Barbados efforts to adequately monitor its ports of entry are being significantly boosted with the implementation of an Advanced Cargo Information System.

The system according to Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, was agreed to by Caricom heads of Government in April 2008.

According to Mr. Straughn, other Caribbean countries have moved ahead of Barbados in introducing the system.

Mr Straughn led off debate on the second reading of the Customs Amendment Bill 2019.

He says the day to day management of transport operations will also be enhanced with the introduction of the new technology and the system. 

There's concern that social media has overtaken book reading as the main source of information for young people in Barbados.

Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs Senator Lucille Moe, says platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are slowly replacing many of the traditional methods of information gathering.

As a result, Senator Moe says many people are no longer interested in reading books.

It was almost like he never left.

Eight-time Northlands Park champion, Rico Walcott, showed little signs of rustiness as he logged his first wins of the new season at Century Mile in another emotional step in his comeback last weekend.

The 29-year-old success came just 3-½ months after undergoing serious surgery to remove a brain tumor, which had resulted in him suffering four seizures in the space of an hour last March.

Ruled out of the start of the season in April, Walcott made his first appearance last Thursday when he finished sixth aboard For Cash in his solitary ride.

On Saturday, however, he made all the running aboard favourite Shanghai Mike to win his first race of the season in only his second start, in a five-furlong sprint in race two on the eight-race card.

While he went unplaced in his two other rides on the day, Walcott said he was thrilled just to be back in the saddle again.

“It felt good. It felt like I never had the surgery,” said the Barbadian. “I was hoping I’d get one (win). I knew I had a couple of good horses.”

Walcott went one better on Sunday’s seven-race card when he rode a double to snatch the headlines for something other than simply his return to racing.

He opened his account in race four over 6-½ furlongs aboard favourite Got My Mo, making all the running with the five-year-old dark bay gelding to brush aside the three-year-olds and upward by 1-¼ lengths.

Walcott then returned in race six over the same distance to score with another favourite Timely Prize, bringing the seven-year-old chestnut gelding from a stalking position to nail the pace-setter at the top of the stretch and romp to the wire 1-¾ lengths clear of the three-year-olds and upward.

Agent Bob Fowlis said Walcott was not yet back to full fitness and so would not feature heavily.

“That’s why we’re taking it slow,” he said.

CMC

The former governor of the Central bank of Barbados, (CBB), Dr. DeLisle Worrell is urging regional countries to seriously consider using the United States dollar as their national currency, after initially arguing that Caribbean currencies served a crucial purpose when they were first introduced, but they have now become a nuisance in today’s digitised world.

Writing in the July edition of his “Monthly Economic Newsletters,” the economist said that the one question which always surfaces in response to his call to retire all Caribbean currencies is about national sovereignty.

“Most people seem to believe that sovereignty is “lost” with the retirement of the local currency. On the contrary, replacing domestic currency and deposits with US currency and deposits gives everyone in the country wider access to goods and services.

“With domestic currency you can buy only local goods and services; with US dollars you can purchase from anywhere in the world, wherever you can get the best value for your money,” Worrell wrote, adding that the fact of the matter is that the US dollar is sovereign in international transactions “and there is nothing than can be done about that.

He said even China, the world’s second largest economy, with 15 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) to the US’s 24 per cent, accepts payments in US dollars.

“A Jamaican travelling to Haiti, a Guyanese to Suriname, a Dominican to Guadeloupe, a Trinidadian to

Barbados, all take US dollars with them. All hotel rates and oil and commodity prices are quoted in US dollars.

“Ironically, having a domestic currency in today’s digital world may make a country more susceptible to US sanctions than a fully dollarized country would be,” he said, arguing that Washington’s sanctions against Cuba and Iran “are effective because Cubans and Iranians earn in a local currency whose value continues to fall because the country’s access to US dollars is limited.

