Pan African activist David Denny has proposed that Golden Square, considered the flashpoint in the July 1937 Disturbances which helped usher in profound social change in Barbados be renamed National Heroes Square.
It was at Golden Square that National Hero Right Excellent Clement Payne addressed crowds agitating for improved conditions in the then British colony before being arrested and deported to Trinidad, triggering the riots.
Denny, who made the suggestion during an interview with Barbados TODAY, suggested such a change would also mean that Heroes Square would no longer be home to the statue of British naval hero Admiral Horatio, Lord Nelson.
He declared: “[Heroes] Square could return to the name Trafalgar Square. I am not comfortable with our National Heroes Square housing Lord Nelson. Our National Heroes Square should represent the heroes of Barbados.”
Denny also suggested that once Heroes Square was moved to Golden Square, several monuments should be developed in the area, to recognize the leaders of the 1937 riots and the Easter 1816 Rebellion.
He told Barbados TODAY: “We should develop it as a place where Barbadian people can go and pay respects to those fighters of the 1937 period who would have led the process for our emancipation process in Barbados, and that would have helped to bring about the labour organisations and the political parties that would have been able to chart the course for Barbadian people.”
During last year’s Day of National Significance on July 26, Prime Minister Mia Mottley suggested it was time to say goodbye to the old National Insurance Building, which neighbours Golden Square.
The Prime Minister contended that Golden Square, the venue for many of Payne’s historic speeches, was steeped in unpleasant surroundings.
She also said that the derelict building, located in “a prime space in this city”, also blocked the view of Independence Square.
Denny, who said he agreed with Prime Minister Mottley’s comments, noted that he believes that other Pan Africanists and the general public would support his proposal.
“I don’t think Barbadian people are comfortable with our National Heroes Square accommodating Lord Nelson. Lord Nelson is not a hero for Barbados,” Denny said. (AH)