The first cornerstones of nation building were set firmly by the Barbados Labour Party, (BLP), with the establishment of the nation’s first political and workers’ institutions and the right to vote.
These have been followed by legendary accomplishments each and every time our Party has been the government, transforming every aspect of the nation in a comprehensive exercise that led to Barbados being regarded more of a developed state than a developing one and engendering a pride in country equally important to nation building.
In fact, even in Opposition our Party has fought – and won – a number of battles on behalf of the people; one of the most significant in its history being the securing of the so-called “sugar windfall” – a surplus in sugar profits at a time when sugar production was the dominant economic activity and most of the island involved in its production.
This listing is by no means exhaustive, but includes the most influential and decisive steps taken by our Party, through legislation, taxation, other policies and projects, that have forever moved Barbados from abject poverty to a widely admired society.
Indeed, many have been giant leaps – crafted with such thought and executed so efficiently that decades after being introduced, they are still regarded as innovative and, essentially so, still affecting the lives of Barbadians for the better.
Barbados Workers Union, (BWU), Barbados’ first workers’ union
The right to vote – Universal Adult Suffrage
First woman elected to Parliament – Dame Ermie Bourne
Free Secondary Education: introduced by the construction of Princess Margaret, West St. Joseph (now Grantley Adams Memorial), Pine (now Parkinson Memorial) and St. Leonards(1955 – 1961)
“Windfall” Sugar Bonus paid directly to the agricultural workers – a BLP victory in Opposition against the combined forces of the Democratic Labour Party, (DLP), Government and the Barbados Workers Union, (BWU)
Ensured fundamental rights provisions in Constitution – including independence of the Judiciary and the Auditor General
Equal pay for men and women in the public service
Tenantries Freehold Purchase Act. Thousands of Barbadians given the right to purchase their house spots at the token price of ten cents per square foot.
Status of Children Reform Act, which wiped illegitimacy off the statue books
National Commission on the Status of Women, 1976, which made 212 recommendations relating to women, almost all of which were legislated or otherwise implemented.
Children of Barbadian women, wherever born, allowed automatic citizenship
Department of Women’s Affairs
National Cultural Foundation, (NCF)
Facilitation Unit for Returning Nationals (FURN)
Community Independence Secretariat, the Parish Ambassadors programme and the Lighting Ceremony to boost Independence celebrations
Rural Development Corporation, (RDC)
Urban Development Corporation, (UDC)
National Heroes on 28 April – the birthday of Sir Grantley Adams
“Bussa”, Emancipation Statue – and all other statues Bussa Statue
Day of National Significance, 26 July – date of 1937 Riots
Emancipation Day, 1st August
Pan African Commission
Senior Citizens Games
Civil servant salaries protected by Constitutional Amendment, the Public Service
Community Centres: Gall Hill, St. John; Ellerton, St. George; Belleplaine, St. Andrew; Checker Hall, St. Lucy; Sargeants Village, Christ Church; Clapham Park, St. Michael; Rock Hall, St. Andrew; Murphy Pasture, Bridgetown
Sporting facilities: Parish Land, Christ Church and Murphy Pasture, Bridgetown
National Sports Council, (NSC)
Flood lights: Murphy Pasture, the City; Meadow Road and Princess Royal Avenue, the Pine; Fernihurst, St. Michael; Dover, Christ Church and Haynesville, St. James.
Fitts Village Esplanade, St. James
Garfield Sobers Gymnasium
Sporting facilities: Bagatelle, St. Thomas; Montgomery, Cave Hill; Boscobelle, St. Peter; Holders Hill, St. James (now Desmond Haynes); Dover, Christ Church (pavilion); Brereton, St. Philip (Wayne Daniel); Cnr. Passage Road, the City; Parish Land, Christ Church; Mapp Hill, St. Michael
Community centre and park, Clapham, St. Michael
Sporting facility: Chancery Lane, Christ Church
Community centre, Bonnetts, St. Michael
Vauxhall Senior Citizens Home, Vauxhall, Christ Church
Barbados Scholarship increased from one (1) to five (5) and two exhibitions (2) granted
Branch Libraries in all parishes
Richmond Technical Institute
Coleridge and Parry School
Government Information Service, (GIS)
Pre-school education in Public Schools introduced
Adult Education – Evening Institute
Reading Unit set up at Erdiston, to identify children with reading problems and undertake remedial action.
