PANAMA MEMORIAL COULD BE A REALITY BY 2016: SENATOR REACTS TO CALL BY MUSEUM OFFICIAL

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, is proposing the establishment of a Panama memorial to possibly coincide with the 50th Anniversary of Barbados’ Independence in 2016

She responded to a suggestion made by Sir Winfield Marshall at the official opening of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society's Exhibition entitled: We Were Giants: The Story of the Barbadians who built the Panama Canal 1904-1914 at the Museum from Monday night.

She responded to a suggestion made by Sir Winfield Marshall at the official opening of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society’s Exhibition entitled: We Were Giants: The Story of the Barbadians who built the Panama Canal 1904-1914 at the Museum from Monday night.

Senator McClean added: “While I cannot commit my Cabinet colleagues, I think that…at the latest…when we celebrate our 50th Anniversary [of Independence] in 2016, we should have a memorial. I certainly will do my part to seek to do that.”

The Foreign Minister said the story of Barbadians who went to Panama was one of the unique migration stories of the last few centuries. These Barbadians, she explained, were sourced by the builders of the Canal on account of their reputation for hard work, honesty, and devotion to duty, which they had displayed in previous construction projects.

The Foreign Minister said the story of Barbadians who went to Panama was one of the unique migration stories of the last few centuries. These Barbadians, she explained, were sourced by the builders of the Canal on account of their reputation for hard work, honesty, and devotion to duty, which they had displayed in previous construction projects.

She said the mass migration is credited with giving impetus to the emergence of a Barbadian middle class as “so called Panama money assisted many families during a tough time in the development of Barbados“.

Part of the Lecture by Mr Matthew Parker on "We Were Giants: The Story of the Barbadians who built the Panama Canal" where patrons after a long chat found no snacks after skipping dinner - only juice, wine or rum on empty stomachs...

Part of the Lecture by Mr Matthew Parker on “We Were Giants: The Story of the Barbadians who built the Panama Canal” where patrons after a long chat found no snacks after skipping dinner – only juice, wine or rum on empty stomachs…

“Their efforts are chronicled in such pioneering works as The Silver Men, authored by Barbadian historian, Professor Velma Newton. Those who remained produced a new generation of Panamanians of Barbadian descent. For example, our Honorary Consul in Panama, Dr. Camilo Alleyne, a physician and former Cabinet Minister in Panama, boasts that both of his grandparents were from Barbados,” Senator McClean underlined.

Acknowledging that Barbados and Panama have enjoyed a friendly and productive partnership, the Foreign Minister said the bilateral links between the two countries were based on commonalities of culture, like-mindedness and ancestry.

Acknowledging that Barbados and Panama have enjoyed a friendly and productive partnership, the Foreign Minister said the bilateral links between the two countries were based on commonalities of culture, like-mindedness and ancestry.

Senator McClean noted that Barbados had identified Panama as one of its main bilateral partners in Latin America. She said that the August 15th anniversary celebrations of the Panama migration was a fitting symbol of our respective historical journeys and demonstrated a commitment to building a new phase of our bilateral partnership. (JC/BGIS)

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Comments

add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.