“The US reaps tremendous benefit from the fact that its currency is in universal use. Countries which have their own currencies all maintain a reserve of foreign exchange at their central banks with which to protect the value of domestic money. Those reserves are mostly held in US treasury securities, and constitute a loan to the US Government.

“However, a country like Panama which has no currency of its own does not have that problem,” he noted.

“The bottom line is that rather than impairing national sovereignty, replacing the domestic currency empowers the country and its citizens by giving access to the world’s goods and services, to the full extent of their incomes. Moreover, the country has no need to offer credit to the world’s wealthiest nation, in order to maintain the value of domestic financial assets.”

Earlier Worrell had said Caribbean currencies should be replaced because the present world of commerce and finance bears no resemblance to the world for which Caribbean currencies were devised. “Up until the 1960s in most Caribbean countries, all retail transactions and many wholesale transactions were settled with notes and coins. The means of payment were always scarce in those days, because our countries are so distant from the European capitals that issued the world’s major currencies.”

He said nowadays, currency notes and coin, mostly of uncertain value in terms of purchasing power of the everyday goods and services countries need to source abroad, are little used domestically.

“Mostly we use electronic transfers, cheques and credit cards. Since these are all computer records, it is immaterial how they are denominated, so long as both ends of every transaction match. There is no reason to link the denomination of the electronic transactions to the value of notes and coins.”

He said replacing the Barbados dollar with the US dollar for all transactions, domestic and foreign, enhances the range of choice open to the country and its residents, in all international commerce.

“International transactions are conducted in US dollars or in currencies that are convertible to US dollars. In contrast, with Barbados dollars you cannot buy or sell anything outside of Barbados, not even in nearby St Lucia, much less in the rest of the world. The GDP of Barbados in 2018 was about US$5 billion, but the country had access to less than US$3 billion of international goods and services, because that was the total availability of US dollars and other foreign exchange from exports, tourism and other services, and foreign financial inflows.”

CMC

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has denied reports that it intends to send home workers in an “involuntarily separate” programme.

BTC chief executive officer, Garfield Sinclair, said reports in the media regarding the company’s employees do not “represent the position of BTC.

“The company again emphatically denies any plans to involuntarily separate from any of its employees, so any claims to the contrary are baseless and without foundation,” he said in a statement.

Sinclair said that as part of the BTC’s commitment to evolution and progress, it is commitment to its staff by mentioning the recently instituted increased time for maternity and paternity leave.

“As a progressive organization in an intensely competitive environment, BTC’s operating model will continue to evolve in order to provide our customers with a differentiating customer experience as cost efficiently as possible.

“This means aligning our people, processes and procedures with our ultimate goal of providing the best and most reliable connectivity at competitive prices to our customers throughout The Bahamas; delivering moments that matter.”

Sinclair said that the company is focused on maintaining a culture of high performance and improving the welfare of its employees.

“Last month, we introduced an eight-week paid paternity leave, just in time for Father’s Day. No other company in the country provides fathers with eight weeks of paid paternity leave. We also increased maternity leave to sixteen weeks, one month better than the nation’s standard twelve-week leave. Colleagues becoming parents through adoption and surrogacy now receive eight weeks of paid leave, all in an effort to provide more time for our parents to bond with their new borns.”

Sinclair said that the company takes its role as a public institution here “very seriously and accordingly ensure that we conduct our affairs in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, which includes consultations with our union partners and discussions with our team members. “

The chief executive officer said that the company is in the process of finalizing an industrial agreement with the union “that will serve the interests of all stakeholders.

“We also recently completed the terms of an industrial agreement with the BCPOU that had been outstanding for more than two years,” he added.

CMC

The Mayor of Arima, Lisa Morris-Julian, Monday said the murder of prominent local actor, Raymond Choo Kong, will have a tremendous impact.as the country responded in shock and disbelief to his death.

Police said that the body of the 69-year-old award winning producer, director, and actor, who had been involved in the local theatre for the past 40 years, had been found in his home in Arima with several stab wounds.

