Barbados’ Head of State believes every Barbadian should be concerned about the prevailing crime situation in the country.
With the country recording its seventh murder on Tuesday evening, Governor General Dame Sandra Mason today expressed concern about the development and indicated that Barbadians should be horrified and throwing their hands in the air about the alarming statistic.
In her usual soft tone, Dame Sandra said seven murders are worrying and especially in just the first month of the year.
The Governor General spoke out about the crime issue, while on a visit to Barbados’ latest centenarian Coral Osaline Agard, at 79 Appleby Gardens, St James.
As those gathered nodded in acknowledgement, Dame Sandra stressed that there is a need for the older generation to set good examples for the youth, in addition to showing them the right path to take in life.
“We as the adults need to talk to our young people. The fact that they are here and the things that they are enjoying have not been thrown like manna from heaven to them. We have worked, and granny started working and our parents and grandparents worked so we could be here.
“So we need to tell the young people that you have to work for what you want, it doesn’t come, as I said, like manna from heaven,” Dame Sandra said.
The Governor General said that the youth must be taught from an early age, respect for others, authority, and property.
She stressed too, that young people must also be taught how to love.
“One of the things I notice when you ask the mother of a murdered boy how she feels, she always says ‘oh, the last thing he said to me is I love you mom’.
“Now if he had said I love you mom, either the murderer or the victim would not be in the position that they are in because love doesn’t allow you to do to your fellow man, what some of them are doing.
“So we need to teach them love, we need to teach them respect. And they can only get it if we teach it to them and we show them,” she said.
Carrying on with her remarks, which captured the attention of all in her presence, Dame Sandra urged parents to be careful what examples they set for their children who are always watching them.
She spoke about the fact that she recently received an inspirational whatsapp message where a father urged his son to be careful where he walked.
“And then the son says to him, no problem dad I am watching you. So that tells you a lot,” she said.
Using an example from her own life, the mother of one recalled that when her son told her he wanted to study law, and she asked him if he knew what that meant, he told her, ‘yes mom, I watched you’.
“Now, I didn’t think that he was watching me. So what I am saying is that our children are watching us. If we speak ill of each other, if we curse, if we carry on . . .What we do, and how we do it, will determine how our children are. And you mom [centenarian] have been fortunate because obviously your children watched you, and watched you well because they are decent looking children,” she said.
The former Appeals Court Judge also added that Barbados has become a selfish society as it relates to people not speaking out about wrongdoings.
“When we see children doing things, despite the fact that they might curse you, you still say something, do not hold your tongue. You are the adult, you speak to the children, and that is our responsibility.
“We talk about why God give us mothers, he gives us to guide and direct us. Why God gives us adults? So that they can teach and show the younger ones. I think I have preached enough,” Dame Sandra said as she added her voice to the public outcry for the spate of crime and violence in society to come to a halt.
On January 8, Shaquille Toppin was shot and killed near Retreat Road, Black Rock.
On January 11, Ronald Rudder died as a result of gunshot wounds, which he received at the Pine, St Michael.
On January 15, 42-year-old Daryl Harris was shot and killed outside his home at Barbarees Hill, St Michael.
On January 21, 69-year-old Martha Doyle’s throat was slashed at the Vauxhall Senior Citizens Village, Vauxhall, Christ Church home.
Eighty minutes before Doyle tragically lost her life at the hands of another resident of the village, the body of an unidentified female was found at River Bay, St Lucy.
Then around 9:15 a.m. on Tuesday, the lifeless body of an unidentified female was found lying on her back next to an abandoned car in a bushy area at Northumberland, St Lucy, just about a mile away from River Bay.
Hours later, a Shop Hill, St Thomas family was thrown into mourning as their loved one 35-year-old Barry Taylor was murdered.