Special Envoy on Reparations and Economic Enfranchisement Trevor Prescod has applauded Government’s decision to transform the Treasury Building into apartments to give more Barbadians the opportunity to live in the capital city.
Describing the move as a positive and bold step, he said the Government was “trying to make sure that it reaches out and helps the most vulnerable in this society”.
“So whether we put it in the middle of Broad Street or Swan Street, there can be no issue more important than the lives of the people, especially people who build The City of Bridgetown. There is too much absence of our presence in The City of Bridgetown and many other locations across Barbados,” he said during contribution to debate on a resolution to vest the Treasury Building in the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc (BTII).
The transformation of the Treasury Building will see not only studio and two-bedroom apartments being made available but also commercial entities and a cultural hub.
Prescod, the Member of Parliament for St Michael East, was concerned that Black people whose ancestors were held captive and forced to cultivate lands were now finding it difficult to own a piece of the rock.
Stressing that there are other areas around Bridgetown that need greater development, not just for the construction of housing but also for aesthetic purposes, he said he was also disturbed by the fact that symbols of the country’s history were missing from the landscape.
“I don’t know when last I see the paintings of the National Heroes. Even during November, whatever month, you don’t see the paintings of National Heroes [anywhere] on any building.
“The Ministry of Culture probably should be playing a more central role, even architects should be playing more of a central role in the planning and the construct, especially if we are going to reclaim certain historic memories in The City of Bridgetown.
“It can’t be that costly for us even to have paintings of outstanding Barbadians at different strategic points across The City. Something is wrong. Furthermore, the ones that we had before we cannot even see at any time. A painting of Clement Payne, the late Errol Walton Barrow, Grantley Adams, nobody. You cannot see anything like that in The City of Bridgetown, as though people reclaimed the whole space for themselves again, and that can’t happen in a republic,” Prescod said. (AH)