“I can count on my hand how many residents still live in the heart of Arima. It is difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s right behind the police station. Because you’d think that one of the safest places to be is right by the police station,” the Mayor told reporters, adding “this will have a tremendous impact. Raymond Choo Kong was a tremendous celebrity. He was an artist, writer, director and entrepreneur. It is a blow”.

His Raymond Choo Kong Productions is a well-established theatre production house, which he founded. The Ministry of Culture said that Choo Kong had received a total of 18 Cacique Awards from all categories, making him the holder of the most local awards.

Choo Kong has directed large musicals and had also worked with the late Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott.

The artistic and managing director of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop(TTW), Albert Laveau, questioned his murder, saying “I was talking to him this morning. He was supposed to teach a class. I am trying to cope with this shock”.

“He is a harmless person. Why would anyone want to kill him?” Laveau said, adding that the murder had brought the alarming crime situation closer to home.

Actor Penelope Spencer, who appeared in many of his productions, said she was “speechless” and described the death ‘as a great loss.

“His legacy will live on forever,” she added.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, said it joined with the nation “in mourning the loss of an exceptional artiste and mentor.

“The late Raymond Choo Kong devoted his life to enriching Trinidad and Tobago’s theatre landscape, and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts is immensely grateful for his invaluable contribution. Choo Kong was one of this year’s Mentors for the Mentoring by the Masters Programme, and will be dearly missed by his mentees and associates,” it added.

Local artists were planning a surprise birthday party Choo Kong on Monday and according to Roger Roberts, a local actor and member of the Rapso Group, “3canal,” the entire theatre community was supposed to come. But we are the surprised ones now”.

CMC

Of “Coral Cliff” Mullins, St. Peter and St. Stephen’s Clinic, St. Stephen’s Hill, St. Michael.

Daughter of Patricia and the late Eric Hunte.

Sister of Ferdinand Gill of Canada, Marquetta Butcher, Femi Sundiata of Miami, Ian Hunte of Barbados Light and Power and Mary Jordan.

Sister-in-law of Audley Jordan and Sherri Gill.

Aunt of Sean and Ryan Butcher, Bianca Jordan, Yannick Hunte of Miami, Zoe and Erin Hunte, Kofi Gill and Levar Rowe.

Great-aunt of Isabel Odarchenko.

The funeral of Dr. Rose Anna Maria Hunte leaves Lyndhurst Funeral Home, Passage Road, St. Michael on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 for the Chapel of Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, The Ridge, Christ Church, where relatives and friends are asked to meet at 2:00 p.m. for the service and interment.

The organist is asked to attend.

Flowers may be sent to Lyndhurst Funeral Home, no later than 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The body of Dr. Rose Anna Maria Hunte will repose in the Colin Parkinson Memorial Chapel, Lyndhurst Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 19th, 2019.

Condolences may be sent to www.lyndhurstfuneralhome.com

Age 52, of Upper Carter’s Gap, Enterprise, Christ Church. Draughtsman of ADEB Consultants Limited and Faithful Member of Foundation United Volleyball Club.

Son of Eldina Moe and the late Ewart Moe.

Husband of the late Dela Adinyira-Moe.

Father of Nathan Moe.

Stepfather of Dayna Ifill.

Brother of Ian, Harriette, Tyrone and Nannette Moe, Jacqueline Moe-Cox and Heather Small.

Nephew of Winifred Sealy, Marjorie Estwick, Elsie Padmore and Orlando Jones.

Uncle of Cameron and Onika Moe, Micaela, Micah and Mikyle Small, Kadeem Christie and Davin Cox.

Cousin of Edwin Moe, Anthony Sealy, Maureen Welch, Victor and Pamela Estwick, Patricia and Ricardo Alleyne, Doreen Ward, Karen Hinkson, Hasina Jones and many others.

