As Barbados celebrates 50 years of Independence, it must be remembered that in the same way a village raises a child, parishioners too develop a country.
With that being said, it is accurate to state that the parish of St John has contributed to the development of Barbados during the last 50 years.
Situated in the eastern region of Barbados, the parish is a natural treasure of rich history and magnificent and romantic views. Visitors and locals visit for the astonishing beauty and landscape and to take in popular sites such as the historic St John’s Parish Church, Codrington College, Villa Nova and social areas such as Bay Tavern and Lemon Arbor.
Many true sons and daughters of St John have helped to mould the parish and simultaneously contribute to the development of Barbados. By so doing, they have placed this 166 square mile island on the world map.
This year, the Parish Independence Committee of St John sought to draw attention to the contribution of ten such “legends” through a project undertaken by the two parish ambassadors. It involved documenting their achievements and contributions on a CD/DVD and bringing this information to the attention of St John residents.
The ten chosen were retired University of the West Indies principal Sir Keith Hunte, The Most Rev’d Dr John Holder, Anglican Bishop of Barbados and Archbishop of The West Indies, Cuthbert Pilgrim, Horatio Cooke, Iris Simpson, Eustace Small, Birchmore Carter, Parke Mapp, Fred Watson and Joseph Goddard.
The 2016 parish ambassadors, Rashida Beckles and Kadeem Maynard, along with the Parish Independence Committee, have led the way in making that project successful.
Rashida is 23-years-old and a proud graduate of the Alleyne School. She pursued studies in international relations at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and graduated with upper 2nd class honors. She enjoys writing and has her own blog. She is also a sports enthusiast and loves netball, hockey and volleyball.
Currently, she is a seasonal customer service representative at Foster’s Inc. Her motto, when working, is to make sure everyone has a smile by the time they leave her desk”. Rashida said that in five years’ time, she would like to be employed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. As for her long term plans, she is considering elective politics.
Her counterpart is 20-year-old Kadeem Maynard. Kadeem is a proud former student of the Parkinson Memorial School and is a freelance photographer. Kadeem currently works at Berger Paints but has his hands full with all his other activities, especially music.
His musical journey started in the Parkinson school band where he learnt to play keyboards and was introduced to audio engineering. He progressed so much in a short space of time that he was asked to play for the world-renowned band Krosfyah and Project X.
Kadeem is well known in the Pool, St John community for being the “fun station”, as he is known, because of his sense of humour.
He enjoys having a good time with his neighbours and engaging in recreational activities. He is also into sport, playing cricket football, basketball, road tennis, and lawn tennis.
Kadeem told Bajan Vibes that he has had the opportunity to live in an urban parish but he prefers St John because of the strong community spirit and the atmosphere of love, sharing and giving.
Kadeem and Rashida are encouraging fellow St John parishioners to come out on Saturday night to the Spirit of the Nation show in their gold shirts to support them as they showcase their talent and project on the ten legends.