Letter: The Great Shift: Vision 2020

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Dear Sir:

There have been much positive feedback from my letter to the editor entitled ‘Dream Big and Advance’ published in the Barbados Advocate of Friday, February 22, 2019. This letter is to give the Larrier family’s support of the big dream of Prime Minister Mia Mottley’s vision for 2020.

There is a shift in consciousness taking place and the vision 2020 project will bring that shift into focus. To appreciate the importance of the shift we must reflect on the year 1492 that brought about a great shift in economic and spiritual power following the decade long war of Granada 1482-1491, a war that was a joint project between Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in which the bulk of the troops and funds for the war came from Castile. After the war Granada was annexed into Castile’s lands. This resulted in the Africans Moors being overthrown in January 1492 and expelled, after ruling Spain and other parts of Europe for over 700 years.

That victory over the African Moors led to the voyage of Columbus, which was also finance by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Therefore October 12, 1492 and the “discovery” of the European’s “New World” must be placed into context if we are to value the great shift that is taking place. Most people are aware that something big is taking place but they don’t understand what it is. Neither does the role that Barbados in playing in the process of economic and spiritual liberation for Afrikan people is fully understood.

When reviewing the events of 2018 it became clear to me, and should be oblivious to all black people that the ancestors are guiding the process that has been taking place to bring about economic and spiritual liberation.

During the year there were a number of positive events of which I shall mention only five: (1) the President of Ghana proclaimed 2019 as ‘The Year of Return for Diaspora Africans; (2) the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) while in opposition won all 30 seats for the House of Assembly during May 24 elections creating political history in the Commonwealth and at the same time electing the first female Prime Minister of Barbados; (3) the British Prime Minister Theresa May apologized to 12 CARICOM countries for the policies of the 1950s and 1970s now referred to as the Windrush generation scandal, and has agreed to pay compensation to the victims of those policies; (4) the African Union launched a government — the State of the African Diaspora — to bring together 350 million Diaspora Africans to be united with Africans on the continent; (5) Prime Minister Mia Mottley declared that she had a vision of Barbados for 2020.

The vision of Prime Minister Mottley was launched at Parliament Building on Friday, February 22, attended by the governor general of Barbados Dame Sandra Mason. Vision 2020 is a project entitled ‘We Caterin’ Barbados 2000’. It is an invitation to Barbadians worldwide to visit Barbados during the year and to renew relationships with fellow Barbadians, to unite or be re-united with relatives and friends from the villages which they were born. “From Barbados to the world and back” was the statement of the PM. The government’s plan is a nationwide programme of action, whereby each month of the year is allocated to a parish, during which activities that residents consider relevant to their community will be supported by the government.

In my letter to editor of February 22 I said that some aspects of my vision of 1977 were in progress. This project is of particular interest to my family because we have been given two bites of the cherry as both July and October are significant for our family history. Firstly, it is accepted that the Larrier family originated from St. Philip. The statement all Larriers are related is one of Facebook pages. Also on July 2, 1978, Barbados’ first International Family Reunion was hosted by the Larrier family and again 40 years later on July 2, 2018 the family held an event entitled ‘Let Talk Family: Time For Unity”. At the same time the State of the African Diaspora for family unity was established.

Therefore, is it coincident or are the ancestors guiding the process that for project 2020 the parish of St Philip has been allocated the month of July? The Larrier family in the Diaspora is being asked to visit Barbados during the month of July and to claim it as Family Unity Month, thereby commemorating that first reunion held in July 1978.

Secondly, for me the other important aspect of vision 2020, which needs to be taken into consideration, is Oistins. St. Philip represents the male side of my family, the Larriers while Oistins represents the female side of the family the Lashleys. Oistins is the heartbeat of Christ Church; it’s where the Barbados Charter of 1652 was signed. That charter influenced the world and was also used to help draft the constitution of the USA.

Oistins is the place that was badly affected during the passage of Hurricane Janet, which devastated Barbados on September 22, 1955. Two fishermen from Oistins went missing at sea, one of them was Darnell Larrier and because his body was not recovered the then BLP government came to the family’s rescue by assisting six of Darnell’s children who were under the age of 16 years old. In addition, his eldest daughter was given a free trip to England by a businessman. The reunion in 1978 was to reunite the family but also to thank the government and people of Barbados for the assistance given to us following Hurricane Janet of 1955.

God has blessed Barbados, the Larrier / Lashley family and Oistins in special ways, and the ancestors have been guiding our family all the way. In 1990 one of the family members that were helped by government in 1955 made a proposal to the world for October 12 to be designated a day for truth, justice, peace, healing and reconciliation, while at the same time calling on the government of Barbados to take the lead in submitting a resolution to the United Nations for October 12 to be so proclaimed. On October 12, 2012 the government established a National Task Force on Reparations and on October 12, 2013 the World Social Forum proclaimed October 12 as the International Day for Reparations. Therefore, it cannot be considered coincidental that in the PM’s vision for project 2020 the month of October has been allocated to Christ Church.

The shift which occurred in the late 15th century (1492) that led to economic and spiritual dominance by Europeans based on untruths and violence causing untold physical and psychological damage to the world’s people, in particular to people of Afrikan descent. This was reinforced during the slave era by colonial Barbados, the first colony whereby the colonizers and the colonized arrived together in 1627, and that passed the Slave Code of 1661, which influenced all colonized nations of the world with the ideologies of white supremacy (racism) and of a man’s world (sexism).

Therefore, if the world is to be brought back into alignment with truth, justice, peace healing and reconciliation then it is appropriate that a great shift similar to what occurred in the 15th century (1492) takes place in the 21st century (2020) and that Barbadians are placed in the leadership position, with a female prime minister with her vision for 2020.

The Larrier and Lashley family thank the ancestors for giving the prime minister guidance.

Rev. Buddy Larrier

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