Summary: The 48th Annual General Meeting of the Barbados National Trust (BNT) convened at 5pm, Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008. The Honourable Prime Minister David Thompson, M.P., was the guest speaker. While he was in favour of protecting the East Coast, he appeared to support the development plans of the former administration, the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
After the PM’s speech, and after the routine business, the meeting turned to four controversial proposals, the first concerning Nelson’s statue and the renaming of Heroes’ Square. Two proposals addressed public access, and one was against the Greenland Landfill. These matters were eventually referred to the BNT Council.

Above: P.M. David Thompson addresses the BNT’s AGM. Behind him is what looks like an exquisite old Barbadian Mahogany cabinet.
Parts of Mr. Thompson’s speech mentioned preservation
of natural areas, while other parts outlined development.
The PM supported the preservation of the East Coast.
He wanted the East Coast to remain in Bajan hands, and to be kept as a free breathing space. He said that he could not stop the Martin’s Bay development, as it was already started. He did not volunteer to rescue the West Coast.
Mr. Thompson spoke favourably about the 2003 Amended
Physical Development Plan, which was assembled by the previous administration, the Barbados Labour Party.
The BLP had approved projects not in the plan and then modifed the plan to accommodate them. It then sat on the plan for ages. Finally the BLP passed the Plan in Parliament, with no discussion from the opposition which had walked out! The BLP Plan, among other things, proposed putting the landfill at Greenland in the National Park. Since Mr. Thompson did not mention his opposition to the Greenland Landfill, it can be assumed that he is not opposed to it.
Barbados National Trust - Business all in Order
It was a pleasure to see that the BNT produced their
profit and loss figures, and that all their business was in order. This is one company that is in compliance with the law! … and it is done by volunteers! BNT had an operating income of about half a million dollars (BDS $500,000). The surplus carried forward was over BDS $32,000.
Controversial Proposals
National Trust member, Richard Goddard, proposed four
Here is the gist of his resolutions:

  1. Nelson’s Statue to be left and Heroes’ Square renamed
  2. Indian Trail in St. Thomas should be kept open
  3. Landfill at Greenland should not be a garbage dump
  4. Public access to beaches should be marked
The first proposal was discussed and rejected. Most present were not in favour of renaming Heroes’ Square. A decision was taken to split this proposal into two parts, (a) renaming Heroes’ Square and (b) not moving Nelson’s statue. A vote was taken and the majority did not want Nelson’s statue moved.
Discussion on the second proposal ran into some
opposition when someone stated that you cannot tell a private landowner what to do with his land.
At this point it was decided to pass all of the proposals up to the National Trust Council. The Council would then meet and communicate their recommendations back to the members.
In the end, what was promising to be a lively debate, came to a quiet end!