two 2016 parish ambassadors boasted of the beautiful panoramic view of St Joseph which can be seen from Hackleton’s Cliff, and the fact that their parish has the only natural rock formation, found at Parris Hill, in the shape of various animals. Cadesha bragged that nowhere else in the world can the same be found.
Over the past year, the Parish Independence Committee for St. Joseph has been working under the theme “Pride, Industry, People… St. Joseph Uh Come From”. The young ambassadors’ parish project was structured in a way to encourage St. Joseph residents to view the parish as a home where family members feel secure and loved so that, where the home is cherished, pride is exuded and its natural beauty continuously enhanced.
To provide residents with an opportunity of becoming self-sufficient through growing what they eat and eating what they grow and to recognize, appreciate and celebrate persons who have made sterling contributions to the development of St Joseph, the two ambassadors told Bajan Vibes that St Joseph was established to be a parish for agriculture. Therefore, the food aspect of their project served as a reminder to residents of “who they really are”, they explained.
The project was carefully tailored around education and getting the community involved in food, music and dance.
Under the project, some 5,000 seedlings, representing 12 different crop species, were distributed to residents in the parish. They parish ambassadors reported that the crops would have taken 6-8 weeks to grow and the drive has been successful.
St Joseph has been in the spotlight over the past year due to a severe water shortage. The parish ambassadors, with the support of corporate Barbados, have distributed water in various communities and launched educational programmes to teach residents about water harvesting.
For the two ambassadors, the most successful part of their project would have been the music. After seeking to find hidden musical talent in St Joseph, the chosen persons were given training by well-known musician, Adrian “Boo” Husbands, who lives in the parish. They also participated in personal development sessions which were all part of making them better musicians.
Chairperson of the St. Joseph Parish Independence Committee, Angela Hamilton, said the music programme “has widened the musical horizons” of the participants, boosted their confidence and helped them to “appreciate music more”.
The dance and music parts of the parish ambassadors’ project culminated with a recently held variety concert showcasing the talent St. Joseph has to offer.
As the ambassadors prepare to receive the Commemorative Broken Trident in the month of October, St Joseph will come alive with a massive celebration of food. It entails a food fest, pork lime, an old time excursion and the first of its kind ‘Bathsheba by Night’ which will be done in Crop Over Cavalcade style. It will be a massive street fair and will feature food, dance and music.