Son-in-law of Yvette Burnett.

Brother-in-law of Ronald Small and David Cox.

Relative of the Moe, Padmore, Jones and Evelyn families.

Friend of many.

The funeral of Mitchell Anderson Moe leaves Clyde B. Jones Funeral Home, Top Rock, Christ Church on Saturday 20th July, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. for The Chapel of Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, The Ridge, Christ Church where relatives and friends are asked to meet at 10:00 a.m. for a Service of Thanksgiving, followed by the interment in Tranquility Lawns

Floral tributes may be delivered to Clyde B. Jones Funeral Home, Top Rock, Christ Church no later than 6:00 p.m. on Friday 19th July, 2019 or 8:00 a.m. on Saturday19th July, 2019

Visitation takes place in the Chapel of Clyde B. Jones Funeral Home, Top Rock, Christ Church from 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday 19th July, 2019

To express condolences visit www.clydebjonesfuneralhome.com

Of Marley Vale, St. Philip.

Mother of Veronica, Patricia, Winston, Junior, Victor and Sherry.

Sister of Judy, Yvonne, Myrtle and Emmanuel Skeete and Sandra Massiah. Grandmother of Keisha, Kevin, Codie, Akelia, Alisha, Azari, Renaldo, Tremaine, Tyrique, Ranaco, Ronico, Kaden, Javon and many others.

Great-grandmother of five.

Aunt of many.

Cousin of Yvonne, Missy and Christine Brathwaite and many others.

Adopted mother of Don Lucas.

Mother-in-law of Alvin Best.

Relative of the Skeete, Warren, Brathwaite, Straughn, Husbands and Davis families. Special friend of Beverley Gittens, Armel Straughn, Henderson Clarke, Owen Arthur, Stephen Streeks, Inspector Hackett of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Gloria, Cyntonnia, Ms. Bowen, Coreen, the Grazettes, Mason and Greenidge families and many others.

A service of praise and thanksgiving for the life of Evelyn Ismay Skeete will take place on Tuesday July 16th, 2019, at 3:30 p.m. at St. Catherine’s Anglican Church, St. Catherine’s, St. Philip, where relatives and friends are asked to meet, followed by the interment in the churchyard.

The organist and members of the church choir are asked to attend.

Viewing of Evelyn Ismay Skeete will take place in the chapel of St. Hill Funeral Home, Bush Hall, St. Michael from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 15th July 2019.

Final care and arrangements have been entrusted to Brian Bentham's Funeral Services, Waterford, St. Michael.

Gittens, McDonald

Age 62, affectionately known as “Sam-Pup”, of Gills Road, St. Michael and formerly of College Savannah, St. John. Retired employee of C.O. Williams Construction Limited.

Father of Ryan Oliver.

Brother of Edward “John” Gittens, Carl, Whitfield, Mark, Lana, Marion and Justine Gittens, Peter Thompson and Avril Gooding.

Uncle of many.

Nephew of Sylvester Gittens.

Brother-in-law of Marcell Gittens and Rhonda Wiltshire-Gittens.

Relative of the Gittens and Harewood families.

Friend of Barry Holder.

A Service of Thanksgiving celebrating the life of McDonald Gittens will take place on Monday July 22nd, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Catherine’s Anglican Church, St. Catherine, St. Philip, where relatives and friends are asked to meet. The cortege will then proceed to the St. Mark’s Anglican Churchyard, College Savannah, St. John for the interment.

The Organist and Members of the Choir are kindly asked to attend.

Flowers may be delivered to St. George's Home for Funerals no later than 12:00 noon on Monday.

Viewing will take place on Sunday July 21st, 2019 at St. George's Home for Funerals, Carmichael House, Carmichael, St. George from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. until the start of the service at the church on Monday.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to St. George’s Home for Funerals.

Online condolences may be posted to: sydjonesfunerals.com

  • Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there, I did not die!