“Be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded” – 2 Chronicles 15:7
This is one of the busiest periods of my life. There are so many calls on my time, but I enjoy every moment of it – well, most moments – the enjoyment is my reward. This exemplifies the Rotary International Motto “Service above Self”.
The Inclusive Play Facility Movie Night fundraiser mounted by the Rotary Club of Barbados South at the Barbados Museum two Saturday nights ago was a great success. The buzz at the cocktail function, the movie Calypso Dreams itself, the after party and silent auction all contributed to a great evening of entertainment. Our guests loved the film on the history of Calypso in Trinidad and Tobago. There was great demand for the DVD version but one supporter thought that we should repeat the process even with the same film since there is nothing like seeing the action on the big screen. Thanks to all who contributed to getting us closer to the financial target for the Inclusive Play Facility of Rotary South and West.
We had our regular Rotary meeting on Wednesday not knowing that the same night tragedy would strike involving one of our own. It was reported that Past President Ossie Taitt was involved in a freak car accident, while preparing to leave St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, which resulted in the death of his wife Norma. I understand that in an independent event Norma’s sister also died on the same day at QE Hospital. My deepest sympathy is extended to Ossie and family over this double loss of life.
The Rotary Club of Barbados South will have a fundraising Bingo event at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Monday 14 November at 7pm. Please come out and support the cause.
On Thursday at the monthly meeting of the Council of the Barbados Society of Technologists in Agriculture a pest control issue was raised which could have a disastrous impact on the community if not addressed with the utmost urgency. Indeed the pending disaster is of such great import that the council decided to take out a paid advertisement to draw the danger to the public’s and the authorities’ attention since no other approaches seemed to have worked.
The pest is COW ITCH, a well know plant pest with vicious, irritating hairs which can cause a great deal of pain in humans. A large contiguous land mass of the pest in the parish of St. John is about to unleash its fury on surrounding residents as the pods mature and dry. Then, the wind borne irritating hairs invade. The Cow Itch pest needs to be sprayed immediately to avoid this pending disaster. Schools may have to be closed, residents in the affected area may have to leave their homes, visitors driving in the country side may be attacked by the pest and many social activities may be disturbed.
On Friday morning there was the launch of the Barbados Chapter of the Caribbean Institute of Certified Management Consultants. Sustainable Economic development can only take place, one successful enterprise after another. The idea promoted by an enterprise can only achieve business success if the elements of management and money are not limiting. The members of the chapter therefore are integral to sustainable economic development since they will deliver the management advisory component – a bright future lies ahead.
On Friday night we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Errol & Nita Barrow Educational Trust at the Island Inn Hotel. Over this period 80 plus individuals were given scholarships by the Trust. Fifteen awardees attended along with seven Trustees. It was very gratifying to hear the presentations from each of the awardees who in turn expressed their appreciation for the assistance they were given and shared some insights into how the scholarships had helped each of them to accomplish their current achievements. It was a high quality event which was culminated in their commitment to mentor future awardees and give back financially as each evolved into a stronger economic unit so that others may benefit in turn. It was generally agreed that steps will be taken to establish a family of Errol & Nita Barrow Educational Trust scholarship winners who would then be able to expertly contribute to the continuity of the Trust.
On Saturday, I was a member of the panel of judges at the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s $20 Challenge aimed at Form 4 Secondary School Students throughout the island, who were each given a $20 ‘loan’ to create and start a business and operate it for a 5 week period. Students could enter individually or work in groups and pool their money and resources. As well as aiming to make a profit, they were encouraged to try to be innovative and to try to ‘give back’ to society, their school or community. The students were supplied with a Log Book to help get them started and as a way of monitoring their progress and end results. Our children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way.
The BEF is expecting a large turnout of entrepreneurs and small business owners for its second 2011 Entrepreneurs’ SUMMIT slated for November 17-18 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Conference Centre.
A group of volunteers established the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) with the vision to make Barbados “The #1 Entrepreneurial Hub in The World by 2020”. It has five support pillars each headed by a Pillar Champion in the areas: Government Policy; Business Facilitation; Education; Mentoring; and Finance.
Register now for the SUMMIT at – www.barbadosentrepreneurshipfoundation.org