Samuel Jackson Prescod Polytechnic, (SJPP)
Secondary education extended to 16 years from 14 years
Text Book Loan Scheme for secondary schools
School Uniform Subsidy for children entering secondary school
Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, (UWI), expanded
Barbados Community College, (BCC), expanded
Skills Training Programme
Free Secondary Education advanced by the extension of six secondary schools and the provision of an additional 2600 places in government secondary schools (1976 – 1986)
Eight (8) new primary and two special schools providing 5880 places: Sharon, St. Thomas; LT Gay, Spooners Hill, St. Michael; Luther Thorne, Wildey, St. Michael; St. Christopher, St. Christopher, Christ Church; All Saints, St. Peter; Hilda Skeene, Ruby, St. Phillip; Ignatius Byer, St. Lucy; Alma Parris special school, Speightstown, St. Peter and Edna Nicholls Remedial Centre, Boscobelle, St. Peter
Education Sector Enhancement Project (EDUTECH)
Nursery education expanded: Eden Lodge, St. Michael; Erdiston, St. Michael; Indian Ground, St. Peter; Prescod Boulevard, St. Michael
Lester Vaughn Secondary School
Nursery schools: St. Boniface, All Saints, St. Peter; Six Roads, St. Phillip; St.Giles
Sugar workers Welfare Housing Loan Fund – more than 2 000 workers received loans for repairs to their houses
Housing Board – now National Housing Corporation
Public Officers Housing Loan Scheme
Sites and services land programme
Springhead, St. James residents relocated to Sion Hill, St. James, moving from poverty to modern conditions of roads, lights and water
Housing Developments: Gall Hill, Christ Church; Six Roads, St. Phillip; Grazettes and Deacons Court, St. Michael; Belleplaine, St. Andrew; Colleton, St. Peter; Redmans Village, St. Thomas; Sayes Court, Christ Church
Housing projects: Kensington Lodge, Bridgetown, St. Michael; Fernihurst and Rosemont, Deacons, St. Michael; Lammings, St. Joseph; Haynesville, St. James; St. Matthias, Christ Church; Bonnets and the Ivy, St. Michael; Maynards, St. Peter
Housing: Pond Side, London Bourne Towers – Bridgetown, St. Michael; Deans Town, St. James; Coverley, Christ Church; Buckley Meadows, St. George; Hoytes Village, St. James; Arlie Heights, St. Michael
Barbados Mortgage Finance Corporation, (BMFC)
Houses for the elderly and poor through Urban and Rural Development Commissions – 447 alone through UDC
House spot purchase subsidies – 806 costing $8.8m – provided to tenants under the Tenantries programme with the right to buy their house spots at $2.50 per sq. ft.
100% mortgages to accelerate home ownership
Land tax abolished on properties valued $125 000 or less. This relieved the vast majority of owners of chattel houses from having to pay land tax
Land acquired for housing: Drax Hall Green, St. George; Work Hall, Hopeland and Marchfield, St. Philip; Tweedside Road, St. Michael; Four Hill Plantation and French Village, St. Peter
Housing for persons living with HIV and AIDS (PLWAs)
Housing Public/Private Partnership programme: Briar Hall, Christ Church; Cane Garden, St. Thomas; Barbarees Hill and Bank Hall, St. Michael
Female Training scheme for recruitment as domestics in Canada, thousands trained
Employment programme with the British government for work on British Rail, Army and Hospitals; thousands of Barbadians benefitted
Loans for thousands to facilitate travel to United Kingdom for employment in government sponsored programmes
The Stockton Report – feasibility study on National Insurance and Social Security scheme commissioned by Freddie Miller and financed by the Colonial Development and Welfare Department. (Draft legislation prepared for the implementation of the Scheme)
Employment: grown from 80,500 in 1976 to 105,600 by 1981
Barbados Workers Union, (BWU), housing project at Mangrove, St. Philip – lent $1 million